Sony VAIO Pro 13: Performance

In most areas, the performance of the VAIO Pro 13 is more than sufficient. Loading up Windows and common applications, surfing the web, and even video encoding (especially with an application that supports Quick Sync) are all plenty fast. There are faster laptops out there, certainly, but they don't have anywhere near this level of portability. Here's our standard selection of performance metrics, and you can see that the VAIO Pro 13 is basically in line with other Ultrabooks. Note that most of the other Ultrabooks have used Core i7 ULV processors, so here the VAIO Pro 13 is at a disadvantage. The cores specs for the tested laptops are listed in the table below, and additional benchmark results are available in Mobile Bench.

Overview of Laptops in Charts
Laptop CPU GPU Storage RAM LCD Battery
Acer R7-571-6858 Intel Core i5-3317U HD 4000 500GB HDD + 24GB SSD 1x4GB + 1x2GB 15.6” 1080p Glossy AHVA Touchscreen 4-cell 54Wh
Acer S7-391-9886 Intel Core i7-3517U HD 4000 2x128GB RAID 0 SSDs 2x2GB 13.3” 1080p Glossy AHVA Touchscreen 4-cell 35Wh
Acer V7-482PG-9884 Intel Core i7-4500U GT750M DDR3 / HD 4400 1TB HDD + 24GB SSD 1x4GB + 1x8GB 14” 1080p Glossy AHVA Touchscreen 4-cell 54Wh
AMD Kabini Prototype AMD A4-5000 HD 8330 256GB SSD 1x4GB 14” 1080p Matte IPS 6-cell 45Wh
Apple MacBook Air 13 (2013) Intel Core i5-4250U HD 5000 128GB PCIe SSD 2x2GB 13.3” 1440x900 Glossy TN 4-cell 54Wh
Dell XPS 12 Intel Core i7-3517U HD 4000 256GB SSD 2x4GB 13.3” 1080p Glossy IPS Touchscreen 4-cell 47Wh
Dell XPS 13 Intel Core i5-3337U HD 4000 256GB SSD 2x4GB 13.3” 1080p Glossy IPS 6-cell 47Wh
Sony VAIO Pro 13 Intel Core i5-4200U HD 4400 128GB PCIe SSD 2x2GB 13.3” 1080p Glossy IPS Touchscreen 3-cell 37Wh

PCMark 7 (2013)

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

In our general performance graphs, here we get another results showing that Haswell isn't really any faster than Ivy Bridge in most tests (unless it has a GT3/GT3e iGPU, or in specific tests that leverage the new instructions). Move to the 3DMark results and the VAIO Pro 13 doesn't really look so hot. It's now clearly slower than the Core i7 Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks, which isn't something I'd expect from 20 EUs. Either Intel actually has slower EUs in Haswell than in Ivy Bridge, or Sony is curbing performance of the iGPU to keep within their desired thermal range. Our gaming results continue this trend:

Bioshock Infinite - Value

Company of Heroes 2 - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

GRID 2 - Value

Metro: Last Light - Value

Sleeping Dogs - Value

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Value

Tomb Raider - Value

Other than in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Tomb Raider, the VAIO Pro 13 ends up being slower than every other Intel Ultrabook that we've tested. The Acer V7 isn't technically an Ultrabook, though it's close enough in many respects, but we can see just how much even a moderate dGPU adds in terms of performance. We also have some results for Crystalwell (i7-4750HQ) in Mobile Bench that we're not including here, and GT3e is much faster as well (though the Clevo W740SU doesn't do all that well in the battery life department). Perhaps GT3 would help the VAIO Pro 13, but several games seemed to have issues maintaining higher iGPU clocks – Metro for instance showed cyclic higher/lower performance during the benchmark runs. It's mostly a moot point, though, as outside of light gaming the HD 4400 simply isn't fast enough to handle a lot of games.

Sony VAIO Pro 13 Subjective Evaluation Sony VAIO Pro 13: Excellent Battery Life
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • vision33r - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    I rather get this ultrabook than the compromised Surface Pro. What I found is that Win8 is terrible on a small screen, smaller than 12" is no good. Much better with more real estate.

    Surface Pro has a terrible keyboard cover it is so spongy how could anyone type on it. Then the Surface Pro tend to heat up when you watch movies and it has a very poor cooling system, think of it as a hot griddle that you can cook eggs on if it gets hot.

    Just like the PS3 vs Xbox 360, the PS3 was a better designed hardware overall. Microsoft is bad with hardware, all those defective RROD 360 is the reason why I wouldn't trust them as a device maker.
  • DukeN - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    Ugh, glossy screen = deal breaker.

    Will stick to my Thinkpad.
  • juhatus - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Actually the touch-enabled is glossy and non-touch is matta.
  • eamon - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    You can get the non-touchscreen version (which I have and minimal glare) for around 100$ less; as a bonus: it's 130g lighter; mine weighs in at just 0.93kg.
  • juhatus - Sunday, October 20, 2013 - link

    Jared: might want to add its 0.932kg withouth touch. I weighted it and yes thats how much it weights.
  • foxalopex - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    Sony's high end laptops are usually pretty impressive. I own a VPC-Z11 laptop that's about 3 years old now and amazingly few laptops can compare to this ultraportable even today. Sony often uses completely custom designs and their high end laptops are often assembled in the US or in Japan.

    The biggest downside with Sony is because it's all custom you're going to need to pray if you break it. At least in Canada where their repair service is dismal and expensive. Even the parts cost a fortune due to custom design.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    Good review, seems like too many compromises. Then you factor in the price and I agree with your conclusion entirely. Really looking forward to that Gigabyte review, barely bulkier than this to carry around with significantly better hardware for the same price. Seems like the laptop to beat in this generation.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    My bad, it's $150 more. Given what you're getting though it's EASILY worth that extra $150. I'd prefer the P35K, 15" instead of 14". You doing a review on that as well or just the 14"? I assume they're pretty comparable.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    I'll see if Gigabyte wants to send the P35K once I wrap up the P34G... stay tuned!
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    I'd like to comment on your battery life tests.

    - For web browsing, do you do any scrolling? I'd imagine that would drain the battery a bit as well.
    - "minutes per Wh" has no real meaning. Why don't you simply show "watts" instead? It would be the same (invert the graphs and multiply by 60), and we would see numbers that actually mean something.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now