Sony VAIO Pro 13 review

Sony sticks with a clamshell format for its latest touchscreen Ultrabook to deliver something special

Sony Vaio Pro 13
A clamshell laptop with a difference

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The Sony VAIO Pro 13 shows that in the world of hybrid tablets, the future of laptops is still rosy. This fantastic machine manages to combine power, decent battery life and incredible usability with a diminutive build that shades 1kg. It has an excellent touchscreen to boot.

Two Vaios

A great laptop, whichever way you look at it

Those wanting to play games and send the odd email will be better served by Surface or one of the plethora of top Windows 8 slates. However, if you want to work effectively and still have the benefits of a touchscreen PC, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 is a traditional laptop that signals a great future.

We liked

It's easy to fall in love with the Sony VAIO Deo 13, because it gets so much right. The well-spaced keyboard, fantastic touchscreen and negligible weight make it such a strong all-round performer it's impossible not to recommend.

Another hugely impressive aspect of the VAIO Pro 13 is its performance, which thanks to the fourth-generation Haswell processor manages to offer some of the best Ultrabook performance we've seen, packing in decent battery life without sacrificing portability.

We disliked

It's rare that we review devices with no obvious compromise, but the VAIO Pro 13 is pretty close. There are obvious downsides to the hybrid mode, and having to operate the touchscreen in 'zombie mode' with your hands held over the keyboard does make the touchscreen feel like an add-on.

If Sony could have employed a twisting or backward folding hinge to turn the VAIO Pro 13 into a tablet, it would be an even stronger proposition. Yet this comes with its own challenges and compromises, and we still applaud Sony for creating one of the best laptops we've reviewed.


The Sony VAIO Pro 13 blends a stunning lightweight build, superb power and touchscreen tech to create a fantastic Windows 8 laptop. In a world of hybrids, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 shows there's still life in the clamshell yet. If you're looking for a great machine for work that will still run the latest apps, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 comes highly recommended.