REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Perhaps the most obvious observation of this Sony VAIO Pro 13 Ultra is that, even with its installed OS configuration and bloatware, the speed of the M.2 SSD is identical to that expected of a brand new FOB (fresh out of box) XP941 A closer look at the system identifies that there are actually 18 hours of use and a ‘Start-Up Count’ of 65 times on the SSD. Even with this use, performance is still at par with that of a new SSD.
Not only do we realize speeds of over 1GB/s and 109K IOPS in synthetic testing, but also, we still see this type of performance in the ‘true to life’ transfer speed tests of both AS SSD Copy Bench and PCMark Vantage HDD Suite. In revisiting our review of the 2013 Apple MacBook Air, a noticeable speed drop is evident between our XP941 analysis, and that of the same SSD in the MBA, granted there are minor differences in the proprietary MBA SSD. We don’t see that with the Sony VAIO Pro 13 where we ,not only tested its 256GB XP941 within the unit as well as in our Test Bench, but also, it’s tested again after a secure erase.
The full story on the Sony VAIO Pro 13 was definitely not told in our initial report, however, can we blamed considering the system received? When examining the positives now, the Pro 13 just may be the worlds smallest and lightest ultrabook and one that, with the SSD performance seen here, can be configured as the worlds most powerful ultra. In addition, it is a touchscreen where the 2013 MBA is not and it has a native 1920x1080p IPS display which ranks, once again, as one of the best available. Battery life is the highest that can be found in any ultra/laptop search, with exception to the MBA, it has plenty of USB 3.0 ports as well as a SD card slot, that which seems to be fading away in the new ultras seen today. The negatives of constant fan noise and the resulting heat become much more manageable.
A quick check of Amazon shows pricing of the new VAIO Pro 13 ranging from $1400 to $1750, depending on the configuration ordered. This is definitely a jump on the 2013 MBA, however, there is a large segment of people who prefer PC and would grab this long before the MBA. From our perspective, we would definitely recommend this ultrabook, keeping in mind our VAIO ultra experience, and can recommend it as the lightest and most powerful ultra available today!