Convertible computers have come a very long way in the last two years, particularly since a handful of portable makers have stretched to combine ultrabooks with convertibles.
And like the old axiom, good things do come in small packages. Specifically the Sony Duo 13, a new family of three pound notebooks with fantastic graphics, extraordinary battery life and great basic functionality.
A couple of important things led me to replace the aged portable I’ve schlepped around for the last two years. Over the course of this dying machine’s life, how I use and what I need in a portable computer have unalterably changed.
Gone are the days when I would install Microsoft Office or other disk -based apps.hello to the world of cloud based applications that produce industry standard data files.
I’m happy about the change, although I pay much more attention to the persistency and strength of a WiFi signal than I have at any time since 802.11 wireless was introduced.
this important sea change in portable computing lead me to the Sony Duo SVD13223, an unusual but highly functional convertible $1,499 hybrid computer .
I’ve used my SVD 1322 for about a month and not found a single characteristic that’s really objectionable.Thanks to a household connection with Sony America, I jumped at the chance to buy this machine including a carrying sleeve for about $700.
What makes SOny’s SVD 1322 visibly unique is is a 13.3 inch hinged screen that allows it to be used as Windows 8.1 tablet or a conventional, portable.
when used as laptop, the new Sony Duo’s screen can be tilted up, resulting in a an easel- like display mode that provides access to the machine’s small form keyboard and much smaller than normal trackpad. I’ve used this notebook on two flights up and down the CA Coast and was impressed by how easy it is to set up and use on an airliner’s tray table.
the basic specs on the this entry level Duo are: an I5, 2,6 ghz (in burst mode) processor, a 128GB SSD,4GB of memory, and a 1920 x 3080 pixel 13.3-inch touch screen powered by an. Intel 4400 graphics chip, two USB ports, one HDMI port,front and rear facing cameras.
My initial fears that this notebook’s basic configuration wouldn’t be up to all the tasks I would ask of it were unfounded. I’ve not been able to bog it down once, even when running animations. The Duo's 1920 by 1080 pixel active matrix LED screen is powered by an Intel 4400 graphics controller. The display on this notebook is one of the most vibrant I've ever tested on any notebook.It’s simply stunning, given this notebook’s .77 x13.00x 8.27-inch dimensions.
Normally, bright screens are axiomatically linked to short battery life. But that’s simply not the case with Sony’s new Duo SVD 1322.In fact, at almost 10 hours, the battery lfe on this machine is nearly twice that of other ultrabooks.
The performance of this ultrabook hybrid is helped a lot by a 256 GB SSD drive that delivers boot times of less than 12 seconds.I had no problems connecting to multiple wireless networks at trade shows,on a nearby university campusat an airport or on a plane with inflight WiFi.
The new Duo’s ports include connectivity options: one USB 2.0, a dedicated USB charging plug, audio in and audio out, HDMI and a memory stick, SD card port. Kudos to Sony for including NFC support on this hybrid convertible.
Sony has a rich history in developing small form factor portables going back to the Sony 505 Vaio SuperSlim line and its more recent Vaio “Z” series, the SOny Duo SVD 1322 is a good example of the company’s commitment to ultra compact laptops.
There is a fly in the ointment that prevents me from recommending this machine. That fly in an otherwise wonderful punch bowl is this: Sony is pulling out of the US PC market, although the company says it will support products through warranty periods.
Woops, looks like a I bought an end of an era machine, but then at various times in my life i’ve been very happy with a 68 VW bus and a 1997 Suzuki X90 (a cartoon like two-seat design that was discontinued the same year I bought it).Having said that,I’m sure I’ll end up buying another ultrabook, and i’m very sure I know who the manufacturer will be.-Jim Forbes on April 12,2013