If you are looking for a good laptop for your mobile computing needs, you have no shortage of options to choose from. When it comes to laptop brands, there used to be a brand that is very popular among users, the Sony Vaio. About 10 years ago, I still remember recommending a Vaio laptop to one of my friends. These days, the Vaio laptops aren’t exactly the most popular line of portable computing devices.
However, if you still feel that a Vaio laptop is the best choice for you, we’re here to make your choice even easier. For this post, we have listed some of the best Sony Vaio laptops for your money.
But Wait, Is Sony Vaio Still Around?
This is a fair question to ask because many of you might have read an article a few years back that Sony sold its Vaio PC business.
So, is it still around? Well, yes but it’s not owned by Sony anymore.
The Vaio is used to be a brand Sony Corporation which was introduced back in 1996. Sony has sold its PC business to the investment firm Japan Industrial Partners in February 2014. Now, Sony maintains a 5% stake at the new, independent Vaio Corporation which sells computers in the United States, Japan, and Brazil. Sony still holds the trademark to the brand and logo.
Even if Sony doesn’t own the company anymore, it’s safe to say that it won’t stop people from calling it Sony Vaio.
For this “best” list, we’ve taken a look at all the available Vaio laptops that are available in the market. On top of doing in-depth research, we’ve also read the feedback and reviews from actual customers. All in an effort to bring you a comprehensive, unbiased list to help ensure that you end up with a portable computer that’s worth your money.
Again, we have done the hard part so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the article.
The Best Sony Vaio Laptops for 2018
It was not easy but here it is, the best Vaio laptops that will help meet your mobile computing needs.
The VAIO Z Canvas is a powerful 2 in 1 laptop that many pros should like.
The VAIO Z line is clearly not for the faint of heart or those who are on a budget. It’s a full Windows 10 hybrid laptop that features a detachable keyboard, an ultra-high resolution screen, a battery-powered stylus, and enough hardware under the hood for professional tasks like video editing or 3D animation.
The VAIO Z Canvas is a powerful package that houses an H-series Intel Core i7 processor paired with Intel’s powerful Iris Pro integrated graphics. It also offers up to 16 GB of memory and 1TB of solid-state storage. it’s safe to say that the Z Canvas is fast. We hooked it up with a dual 1080p monitors and worked on several resource intensive apps while also browsing multiple tabs in Chrome.
As you might expect, this hybrid laptop didn’t break a sweat.
The VAIO Z Canvas comes with a battery-powered stylus. For the most part, the stylus works well but we did experience a couple of unresponsiveness while using. The Canvas does have a gorgeous display which could be right up there with Apple’s Retina MacBooks. The display features decent picture quality and color accuracy which was evident while streaming HD videos.
The Vaio Z Canvas might seem like it’s aimed at professionals but it’s a pretty good computer for general use as well.
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Intel Core i7 4770HQ @ 2.2 GHz
Intel Core i7-4770HQ 2.20 GHz, 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM, 512 GB Solid-State Drive, Windows 10 Pro Microsoft Signature Edition
- Good performance
- Good for multitasking
- Gorgeous display
- Works as a mobile workstation
- Very expensive
- The stylus is not responsive
The Vaio S is marketed as an Ultrabook and is supposed to be a business laptop or something to that extent. However, once you spend some time using the Vaio S, you will likely realize that it’s a pretty good everyday laptop and “business” is just a relative term.
The Vaio S looks like your typical corporate laptop with a matte finish and clean lines. The brushed aluminum base stops the Vaio S from looking too plastic. Despite that, the laptop is incredibly lightweight at less than 2.5 pounds and features a slim profile. The keys are well-spaced and provide a fairly tactile feedback.
Despite being an ultrabook, the Vaio S comes with various ports that you might not see in many laptops nowadays. This portable PC comes with 3 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, ethernet jack and VGA, audio jack, SD card slot. This makes the laptop open for some serious legacy connectivity like hooking up to almost any network or projector. However, it doesn’t come with a USB Type-C but it’s no big deal.
The Vaio S is a fairly beefy PC with an i7 processor and integrated graphics. The specs are quite less when compared to other high-end laptops but based on our tests, the unit delivered in terms of performance. Aside from being able to handle heavier tasks, we managed to squeeze in some light gaming as well.
The Vaio S is a solid, well-built machine that features some serious specs under the chassis. The laptop is on the expensive side but it’s one of the better Vaio computers that you can get.
