DISASSEMBLY AND SSD IDENTIFICATION
We never recommend disassembly of any portable system by anyone, however there may be times where it may be necessary for hardware upgrades. Such is the case for the VAIO Pro 13 with respect to upgrading the SSD or Wifi Card. Disassembly of the base is relatively simple and starts with the removal of the long rubber lip and two smaller rubber feet, as well as the plastic door in the middle of the base, which will unclip. From there, remove the screws as shown here:
Once the screws have been removed, all that is necessary is to gently start pulling up on the base plate starting at the top center and working your way around. Remember to be careful when clearing the ports on the right side.
To the best of our knowledge, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 ultrabook ships with either the Sony XP941 M.2 ‘native’ PCIe SSD or the Toshiba HG5d M.2 ‘SATA based’ PCIe SSD, the latter being present in our received sample system. The Toshiba HG5d M.2 PCIe SSD is available in capacities of 60, 128, 256 and 512GB. It is a 6Gbps blade style SSD with maximum read and write data transfer speeds of just over 500MB/s.
It contains a controller that was created by Marvell, however, Toshiba has improved this SSDs capabilities significantly through their own engineering and firmware expertise. This controller would be specifically constructed for use with M.2 SATA based PCIe SSDs. This is also a bit of an opportunity to speak about the M.2 interface.
In the above picture, we see that there are two slots in the interface (or connector) and these are termed as ‘keys’ on either end, the ‘B’ key on the left beside the small connector containing 6 teeth while the ‘M’ key on the right is beside that with 5. M.2 SSDs of this type are SATA PCIe SSDs and only capable of SATA 3 speeds of just over 500MB/s. If there were only one slot, as seen in our previous review of the Samsung XP941 SSD, performance could increase significantly as data transfer opens up to PCIe Ver.2.0 X4 (2GB/s) lanes. The key within this type of SSD is the ‘M’ key. These are both termed as M.2 SSDs as the connector that each slides into is a M.2 connector, the physical difference between both SSDs being the pin-out assignment.
There are also four modules of Toshiba 19nm NAND flash memory on the PCB, each being 32GB in capacity for a RAW total of 128GB. Once formatted, the capacity available for consumer use is reduced to 103GB.
Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, ‘power on’ information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not grayed out as with AAM.