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Sony VAIO VPC-S132GX/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO VPC-S132GX/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sony VAIO S

©Sony

The Bottom Line

Mar 7 2011 - Sony's VAIO S132GX offers a middle ground in their ultraportable laptops but it still is a bit too expensive compared to the competition. At $1000, it should have more than 320GB hard drive space, a faster processor and certainly better battery life. Having said that, Sony does still offer some nice things including some excellent wireless connectivity and performance in addition to an internal DVD burner which many companies are dropping from ultraportables.
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Pros

  • Includes Bluetooth and 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Built-In DVD Burner

Cons

  • More Expensive Than Similarly Equipped Laptops
  • Below Average Battery Life

Description

  • Intel Core i3-380M Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 13.3" WXGA (1376x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI, VGA, Memory Stick/SD Card Slot
  • 13" x 9" x 1.2" @ 4.4 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, VAIO Suite

Guide Review - Sony VAIO VPC-S132GX/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Mar 7 2011 - Sony's VAIO S series of laptops offers a middle ground between their budget oriented Y and premium Z series ultraportables. It offers a full featured laptop system that competes with the likes of Apple's MacBook and Toshiba's Portege R700. Like these it uses a standard class laptop processor rather than a lower voltage model. The Intel Core i3-380M gives it some good overall performance compared to the ULV models but it falls behind the Core i5 found in many similar priced competitors. The 4GB of memory should help prevent many slowdowns from multitasking

While many ultraportables have been dropping the optical drive to save space, weight and cost, Sony has continued to include an internal drive with the VAIO S. A dual layer DVD burner comes with the S132GX/B that allows for playback and recording of CD or DVDs. The hard drive is a fairly typical 320GB storage size with a modest 5400rpm spin rate. It would have been nice to see a bit larger drive in a laptop approaching $1000.

Sony has typically been known for some high resolution small screens in their ultraportables. As the company has shifted to more mainstream rather than premium laptops, they have started to also downgrade their displays to be more average. It uses a 1376x768 resolution typical to this display size and also uses a glossy coating that can make it difficult to use in certain light or outdoors. The vertical viewing angles also were fairly narrow. Driving the graphics is the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated solution that is common for ultraportables. This is certainly fine for most applications including high definition video but it does lack any real 3D performance for even casual PC gaming.

The battery pack included with the Sony VAIO VPC-S132GX/B is a relatively standard six-cell model. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was able to run for roughly three and a half hours before going into standby mode. This unfortunately has less overall running time than many other similar 13-inch laptops that come equipped with internal DVD drives such as the Apple MacBook and Toshiba Portege R700.

Sony was one of the primary companies to start using the isolated or chiclet keyboard designs and they continue to do so with the VAIO S. The keys are decently spaced with a nice soft finish which gave them a good overall feel. While not the best keyboard on the market, it is certainly above average. The trackpad is spacious and offers accurate tracking. Rather than using a single button bar, Sony uses large individual buttons which is a welcome design.

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