Sony Vaio S (VPCSA35GG/T) Review Review
- Unique colour combination over and above a solid build
- Switchable graphics for when you need better battery backup
- Matte display is very comfortable to view content on
- Impressive specification sheet
- Cooling vent placement is flawed
- The colour may be too much bling for some
- Disappointing battery life on dedicated graphics mode
To put it mildly, the Sony Vaio S- series (VPCSA35GG/T) has looks that stand out in a crowd. A combination of good performance and good build is more than enough to entice anyone who is looking to buy a slim laptop. We have run out of words to express how happy we are with the matte display! However, a very disappointing battery life and a price tag that is slightly on the higher side gatecrash the party.
What we have here is a laptop that looks pretty impressive on the spec sheet - Intel Core i7, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and dedicated graphics - AMD Radeon HD 6630M (1GB RAM) and the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics. However, what dresses it is what really catches the eye - Glossy Brown, and that too multiple shades of that. So much so that the lighter one actually comes very close to Gold! But, does whatever glitter really gold? Let us find out.
Look & Feel
Isn't this everything you want from a laptop? It isn't an ultrabook, in simpler terms means more power. But it still manages a form factor very close to that. This Vaio has a similar thickness to the Samsung Series 5 ultrabook we reviewed recently. Fish it out of the box, and the dark chocolate brown color with the glossy finish will make you either check out your reflection and /or make you wince in exasperation. We don’t like glossy finish on gadgets, and this one just walks the same path - scratch, fingerprint and dust magnet. Open the lid, and you now see a different shade of brown, almost bordering on Golden! This holds true for the bezel around the display as well as the area around the keypad. While the bezel has a clean look, there is a textured finish around the keypad as well as on the touchpad. Lots of hardware keys here - drive eject, graphics switching slider and a bunch of dedicated keys that take you to the Vaio Assistance suite and the Vaio control centre. To keep the shape edgy, the power key is also of a unique design.
All ports are on the right side. You will get three USB ports, one of which is a USB 3.0 port, card reader and HDMI out as well. There is the well sculpted optical drive on the left side, and you might not notice it there because of the MacBook-esque placement of the eject key above the keypad. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed just above the optical drive.
No vents on the sides, but the major outlet are on the rear side, below the display. However, we noticed a major design flaw with this. Thanks to the chunky design of the hinge, the vent space is severely compromised when the display is completely tilted back. Trust us, people do tilt the display that far back, and even we do it. What that does is heat up the machine a lot quicker, particularly if you are on the dedicated graphics mode. Within 20 minutes of being switched on for a bit of web browsing and some You Tube videos, the cooling fan was growling like the way it did on the older gen Xbox consoles - time for take-off!
While the build quality is worthy of a laptop this expensive, we don’t think everyone will appreciate this colour. This laptop is also available in a conventional black coloured finish, and we suggest you consider that. However, you will need a cooling pad for this for the most part, since this becomes very warm thanks to the flawed vent placement.
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