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Intel Core i7-8550U @ 4.00GHz
Intel Core i7-8550U, VAIO TruePerformance, approx. 0.59 – 0.70″ thin, molded magnesium alloy casing, fingerprint reader, equipped with Ethernet and VGA ports
- Equipped with several legacy ports
- Beefy hardware
- Solid build
- Very expensive
- Small touchpad
That’s right, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 is branded as such because the company was still owned by Sony when it was released back in 2013.
The Vaio Pro 13 Touch main selling point is probably its portability. It’s a remarkably small, slim, and lightweight PC which is always good if you’re planning to get things done while on the go. The VAIO Pro 13 features a carbon fiber construction that doesn’t feel as solid as an aluminum chassis. However, it’s easy to see that this ultrabook is surprisingly well-built and can stand up to the rigors of daily use.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is the comfort that the laptop offers. The keys are generously sized and well-spaced, so even the sloppiest typer (like me) should have no problem with typing at a faster speed. Even after typing for longer periods of time, the laptop keys still feel comfortable. There’s a bit of tiny flex while typing but it’s something that most people won’t notice.
On the other hand, the trackpad doesn’t rise to the same standards that were set by the keyboard. It’s a bit too temperamental for my taste and it’s a bit too rough to the touch.
The laptop uses a 10-point touch LCD that utilizes the Triluminos Display for Mobile technology. This is same technology that you’ll in many high-end LCD TVs by Sony. Regardless of which technology is used, the screen looks great and provides a pleasant viewing experience while watching movies. The screen’s native resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels and utilizes IPS for wider viewing angles. Everything that you can see in the screen looks detailed and sharp, so no complaints here.
Unfortunately, the battery life of the VAIO Pro 13 leaves a lot to be desired. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that this is an excellent portable device.
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Intel Core i7 i7-4500U @ 1.80 GHz
Intel Core i7 i7-4500U @ 1.80 GHz, weighs less than 2.4 pounds, long battery life, 13.3-inch 1080p touch screen
- Excellent screen
- Comfortable keyboard
- Short battery life
- Temperamental touchpad
The VAIO Z Flip is the company’s own jab at the ever-increasing market of 2 in 1 laptops. It’s an enterprise-grade laptop that can play games (three-year-old games to be exact), offers good portability, and can do pretty much everything.
One of the first things that will grab you is the Z Flip’s charcoal paneling which is a refreshing change from the multitude of MacBook “inspired” designs that’s prominent in the market. The Z Flip features a distinct winged profile that is truly eye-catching. In terms of design, Vaio has done a great job with the Z Flip. This is a hybrid that you won’t mind carrying with you during the daily commute.
The Z Flip features a touchscreen and stylus that delivers in both responsiveness and precision. I was expecting a spotty stylus operation but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Overall, the tablet interface of the Z Flip is a success.
On the other hand, we just can’t say the same about the keyboard and touchpad. They may seem like premium at first glance but in actual use, they are far from perfect.
The keyboard is exactly what you can expect from enterprise-grade portable computers. You have the well-spaced keys, backlighting, large fonts, and snappy feedback. Unfortunately, the key travel is quite shallow which doesn’t make for comfortable typing sessions. The touchpad has some right things going for it too like good palm rejection and click feedback. However, the touchpad suffers from not being precise.
The Z Flip knocks it out of the park as far as performance goes. We have been multitasking on this laptop and we have yet to see it break a sweat. The Iris graphics card is also leagues ahead than your standard integrated HD graphics. We have been able to run some old games with it with decent performance.
Few laptops have hit the sweet combination of performance, size, and convertibility. However, be sure that you’re willing to pay up.
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Intel Core i7-6567U @ 3.60 GHz
Laptop and Tablet in One with Stylus, Intel Core i7-6567U (4MB Cache, up to 3.60GHz), aluminum and UD carbon, smudge-resistant keys, Intel Iris Graphics 550
- Good design
- Excellent tablet interface
- Powerful hardware
- Good for light gaming
- Spotty touchpad and keyboard
The Sony Vaio line is far from the most popular laptop brand in the market. We are skeptical about Vaio’s competitiveness in the market moving forward but they sure do put out some excellent products as of late.
When it comes to the best Sony Vaio laptop, we recommend the VAIO S as our top choice. Most Vaio laptops nowadays are very expensive including all the entries on this list. However, the VAIO S has managed to strike a good balance of performance, usability, and value. Plus, it’s the latest product from the company as well.
With that said, the products that we have featured here are all premium quality. If you’re still inclined to go with the Vaio brand, know that you’re in good company in terms of options. Just make sure that you have the budget for it.