VAIO SX12 (2019) Review

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In this article, I give you my VAIO SX12 (2019) review with specs included. The full name of my model is VAIO SX12 (2019) VJS121X0311A. In the world of compact laptops, the VAIO SX 12 emerges as a distinctive player, marking its status as a separate entity after Sony’s sell-off. This ultrabook, weighing in at an incredibly light 1.99 pounds (0.9 kilograms) and boasting a thickness of 18 millimeters at its thickest point, prompts immediate intrigue.

The compact and lightweight design positions it as an attractive option, but does it compromise on features and functionality? In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll delve into the VAIO SX 12’s design, port offerings, material composition, color variants, display options, keyboard and trackpad experience, pricing, and durability aspects.

Design and Port Offerings:

The VAIO SX 12’s design strikes a balance between portability and functionality. Despite its diminutive size, VAIO manages to incorporate a commendable array of ports, catering to the needs of business professionals who are a key target audience. Noteworthy inclusions are three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, Ethernet, and HDMI, demonstrating a commitment to providing comprehensive connectivity. This defies the common assumption that smaller laptops inevitably sacrifice ports for the sake of size. The addition of a headphone jack and a full-size SD card slot further enhances the device’s versatility.

VAIO SX12 2019 Keyboard and Connections
VAIO SX12 (2019) Keyboard and Connections

Crafted with a carbon fiber casing and an aluminum keyboard deck, the VAIO SX 12 prioritizes durability and aesthetics. The aluminum, specifically dyed aluminum, promises resistance to fading, ensuring a lasting visual appeal. The strategic use of unidirectional carbon fiber on the top contributes not only to aesthetics but also to structural rigidity. Available in matte black, silver, and distinctive rose gold, the device caters to varied style preferences. An upcoming limited edition variant in indigo blue, hand-dyed for a glossy finish, adds a touch of exclusivity to the lineup.

Display Options:

VAIO’s commitment to providing choice is evident in the display options available for the SX 12. Users can opt for either a Full HD or a 4K display, both featuring matte IPS panels. The Full HD model, which we have on hand, lacks touch functionality, making it clear that touch capability is not a universal requirement for all users. This choice between display options adds flexibility and allows users to tailor their device to their specific needs and preferences.

VAIO SX12 2019 Side View
VAIO SX12 (2019) Side View

Keyboard and Trackpad Experience:

One of the standout features of the VAIO SX 12 is its keyboard design. Unlike its predecessors, this model expands the keyboard to nearly the edges, eliminating the cramped feel. Despite the device’s compact size, VAIO manages to strike a balance between key spacing and size. The key travel, while not exceptionally deep due to the laptop’s thin profile, offers a surprisingly satisfying feel. The tactile feedback is noteworthy, surpassing some competitors in the same size category, such as the Dell XPS 13. The inclusion of white backlighting adds a touch of sophistication and practicality, making typing in low-light conditions a seamless experience.

VAIO SX12 2019 Lid
VAIO SX12 (2019) Lid

The VAIO signature design choice, where the bottom edge of the lid props up the keyboard upon opening, contributes to a more ergonomic typing position. This thoughtful design element aligns with VAIO’s commitment to user comfort and distinguishes its laptops in the market.

Pricing and Configurations:

The pricing strategy for the VAIO SX 12 is competitive, catering to a range of budgets. Starting at $1,199 for the Core i5 model with a Full HD display, the base configuration offers a reasonable entry point. Users can customize their devices by opting for a larger SSD or upgrading to a Core i7 processor, with the 4K display configuration reaching a higher price point of around $2,000. The upcoming limited edition color variant adds an element of exclusivity, with its pricing yet to be disclosed. Overall, VAIO positions the SX 12 as an affordable yet customizable solution, allowing users to tailor their laptops to their specific requirements.

VAIO SX12 2019 Sides Right and Left
VAIO SX12 (2019) Sides Right and Left

Durability and Material Composition:

The use of carbon fiber in the VAIO SX 12 brings forth a balance of durability and flexibility. Carbon fiber is renowned for its resilience and ability to absorb impacts without compromising structural integrity. VAIO emphasizes this durability through rigorous tests, as showcased on their YouTube channel. While some users may recall concerns about lid flex from the Sony era, VAIO’s modern approach to carbon fiber construction addresses these worries, ensuring a robust and enduring device.

