Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ivy Bridge Portables: Sony Vaio S SVS13116FG

Yesterday, we took a look at Apple's new entry level MacBook Pro and the new Samsung  NP540U4C S03 "Ultrabook". The Samsung NP530U4C S03 was lighter, sports a more desirable Core i7 processor, is lighter, cheaper and overall looks like a better choice.  The is another worthy Ivy Bridge contender in this category, our longtime favorite, the Sony Vaio S series. 

Sony Vaio S SVS13116FG. The Sony Vaio S has been upgraded with a new Ivy Bridge processor, the 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-3210M processor. This is the same processor found on the entry Apple MacBook Pro. Like the MacBook Pro, it has an a 13.3-inch display (but with a higher 1366 x 768 resolution). It also has an optical drive.

The question is, does it offer anything more which will allow it to beat the Samsung NP530U4C S03?

The Sony Vaio S is the lightest of the three, being at 3.8 pounds. For graphics, that Sony Vaio S has the standard Intel HD Graphics 4000 plus a nVidia GeForce GT 640M LE with 1 GB of dedicated video memory. So it does a better job than the entry level MacBook Pro in matching the Samsung NP530U4C S03 in term of processing and graphics power.

Still, the Sony Vaio S falls short in other categories, offering less RAM, at 4 GB, and coming with a smaller 640 GB hard drive as compared with the Samsung NP530U4C S03

The Sony Vaio S also cost more, Php59,900 with Windows 7 Premium (64-bit) pre-installed. You can get 10% off the price for cash and straight credit card purchases, making it 4K more expensive than the Samsung NP530U4C S03. 

So our recommendation is pretty much the same as with the Apple MacBook Pro. If you need an optical drive, the Sony Vaio S SVS13116FG is a better choice than the Samsung NP530U4C S03, and a much better choice than the entry level Apple MacBook Pro. If not, the The Samsung NP530U4C S03 is lighter, sports a more desirable Core i7 processor, is lighter, cheaper and overall a better choice.

One caveat. If you are willing to spend Php7,999 more, you can get a slice battery for the Sony Vaio S, which doubles its battery life to 12-hours. This 4-6 hours longer than its Apple and Samsung rivals. Considering this, at 50K the Samsung NP530U4C S03 is a better value for money option. But if you are will to spend about 62K, the Sony Vaio S SVS13116FG becomes a very compelling option.

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