Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS Review

Anyone looking for an Ultrabook under 600 dollars has to have noticed the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS 14-Inch Ultrabook. Let’s take a look in more detail at this device.

The Exterior


In typical Sony VAIO fashion this Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS 14-Inch Ultrabook is a design object. It has a very clean silver exterior, with the top cover in brushed aluminum. There is a chrome strip running on the back of it when closed and with VAIO written on with big chrome lettering. On the inside we see a contrast between the black raised tiles keyboard and the surrounding plastic casing, with the toutchpad right in the middle. Unfortunately there is no numeric keypad on this device, making it more difficult to use for people working with a lot of numbers. You can activate a pseudo-numeric keypad using the function keys, and the right side of the keyboard behaves as a numeric keypad. This can be a solution but I’m not sure it will prove to be useful if you have to switch between typing numbers and letters all the time.
Also on the top deck we have the power button on the top right corner, the 3 status LEDs, 3 function buttons(Assis, Web, Vaio) followed by the 2 built-in speakers.
The display on the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS Ultrabook is a 14-inch LED backlight with a resolution of 1366 x 768px. It also has an anti-reflective coating to ensure better color intensity without any glare.
For an extra 80 dollars Sony also provides a Touchscreen version of this device, making Windows 8 a more usable experience. The configuration is the same with this model. If you are interested in this version you can click the link below.

Connectivity


Surprising for an Ultrabook the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS comes with an Optical-drive.
sony-vaio-t-series-svt14122cxs-side-connectivity
It might not be as thin as other Ultrabooks, but I thing that getting a full sized VGA-out, and a DVD-RW on it are well worth the extra height. Other than these 2 thing it gets the usual external connectivity options like: HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 Memory Card readers (in front, Memory Stick Duo and Secure Digital memory cards), Headphones out, 1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 ports. The lack of another USB 3.0 port just like on other models might be a problem for users connecting a lot of accessories to it. You can fix this problem by connecting them all through a USB-Hub with multiple USB ports.
The unseen connectivity options include Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, capable of wireless stereo music streaming to other Bluetooth devices.
It’s good to see a device sporting all available connectivity standards when most other devices seem to lack one or the other.

Performance

In the performance department is where the low price for an Ultrabook is justified. The Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS comes with a 3rd generation Intel Core i3-3227U, running at 1.9 GHz. It is the most powerful Core i3 ULV Mobile processor Intel makes at the moment. This means it is more than capable to cope with almost anything available at the moment. It’s also a very new processor design, it was launched in Quarter 1 of 2013. Sony providing the customer with the best that’s available at the moment. Because it is an ULV Processor(Ultra Low Voltage) the battery life should be good on this model. This processor also comes with the true and tested Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics card, an overall very good package. The gaming ability of this graphics card has been tested repeatedly in recent years and it has always offered good results. Gaming will therefor be possible on this Sony but only on minimal to medium settings.
The only downside performance wise for this Ultrabook is that it only has 4GB DDR3 RAM preinstalled. This is a good amount for everyday usage but for those wanting a little more power and doing a lot of multitasking it will pose a problem. It can be upgraded to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM if needed. From what I can find this device only has one RAM slot available so you would need to replace the 4GB module with an 8GB one.
The Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS is an Ultrabook and as such it comes with hybrid storage, composed of a 500GB HDD and a 24GB SSD. The hybrid storage has become the norm on Ultrabooks for people needing more storage space than a more expensive SSD can offer. The 24GB SSD is used to boost the speed of the 500GB HDD by caching the most used files and having them ready for use in an instant. This also means that this device benefits from Intel’s Rapid Start Technology, making this device capable of starting and being ready to use in seconds.
The batterylife of this Sony VAIO is declared at 4.25 hours, which doesn’t seem that much. If you also take a look at the battery itself, with just 3760 mAh, then the 4 hours seem very reasonable. Considering this device is not as thin as it’s competitors I would have expected it to have a bigger battery inside. I guess the ULV Intel Core i3 make up for the smaller battery pack.

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Who is it for? discussing who would benefit most from this laptop...

  • Student
    Ultrabooks usually are a good fit for students because they are lightweight, slim, are very mobile and offer very good performance. In this aspect the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS is a typical Ultrabook, even if it's an entry level model. It comes with all of the Ultrabook goodies and a bit more(optical drive and VGA out). The performance is very good and the RAM should be enough for most students.

  • Casual User
    I would recommend an Ultrabook to a casual user only if he wants a very stylish device, which the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS is. But I think, that the performance needs of a casual user are relatively small compared to other users, and a cheaper model would better suit those needs.

  • Business User
    The computing needs of business users usually overlap perfectly with what the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS has to offer. I see it as a very good choice. It has an optical drive for software you might need to install, it also has a VGA out for presentation. The only thing which might be a problem is the lack of a numeric keypad. If you are willing to overlook this drawback, I think this device will fulfill your needs very well

  • Power User
    The Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS is a capable Ultrabook, but with only 4GB RAM and an Intel Core i3 Processor will barely be able to keep up with the high demands of a power user. As such I have to suggest a power user look for a normal sized Laptop at this price range. They usually come with more RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor.

  • Gaming
    I wouldn't call the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS a gaming laptop by any means. Yes it is capable of some gaming thanks to it's Intel Core i3 and Intel HD 4000 CPU&GPU combination but it will not suit a serious gamer. Also the HD 4000 uses available installed RAM for the graphics, and the 4 GB will not be enough for both the actual game and the graphics. I suggest anyone looking for a gaming laptop to look at fullsized laptops at the same price and they will find something for their needs.

PROs Vs. CONs

This Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS is showing that if you want to buy an Ultrabook you don't have to loose some functionality. It still keeps the good proportions of an Ultrabook, just, and still has all the functionality of a normal laptop.

There's not much to complain about the Sony VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS. Maybe the fact that it only has 2 USB ports, of which only 1 USB 3.0 and that it has no numeric keypad. This last one I think is understandable due to it's smaller size.



Summary

The overall package offered by Sony in their VAIO T Series SVT14122CXS Ultrabook is a very good and capable one. It has all the Ultrabook goodies and also normal Laptop functionality thanks to it's optical drive and VGA out.
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Technical Details

Processor Intel Core i3-3227U 1.9 GHz
Video Card Intel HD Graphics 4000
RAM Memory 4 GB DDR3
Audio Built-in stereo speakers with xLOUD and Clear Phase Technology
Operating System Windows 8
Display 14.0-inch 1366 x 768px
Storage Drive 500 GB & 24GB SSD 5400rpm
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0 Ports 1
USB 3.0 Ports 1
Built-in Camera 1.3 MP
Built-in Microphone Yes
Optical Drive 8x SuperMulti CD/DVD drive
Memory Card Reader Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Headphone-out Yes
VGA-out Yes
HDMI-out Yes
LAN-out Yes
Color Silver
Width 13.50 in.
Depth 9.30 in.
Height 0.82 in.
Weight 4.63 lbs.
Battery Life 4.25
Warranty 1-Year limited warranty

Updated on April 18th, 2013

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