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Gadgets

Sony Vaio T Series: Fit to a 'T'

STILL TALKING - Enrico Miguel T. Subido - The Philippine Star

Warning: not all laptops are ultrabooks. Do not fall for slick salesmanship. The term is relatively new, having been coined only some time late last year, but more and more people seem to be loosely throwing it around; like the word “ultrabook” is the new generic name for a laptop. It’s not.

So here’s the lowdown on what an ultrabook really is. First, let’s break down the compound word. “Ultra,” because it is jam-packed with features, and “book” because it opens up like one. Naturally. The term was first introduced by Intel after the company conducted user experience research to find out what people really wanted in a portable computer. So a laptop isn’t an ultrabook if it’s missing any of the following: long battery life, sleek design, lightweight, ease of use, quick sleep-to-start-up time, and possessing overall top-notch performance.

Those parameters would make any gadget sound pretty “ultra,” right?

It came in fairly late in the ultrabook game, but the Sony Vaio T Series hasn’t missed the party. It’s one ultrabook that’s definitely worth checking out. Probably the best thing about the Series T is its price — affordable. Sony is more often than not one of the more expensive tech brands out there, so it comes as quite a surprise that they are making the Vaio T Series more than affordable. It costs just over a US$1,000 here in the Philippines, but online they go for under $800, which is a steal for something so jam-packed with ultrabook goodness.

So does the Vaio T Series possess all of the features of a bona fide ultrabook? The quick answer is “yes.” But for the sake of specs and description, let’s go into detail.

First is the battery life, which, fully charged, will power the thing for a full maximum of five hours, unplugged, running Internet processes, surfing, creating documents, and maybe even listening to a bit of music and watching videos. Although the music and videos will definitely drain the battery. All in all, however, five hours is pretty long. Much longer than my laptop which has to be plugged in most of the day, that’s for sure.

It passes with flying colors in the sleek and lightweight categories, and these are perhaps its best features. The brushed aluminum casing and anodized aluminum interior are extremely stylish, making the Vaio T Series not only sleek, but pretty darn slick, too. The glossy, shiny accent on the back gives it just the right amount of gaudiness. It’s not the thinnest ultrabook in the market, but lacking tapered edges and measuring just 17.8 millimeters at its thickest point, it’s still pretty darn skinny. And at just 1.4 kilos, it’s a pretty anorexic thing.

It’s a heavyweight in the specs department, though. Powered by a 1.70 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U Processor with Turbo Boost up to 2.60 GHz and 4GB of RAM right out of the box, the Vaio Series T ain’t no slouch. The RAM is upgradable up to 8GB while 500GB ATA storage hybrid drive ensure that there is space for everything. A 32GB solid state drive makes data retrieval quick — don’t expect lag times with this thing.

Its funny how one of the main parameters for ultrabooks is having a quick start- up time. This seems so plain compared to the others. But I guess it matters. People wanted it, so they got it. The Vaio Series T starts up in just under two seconds. That’s pretty fast.

The Vaio T Series is easy to use because it’s a great laptop that’s fast right off the bat. It’s got buttons dedicated for Internet browsing, customizable shortcut buttons on the interior body, and a button specifically for access to Vaio Care — another one of Sony’s value-added services for its Vaio line. I have to point out, however, that the keyboard is a bit too flat and sunken for my taste. I tend to mash keys, so having a keyboard with little play doesn’t work for me. But I guess it’s not something so bad that one can’t get used to.

So does the Vaio T Series pass the ultrabook test? Quick answer: yes.

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For more information about the Vaio T Series and other Sony products, visit www.sony.com.ph

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Email me at [email protected].

Follow me on Twitter @_stilltalking.

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