In short, the VAIO SX 12 emerges as a commendable ultrabook, defying size-related stereotypes by offering a robust set of features. Its compact design, thoughtful port offerings, material composition, display options, and keyboard design make it an attractive choice for users seeking a balance between portability and functionality. The competitive pricing and customization options further enhance its appeal, positioning it favorably in the market. Whether catering to business professionals or general users appreciative of a sleek and lightweight laptop, the VAIO SX 12 stands out as a compelling option in the landscape of ultrabooks.

VAIO SX12 2019 Adapters
VAIO SX12 (2019) Adapters USB-C and Classic

VAIO SX 12: Unveiling a Lightweight Powerhouse

The VAIO SX 12 enters the ultrabook arena with an air of distinction, carving its path as an independent entity post-Sony’s sell-off. With a feather-light weight of merely 1.99 pounds (0.9 kilograms) and a thickness of 18 millimeters at its thickest point, this ultrabook challenges preconceived notions about compromise in small-sized devices. In this comprehensive exploration, we will scrutinize the VAIO SX 12’s display quality, performance specifications, heating and noise considerations, battery life, internal components, and overall value proposition.

Display Quality:

While the VAIO SX 12’s display may not align precisely with expectations, it holds its ground as a noteworthy component. Initial impressions might suggest a nearly full sRGB coverage, but closer inspection reveals a slightly narrower color gamut than anticipated. Despite falling short of the full sRGB spectrum, the display exudes a visual appeal that might not betray its technical specifications. Brightness levels, however, remain commendable, though an in-depth analysis requires the inclusion of the 4K variant, which was not available for testing. Historically, 4K displays tend to boast higher gamuts, enhancing the visual experience.

Performance Specifications:

Underneath its diminutive exterior, the VAIO SX 12 houses commendable performance capabilities. Equipped with options for Core i5 and i7 8th generation Whiskey Lake quad-core CPUs, it caters to business-oriented users. The Ultrabook CPUs, coupled with Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics, strike a balance between power and portability. The absence of dedicated graphics is understandable given the device’s compact dimensions. Users can opt for configurations featuring either 8 or 16 gigabytes of low-power DDR3 RAM, soldered onto the board. The inclusion of an M.2 socketed NVMe SSD provides native capacities for storage, ensuring a seamless user experience.

Heating and Noise Considerations:

Recognizing its role as an Ultrabook rather than a gaming laptop, the VAIO SX 12 prioritizes a balance between performance and thermal management. The carbon fiber construction plays a pivotal role in maintaining reasonable surface temperatures, leveraging the material’s ability to dissipate heat effectively. The inclusion of a well-designed heat cage over the CPU heatsink further contributes to temperature control. While the core temperatures may rise under demanding workloads, they remain within acceptable limits, ensuring the longevity of the CPU. The device maintains a commendable noise profile, with a small yet quality fan ensuring efficient cooling. The Ultrabook’s noise levels, even under strenuous tasks, are unlikely to pose a significant disturbance.

Battery Life:

The VAIO SX 12’s Achilles’ heel is its modest battery capacity, standing at 35 watt-hours. The trade-off for achieving a compact form factor involves a smaller battery, which inevitably impacts battery life. VAIO’s claim of up to 10 hours may be ambitious, as real-world usage on the default balanced power profile yielded around five and a half hours. The inclusion of a 45-watt charger emphasizes the device’s reliance on regular charging intervals. Despite the limited battery life, the Ultrabook’s compact charger aligns with its emphasis on portability.

Internal Components:

Delving into the internals of the VAIO SX 12 unveils a design that balances compactness with user accessibility. The removal of Phillips head screws facilitates access to the device’s internals, offering users the ability to undertake certain upgrades. Utilizing a guitar pick to pry off the keyboard deck, users gain access to components such as the M.2 SSD and the Wi-Fi card. However, the soldered RAM and the absence of RAM slots limit upgrade options in this Ultrabook. The thoughtful inclusion of a slot for optional 4G LTE, though not applicable to the US version, hints at the device’s global adaptability.

Value Proposition:

The VAIO SX 12 distinguishes itself in the market by adhering to its unique design philosophy while remaining competitively priced. Starting at $1,199, the Ultrabook offers a compelling combination of portability, performance, and aesthetics. Users have the flexibility to customize their configurations based on preferences and requirements, with options to upgrade storage capacity or opt for a higher-performing Core i7 processor. The limited edition color variants add an element of exclusivity, appealing to users seeking a personalized touch. Despite potential upsells, the core offering of the VAIO SX 12 positions it as a worthy contender in the ultrabook landscape.

