Application and Futuremark Performance

It should go without saying that the Sony VAIO S' performance in PCMark is going to be less than impressive. Not only does it not have an SSD, but the hard drive is (as I've belabored) punishingly slow. Thankfully, the Futuremark benches don't seem to be indicative of how well the VAIO S can perform in real world applications (outside of those that hit the storage subsystem), as you'll soon see.

Once you get to the storage subscore (where our SSD-equipped Sandy Bridge reference platform excels), you can see just how bad things are with the VAIO S' 5400RPM drive. Now you understand what I mean when I tell you that when you order the notebook, get at least a 7200RPM hard drive upgrade—or plan on doing an SSD upgrade on your own.

Under PCMark Vantage the VAIO S fares at least a little better. You'll notice I've included benchmarks for Atom and the E-350 in this chart and others; when we get to the battery life testing you'll see why. It's true those platforms cost at least a third as much as the VAIO S, but the VAIO S itself can still be had for under a grand, and there are some very good arguments to be made for going that route.

Into our proper application tests, the VAIO S starts to hit its stride. The Core i5-2410M at its heart may be Intel's slowest Sandy Bridge i5, but it's still a Sandy Bridge i5 and the scores reflect that. Performance is right where we want it to be, and the single memory channel in our review unit doesn't seem to hamper it too badly.

Back with Futuremark, the 3DMarks seem less kind to the VAIO S again, but this time they have it coming in behind Intel's HD 3000 integrated graphics hardware. This isn't wholly unexpected since the AMD Radeon HD 6470M is fairly anemic to begin with, but it's not really representative of real world performance either. End users might benefit more from Intel spending time optimizing for actual games instead of 3DMark.

Good Computer, Too Much Bloat Gaming Performance
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  • hp79 - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    But I'm returning it because there were several problems with it.

    First unit had a bad bezel, not aligned/glued properly, and the 500gb WD Blue Scorpio 5400rpm made a click noise every time when idle. Returned.

    Second unit came with almost perfect bezel, and the hdd was a Hitachi, and was very satisfied. Then my Alps touchpad stopped working. When I place my hand on left palm rest, then it would work. One day later, it started working again. I decided not to keep it even though I had such a great deal.

    The screen has a very narrow viewing angle. I think it's even worse than the Acer 11" $200 netbook I had. You can't keep the lid open all the way for long time because it blocks the vent. The lid doesn't open too much either, so you'll be using it with the lid close to almost all the way to get that perfect viewing angle.

    I liked the laptop a lot if it weren't these problems. I had 8gb ram, and samsung 256gb ssd in it. It was blazing fast. AMD graphics did make a lot of noise though.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    dude how can the AMD graphics in this laptop create noise??? the heatpipe of the gpu is connected to the cpu with single fan. Seen few Vaio passing buy from friends all those fans are horrible. Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    You know what I meant there. I forgot to put "Using " in the beginning of that sentence.

    Of course they are connected to a heat pipe, duh.

    When using intel graphics, I never had any complaint about the noise because it was mostly quiet.
    Reply
  • waldojim42 - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    I never had a problem with the screen blocking the exhaust. But mine did die a very early death. How much fighting did you have to go through for a replacement? I ended up on the phone for many, many hours trying to understand their system. "We don't have authority to do that, customer relations does." Followed by "Nope, sorry, you have to talk to the San Diego tech department." Who never answered the phone... Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    Sorry to hear your experience. I just had to speak with Microsoft support person who was handling my case. When I finally said I want to return it, she said she'll email me a prepaid return label. No hassle at all. Reply
  • waldojim42 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    That is good to know, going through a third party may be the way to go from now on. Reply
  • icebox - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    I got my wife a 13'' vaio one year ago as she travels a lot. We had exactly the same problem, slow system, hdd was writting all the time. I reseted twice, uninstall everything I could it was still dead slow.
    It finally annoyed us so much that I went and bought a seagate momentus xt (she has to much files for an ssd to be an option) and installed windows off a standard oem disk (I had to call Microsoft's hot line for the activation but they were helpful and it worked) and only installed the needed drivers and nothing more (jumpy launchers, media players, demos, trials be damned) It's working fine ever since
    Reply
  • dingetje - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    yep, 16:9 is useless for anything except watching movies Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 9, 2011 - link

    ...except you can get it at 1600x900, which is a higher resolution than we ever got in 13" or 14" notebooks. I agree the native resolution is crappy (although reasonable for a 13" notebook), but how is 16:9 at 1600x900 worse than 16:10 at 1440x900? Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    Why? Reply

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