Hands on: Sony Vaio Flip 13N @ Rs 99,990

04:10:00


NEW DELHI: Tablets are all the rage right now, slowly edging out computers from the market. However, PC makers are not ready to give up just yet. Like bigger manufacturers Dell and HP, now Sony has decided to put its energies into convertible laptops and has bought its new Vaio Flip laptop range to the Indian market.

Also read: Sony launches Vaio Flip series of hybrid laptops

We checked out Sony Vaio Flip 13N, priced Rs 99,990, at the launch event to see what the new hybrid laptop is all about. Read our first impressions of the new laptop-cum-tablet below...

The flip screen
As with other hybrid laptops, the key feature of the Vaio Flip 13N is its hinge mechanism. The lid cover of the model is split into two parts and the top section holds the display, while the bottom half is connected to the keyboard. You just need to push the top half just a little to release the display panel in laptop mode and enter the tablet mode.

Sony claims that the hinge mechanism is very reliable and can easily take a million swivels without issues. We found the mechanism to be smooth and easy to operate. However, it was not as elegant as the push mechanism in Dell XPS 12.

Build quality
The 13-inch Sony Vaio Flip hybrid laptop is made using brushed aluminium (lid cover) and matte plastic (bottom). Despite quality materials, the tablet is not very solid; in fact, when we applied just a little force, the bottom (made of plastic) flexed quite a bit and even creaked. This shook our faith in the durability of the Flip 13N a little.

When it comes to portability, the Vaio Flip 13N is one of the best models in the market right now. Despite a 13-inch screen, it weighs just 1.3kg and feels quite light in the hand, especially compared to the likes of Dell XPS 12. If you are intent on buying a convertible laptop and not a tablet, but want a light model, then this model is a good bet.

The keyboard is backlit and feels good to type on; the trackpad is quite large and the buttons are sufficiently tactile.

Hardware
The new Sony model has a 13-inch touchscreen with Triluminous Display technology, which also goes in its smartphones and tablets. We are not big fans of this technology and find that it does not fare well in direct sunlight. However, we will reserve judgement on the unit until a full review. Nevertheless, what we did see at the launch event (under optimal lighting condition) gives the impression that the display is decent, but nothing to brag about.

Under the hood, Vaio Flip 13N packs the fourth-generation dual-core Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 1.6GHz and 4GB RAM and is powered by Windows 8 operating system. We have encountered this configuration before and were pretty happy with the results. During our hands-on also, the laptop was quite fast and could perform commonly used tasks easily.

Camera
Vaio Flip 13N is one of the few tablets/convertible laptops to sport an 8MP rear camera. The image quality offered by the model is decent - the colours are quite warm, but the noise spoils the images indoors. We expect the performance to be better outdoors. However, we are not big fans of using tablets to capture images and would advise you to stick to a smartphone when you want to click photos.

During our hands-on, Sony Vaio Flip 13N seemed like a good proposition, but the final word can come only after a full review, where we will explore the display quality, construction, battery and performance in depth.
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