The VAIO SX 12 manages to carve a niche for itself by embracing its unique identity within the realm of ultrabooks. Its lightweight design, balanced performance, and a commendable array of ports make it a suitable choice for users seeking a harmonious blend of form and function. While certain aspects, such as battery life, may require compromise, the overall package positions the VAIO SX 12 as an attractive proposition in the ever-evolving landscape of ultraportable computing.

VAIO SX12 (2019): Extensive Pros and Cons Analysis

The VAIO SX12 (2019) is a compact and lightweight ultrabook that aims to deliver a balance between portability and performance. Here’s a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of this ultrabook:


  • Compact and Lightweight:
  • Pro: The VAIO SX12 excels in portability, weighing just 1.99 pounds (0.9 kilograms) and measuring 18mm at its thickest point. This makes it an ideal choice for users who prioritize mobility.
  • Build Quality:
  • Pro: The ultrabook features a premium build with a carbon fiber casing and an aluminum keyboard deck. The materials used contribute to durability and a sleek aesthetic.
  • Port Selection:
  • Pro: Despite its small size, the VAIO SX12 impressively includes a variety of ports suitable for business users. The presence of three USB-A ports, USB-C, Ethernet, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card slot enhances connectivity options.
  • Display Options:
  • Pro: Users have the flexibility to choose between a Full HD or a 4K display, catering to different preferences and use cases. The matte IPS display provides clear visuals, and the availability of a 4K option suggests heightened display quality.
  • Performance Capabilities:
  • Pro: Equipped with 8th generation Whiskey Lake quad-core CPUs (Core i5 and i7) and Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics, the VAIO SX12 delivers reliable performance for business-related tasks, social media, and streaming.
  • Keyboard and Backlighting:
  • Pro: The keyboard layout is expanded to the edges, addressing concerns of cramped keyboards in smaller laptops. The tactile feedback is praised, and the white backlighting adds a touch of sophistication to the typing experience.
  • Unique Design Elements:
  • Pro: The VAIO SX12 incorporates design elements that set it apart, such as the ergonomic lift created when opening the lid. This enhances the typing experience and adds a distinctive touch to its overall design.
  • Upgradability:
  • Pro: Users can undertake certain upgrades as the ultrabook allows access to internal components, including the M.2 SSD and the Wi-Fi card. This provides a level of customization and future-proofing for users.
  • Competitive Pricing:
  • Pro: Starting at $1,199, the VAIO SX12 offers competitive pricing for its specifications and features. Users can choose configurations based on their needs without breaking the bank.


  • Limited Battery Capacity:
  • Con: The VAIO SX12 suffers from a relatively small 35-watt-hour battery. This compromises the device’s ability to achieve the claimed 10 hours of battery life, making regular charging intervals necessary.
  • Limited RAM Upgradeability:
  • Con: The RAM in the VAIO SX12 is soldered onto the board, limiting the upgrade options for users who may require more than the provided 8 or 16 gigabytes. The lack of expandable RAM slots may be a drawback for power users.
  • No Dedicated Graphics:
  • Con: The absence of dedicated graphics may limit the device’s capabilities for graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming or resource-demanding applications. This places the VAIO SX12 more in line with productivity-focused users.
  • Moderate Display Color Gamut:
  • Con: While the display quality is generally good, the color gamut is slightly narrower than expected. This may be a drawback for users who require highly accurate color reproduction for tasks such as photo or video editing.
  • Ambitious Battery Life Claim:
  • Con: The claimed 10 hours of battery life may be considered ambitious, as real-world usage with the default balanced power profile yielded around five and a half hours. Users should manage their expectations regarding battery longevity.
  • Small Trackpad:
  • Con: The trackpad, while functional, may be considered small compared to today’s standards. Users accustomed to larger trackpads might find the size less intuitive.
  • Lack of LTE Option in the US:
  • Con: The absence of an option for 4G LTE connectivity in the US version might be a limitation for users who require constant internet access on the go.


The VAIO SX12 (2019) impresses with its portability, build quality, and an array of ports suitable for business use. While it addresses several concerns related to compact laptops, such as an expanded keyboard layout and access to internal components, it does come with trade-offs, including a limited battery capacity and lack of dedicated graphics. Users seeking a balance between mobility and performance at a competitive price point may find the VAIO SX12 to be a compelling option. However, those with specific requirements for extensive battery life or graphics capabilities may need to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

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VAIO SX12 (2019)
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