In this article, I give you my VAIO SX14 review with specs included. Here’s a logo we’ve known and used to love. Vaio is still around for those who aren’t familiar with this brand. It used to be owned by Sony, got sold off, all the engineers and folks who design it went along to Vaio corporation (still a Japanese company).
I’ve reviewed a couple of their laptops over the years and this is the latest that’s coming to the United States and it’s currently available in Japan. This is the VAIO SX 14 (14-inch), it’s a position as a business laptop but honestly, this is something I think anybody would like. Though, some of the features are particularly appealing to business people.
In other words, this is a 14-inch ultrabook that is incredibly light. This is 2.2 to 2.3 pounds, depending on whether you get the full HD or the 4k display, and that’s around a kilogram. So we’re talking LG Graham territory with a 14-inch to the spike yet it’s fairly rigid.
It has aluminum on the top, aluminum on the keyboard deck, and this happens to be the limited edition red finish which actually goes through a three-stage process to create this red lid. Pink underneath and light red then dark red.
It’s also available in a limited edition signature kind of matte black that I really like. It’s like the BIOS of all it’s really classy looking. Then there’s a silver and there’s a brown which you’re actually nice looking. Even though Browns not always the most popular color.
Inside we have Intel eighth-generation whiskey you’ll a quad-core 15-watt ultrabook CPU. So that’s currently the latest and greatest that’s available. Up to 16 gigs of ddr3 low-power Ram fast nvme SSD a backlit keyboard and your choice of a full HD or a 4k display.
Let me look at it now. So the pricing is in the premium tier certainly up there with the Dell XPS 13 nicely configured now. There’s the core i5 where they gigs around a 256 gig SSD is around $12.99. Are really nicely configured one with 16 gigs of ram 512 gig SSD and the 4k display well that one is gonna set you back $18.99.
So a hallmark of a Vaio laptop over the years is that it’s super thin is super light but somehow they managed to squeeze an amazing array of ports on it. Which makes it kind of business friendly too. So you have hdmi full-size ports not small ones. You have HDMI onboard three USB a three point one points USBC.
Sadly it’s not Thunderbolt 3 but given the array of ports that are on the machine it’s not so bad. We actually have an Ethernet jack on this skinny laptop. Of course a headphone jack you get the idea full-sized SD card slot so that makes it pretty unique in today’s market which is nice.
The displays are again kind of business facing but also kind of unique these days. And so far as you can get a full HD or 4k matte 14 inch display. Really hard to find a matte display anymore. The drawback is it’s not touch. If you like a touchscreen oh well it isn’t touch. It ships with Windows 10 Pro.
Again sort of business facing there it has a fingerprint scanner on the keyboard deck. And well the model sold in Japan has LTE 4G as an option not the United States model. I do hope that they add that because you’ll see when we look inside there.
Actually is a slot to put the LTE card in there and the antennas and all those stuff are there. So let’s hope maybe business laptop folks tend to like to have LTE. We do have the 4k display on this and it’s a lovely enough panel. The typical almost full srgb coverage.
The other metrics on it are very good it’s very pleasing to look at we’re subjectively speaking in the contrast on it’s good. It’s really nice that it doesn’t glare. Brightness and on this is not super high but given the fact that there is no glare it’s a little bit less necessary to have super high brightness.
I haven’t seen the full HD display in person but I would expect the same pretty much full srgb coverage and similar specs on that one only. Obviously at a lower resolution. Do you really need 4 K and a 14-inch display. Probably not so much. But those who are photo and video editors might appreciate having that option.
As you might imagine with a laptop this small basically the sound is not going to be that well big. There’s not a lot of base here. The volume is pretty good but given the lack of base I find anything over 65 percent volume starting to sound a little bit shrill. Now not so unusual for the smallest thinnest and lightest laptop.
The keyboard on this is actually pretty roomy given the fact that it is a compact 14-inch chassis and relatively small bezels on this model bringing it into the modern age. There’s not a lot of travel here. But it’s fairly easy to type on it. It has a decent tactile feel.
But obviously with these super laptops you’re not gonna get ThinkPad level of key travel. The trackpad on this is Microsoft precision and that’s great and it has dedicated clickers. The only drawback is its pretty small. It looks a little old-school we’re used to having really large track pads these days.
In terms of performances like any other Ultrabook with an intel eighth generation cpu which is to say quite good. It’s remarkable these days what you can do with an ultrabook with a quad core 15 watt CPU inside. In terms of fan noise it has a single fan inside and you will hear it.
I probably because it’s pretty small so they really have to work to evacuate that air. It’s not super annoying but I hear it more often than I do on competing products. Again probably due to the size. It’s not a really annoying fan it’s not a very big fan but there that is.
The only drawback here is battery. 35 watt hour is pretty small. Usually we see at least 40 watt hour and a buck for an ultrabook in this size class. Obviously they were trying to make this as thin and light as possible. So that’s the trade-off super portability versus longer battery life.
And that’s up to you as a consumer to make that decision with your dollars. They claim eight hours of battery life and as you know manufacturers in the Windows land tend to really make crazy claims. So that tells you 8 hours isn’t a big claim.
Real life this is more like five and a half to six hour battery life laptop. Which does kind of hurt obviously. If you drop your brightness down drop your processor performance down in Windows performance settings you’re gonna get longer battery life.
So you can stretch it up if you need to. But with our usual productivity and streaming video test with the brightness set at 115 it’s there it is. So opening this up is a little different than usual. You’re gonna unscrew see all these screw holes a whole lot of little teeny tiny Phillips head screws of which this is one.
And then actually you’re gonna flip it over and open up the display and lift up the keyboard and deck. And now we’ve flipped it over and popped off the little snaps. And you’re gonna wanna there’s a ribbon cable here. So you have to be careful when you lift this up.
You can disconnect that ribbon cable if you know what you’re doing by the way. Completely get out of the way. So I’m going to move it out of the way here just so you can see what’s inside. So there’s our m dot 2 and nvme SSD and here is our Wi-Fi card.
The battery obviously right there. A cooling fan or heat pipe. This here is heat shielding there is no RAM under here. Ram is soldered on board with this laptop. And most interestingly though we don’t have one here this would be for an LTE module and you can see the antennas are actually installed right there.
So that’s the VAIO SX 15 and honestly I’m really glad they continued to do that thing that they do. These incredibly classy looking very small very light laptops with an immense number of ports Matt displays as long as you can live without a touchscreen are all good things.
The lack of Thunderbolt 3 hurts a little bit not that much. The battery life not so impressive. That hurts a little bit more but you do get a lot of great stuff here. Though you get really good performance as you expect from quad-core. You get a very nice display on this. There’s lots of like to him and gosh darn it it’s kind of nice.