In one corner, we have a 13-inch MacBook Air from Apple and in the other corner, we have the VAIO Pro 13 from Sony. This is a heavyweight battle between the two ultrabooks that are the best in the market. Does the Sony VAIO Pro 13 have everything it takes to take down the exciting champion Apple 13-inch MacBook Air? – We still don’t know yet and we will be sure after we take these devices head to head.
Sony is set to bring its new refreshed design with an extraordinary touch-screen technology running on Windows 8. On the other hand, Apple continues with its smooth iconic look which feels more dated this time. Its strongest ability is 14-hour battery life. As you can see, the laptops still have something innovative to bring even if they are threatened from the fast tablet rise. Let’s cut to the chase and begin with our battle.
Round 1: Design
VAIO 13 Pro: Sony brings a sleek designs covered with magnesium chassis running on Windows 8. Its light as a feather and its carbon fibre construction that might not be as great as the MacBook but it sure gave a pound lies on its weight. It weighs only 453 grams. If we take at the display that has a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution we will conclude that tops the Air but its moving functions are causing small problems. The hinges didn’t give solid performance giving us difficult and flimsy experience when we wanted to adjust the lid. Sony did a great job incorporating the display in thin bezel.
MacBook Air 13-inch: Apple continued with its classic design making it with full aluminium body with zero flex and smooth hinge that allows adjusting the lid really easy. When you just look at it, it still feels very premium but it’s getting little bit dated with its thicker bezel on the screen. The display features 1440 x 900 pixel resolution.
Both devices have great devices with slight cons and we decided to call the first round a tie.
Round 2: Features
VAIO Pro 13: What separates this device from its toughest competitor, the MacBook Air, is its 1080p display with touch-screen feature which feels more natural to interact with your ultrabook screen. It has full size HDMI port and NFC support, as well. The most interesting part is that Sony has decided to place another USB port on the power adapter.
MacBook Air 13-inch: Apple has always been selective about its connections and features and didn’t decide to include a touch-screen feature like the most ultrabooks. You have to have a dongle to get any video out of your MacBook Air. However, the faster Wi-Fi 802.11 has been included into this ultrabook but you will need a router that will support this connectivity. The benefit here is that you can install both Windows and Mac OS on this machine but still our judges gives this round to Sony VAIO.
It’s important to note that both ultrabooks have some similar features and we only take those who separate them.
Round 3: Performance
The Sony ultrabook that we used for this battle is equipped with 1.5GHz i7 Core processor along with 8GB of RAM and the MacBook Air had 1.3GHz i5 Core processor with 4GB of RAM. As you can see, we are matching unequal devices but both of them include the Haswell processors.
In our multimedia multitasking performance test the MacBook Air came on top of the Sony VAIO Pro and it also performed better in iTunes encoding tests. The VAIO Pro came on top in Adobe Photoshop image processing test while in handbrake multitasking test they give equal result. At the end, both ultrabooks gave nearly similar results and we are calling this round a tie, as well, but you must keep on mind that we used unequal machines by hardware.
Round 4: Battery Life
In video drain test that is usually taken to see the battery life the VAIO Pro 13 gave impressive results with 8 hours and 53 minutes. Sony gives you the ability to upgrade the battery for $150 buying additional external battery. This, compared with the MacBook Air, which gave a 14 hours and 25 minutes battery life, is nothing and we can conclude that Apple did really great job placing new standards in the ultrabook industry. Of course, Apple takes this round with major difference.
Round 5: Price
In this final and decisive round we are deciding which ultrabook is coming on top and brings home the crown. Both devices can be shipped with i7 Intel Haswell that will come down to your preference. We are going to compare both base models in order to see which one of them will come out as more affordable.
Sony’s VAIO Pro 13 base model with 1,6GHz Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM ships for $1,249 including the 1080p touch-screen. On the other hand, the MacBook Air decided to go little bit lower when it comes to the price, starting at $1,099 for its base model that has 1.3GHz Core i5 processor along with 4GB of RAM. If you want some customized version, be advised that this price could be little bit higher. However, Apple has the machine that has better value than its competitor and as you can see by its performance, this base ultrabook version can measure up with the i7 processor VAIO Pro 13 version. The 14-hour battery life is like a cherry on the top. We weren’t able to do anything except give this round to Apple MacBook Air.
Our team was the judges of this battle and overall we gave the throne to Apple’s MacBook Air but we can assure you that the difference is slight and if you decide to buy the Sony VAIO Pro 13 you won’t be wrong.
It comes down on your decision which OS and company you prefer to be your ultrabook manufacturer.
You can share with us your decision in the comments section below.