Sony Vaio Pro 11 New High-End Ultrabook Review (Part 3)

8/29/2013 9:14:07 AM

Performance and battery life

Sony VAIO Pro 11 (Core i7-4,500U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 4,634                          

·         3DMark06: N/A    

·         3DMark11: E1,067/P600/X183

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 558 MB/s (reads); 255 MB/s (writes)

Sony VAIO Pro 11

Sony VAIO Pro 11

Samsung ATIV Book 7 (Core i5-3,337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4,000) 

·         PCMark7:             4,418                                      

·         3DMark06: 4,045 

·         3DMark11: E1,081/P600

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 626 MB/s (reads); 137 MB/s (writes)

Samsung ATIV Book 7

Samsung ATIV Book 7

Asus Transformer Book (Core i7-3,517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 4,414                                      

·         3DMark06: 3,840 

·         3DMark11: E924/P512/X177

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 482 MB/s (reads); 317 MB/s (writes)

Asus Transformer Book

Asus Transformer Book

Toshiba Kirabook (Core i7-3,537U 2.0GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 5,275                                      

·         3DMark06: 5,272 

·         3DMark11: N/A

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 553 MB/s (reads); 500 MB/s (writes)

Toshiba Kirabook

Toshiba Kirabook

Acer Aspire S7 (Core i7-3,517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 5,011                          

·         3DMark06: 4,918 

·         3DMark11: E1,035 / P620 / X208           

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 934 MB/s (reads); 686 MB/s (writes)

Acer Aspire S7

Acer Aspire S7

MSI Slidebook S20 (Core i5-3,337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 4,043                          

·         3DMark06: 3,944 

·         3DMark11: E1,053 / P578           

·          ATTO (top disk speeds): 484 MB/s (reads); 286 MB/s (writes)

MSI Slidebook S20

MSI Slidebook S20

Asus Taichi 21 (Core i7-3,317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 4,998                                      

·         3DMark06: 4,818 

·         3DMark11: E1,137 / P610 / X201

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 516 MB/s (reads); 431 MB/s (writes)

Asus Taichi 21

Asus Taichi 21

Microsoft Surface Pro (Core i5-3,317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4,000)  

·         PCMark7: 4,673                                      

·         3DMark06: 3,811 

·         3DMark11: E1,019 / P552

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 526 MB/s (reads); 201 MB/s (writes)

Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5-3,317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4,000)

·         PCMark7: 4,422                                      

·         3DMark06: 4,415 

·         3DMark11: E917 / P572

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 278 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes)

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Dell XPS 12 (Core i5-3,317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4,000)        

·         PCMark7: 4,673                                      

·         3DMark06: 4,520 

·         3DMark11: N/A

·         ATTO (top disk speeds): 516 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes)

Dell XPS 12

Dell XPS 12

Since we evaluated a pre-production model, we did not necessarily see the Pro 11 as a harbinger for other Haswell Ultrabooks. At least in the speed tests, it was in the high-end of what we’d expect from one of last year’s Ivy Bridge computers - a little better, but not much better. As you will see, it is in the battery life field where the Pro really shines, but on the contrary, Intel always promised that Haswell would offer a significant enhancement of the runtime.

Whether the Pro 11 is likely to represent Haswell Ultrabooks or not in general remains to be seen, but we know this: there are not any measures that the Pro could be considered slow. It starts in seven seconds, which is a little faster than the other Ultrabooks, and its SSD offers the maximum read speeds up to 558MB/s on average. Its average write speeds of 255MB/s are also quite respectable. The machine is still relatively quiet, but of course the fans speed up when you're playing the game, especially at maximum frame rates. However, despite this, the noise is small compared to what we've heard from the new Toshiba Kirabook. In terms of heat, the keyboard area becomes warm, especially towards the function keys, but the hottest area is evidently the vent, located on the left side, near the rear. Fortunately, it is easy to avoid that spot with your fingers, though you may feel the heat if you decide to do with this stuff on your thigh.

If you consider the battery life comparison table, you will see the two worst results that we have noted recently come from the 11-inch devices: the Asus Taichi 21 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. In general, regardless of the screen size, touch screen PCs have created quite bad runtimes. So, if you equip your computer with a 1,080p screen and a smaller chassis with less room for the battery, you are likely to expect particularly weak performance - about four hours on a single charge. If we did not know better, we’d have wished the Pro 11 to provide the similar figures.

But of course we know better: the Pro is not only another first-generation Windows 8 Ultrabook. No, this guy comes with a Haswell processor, which makes a promise of a 50 percent increase in running time compared to last year’s Ivy Bridge chips. Indeed, we breezed past the four-hour mark, creating an incredible six hours 41 minutes. And that is with a Core i7 processor! Let’s imagine what this thing can do with a lighter Core i5 chip?

Or how is about an extended battery? Sony is selling large batteries for the Pro 11 and Pro 13, and it promises to double the runtime in both cases. Unfortunately we have not tried this yet, but we are impressed with the selection. How many Ultrabooks do you know of that can supply two batteries at the same time right?

In reality, we are tempted to propose the Pro 11 just on account of its battery life, but the reality is, if every Haswell laptop is supposed to offer like this, surely it is better that you should wait for the other models to release. After all, if this type of performance turns into the new standard, you can leave all of the other subjective factors interfere with your purchasing decision. You know, such as the comfort of the keyboard, or trackpad quality.

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