We were fairly confident that the Ivy Bridge Sony Vaio S Series 13P would be an excellent machine, and our only hesitating thought was that it would effectively price itself out of contention compared to increasingly affordable Ultrabooks.

That's true in part, but we have to admit that Sony's decision to let consumers customise their machine opens the Vaio S Series 13P up to much greater potential than if they had simply left it as a closed spec.

We liked

Both the portability and usability are excellent here. So much so, that the excellent specification almost fades into the background.

General usage was excellent thanks to the comfortable, well-sized keyboard and the speed of the operating system, not to mention the fact the chassis keeps cool and quiet even during high-intensity usage.

Furthermore, to have a Blu-ray player, Thunderbolt, Fingerprint scanner and backlit keyboard, as well as SSD and a 203 minute battery life on a chassis this slim is exceptional.

We disliked

Although the Sony Vaio S Series 13P can satisfy our general usage and business requirements, a media machine it is not.

There's not enough on-board storage for the average person's movie collection, so you'll need to rely on streaming services like Netflix or cloud storage.

Even so, the screen and speakers aren't geared towards multimedia use and other Ultrabooks like the Asus Zenbook UX31, Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Air are better choices in that regard.

Our other gripe was the lack of a Full HD screen. If that's what you want, you'll have to opt for the larger Sony Vaio S Series 15.

Final verdict

The Sony S Series 13P is a shining example of Sony's ability to craft great laptops and it's practically flawless as an ultraportable business machine.

The inclusion of a Blu-ray drive doesn't stop it being a bit of a let-down when it comes to multimedia, but frankly that's splitting hairs considering the performance and extra features you get out of this machine.

The boxy, executive design might not appeal to all but the usability is certainly up to Sony's usual high standard. If you need a powerful, portable business machine, the Sony Vaio S Series 13P should be topping your list.