First Look: Sony Vaio Fit 13A

First Look: Sony Vaio Fit 13A

Vincent Chang checks out Sony's new Windows 8 convertible, which comes with three different usage modes - laptop, tablet and viewer - made possible by a unique "multi-flip" hinge. It is available in 13- and 15-inch sizes.

Keyboard

The backlit keyboard is slightly shallow but the keys are large and well-spaced. It should lead to fewer typos, though it is not as comfortable to use as others I have tried.

Ports

Because space is so limited, the Fit 13A has only two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI and an SD card slot. They are all on the right-hand side.

Software

Sony's note-taking app, Vaio Paper, lets users create handwritten documents using its stylus.

It is an enhanced version of an older app with newer features. I also like the Vaio Control Center, which makes key settings easily accessible.

Design

Thin, light and handy at around 1.31kg, the all-aluminium device works really well as an ultrabook.

But it is much more than that.

Release the lock switch above the keyboard, push the top of the screen back and flip it around into viewer mode. Magnets hold the outward-facing screen in place. This mode is useful for showing something onscreen to a person opposite you.

It is also suitable for viewing movies and playing touch-based games up close without the keyboard getting in the way.

Tablet mode is enabled by closing the lid with the screen facing out. Because of the hinge, the device is slightly wedge-shaped and has a fair amount of flex if you press too hard on the screen.

A volume rocker is located at the top and accessible with your right index finger when you are gripping the Vaio in tablet mode.

A tiny power button is also on the right, within easy reach, but its size could make it difficult to locate.

Display

The touchscreen of the smaller model has a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution and supports a digitiser stylus. There is no gap between the protective glass and the actual LED display, which reduces reflection and allows for better viewing angles.

The screen uses Sony's Triluminos technology for more vivid colours. But the backlighting can be too bright and bleed in from the sides of the screen.

Performance

With an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), the Vaio Fit 13A has a standard ultrabook configuration. A Core i7 version is also available with a 256GB SSD.

Sony claims its battery life is good for up to seven hours of use.

vinchang@sph.com.sg


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