Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook pictures and hands-on

Sony is setting a trend by not jumping on the bandwagon as soon as it starts rolling. It was slow off the mark with its Android tablet, for example, and it has been relatively slow to bring out its first Ultrabook.

But with time comes the chance to take a slightly more considered approach. The likes of Toshiba, Acer, Asus and Dell have shown their hand and now it's Sony's turn.

The Sony Vaio T13 is a slim and portable notebook, impressively lightweight at 1.6kg but doesn't try to strike out and claim the slimmest profile. It's 17.8mm thick and unlike many rivals, it doesn't ape the style of the MacBook Air by tapering into a point at the leading edge.

With that, comes a style that some might say is all the more utilitarian and it wouldn't be unfair to liken the Vaio T13 to the company's new S series notebooks, especially the smaller 13.3 model.

But in the flesh, the Vaio T13 is an impressive looking and feeling notebook. In reality, the lack of a tapered leading edge doesn't detract from it. Instead you get a base that's impressively solid.

You also get a base that lets you lift the screen easily without rocking backwards. Like some previous Sony Vaio models, we like the hinge detail, dropping down the screen to sit on little rubber feet at the rear.

Finished in magnesium and aluminium, it feels great in the hand; it feels like a premium notebook and starting at £679, it's not outrageously expensive either.

The metal construction benefits the keyboard, which offers a great typing action and is surprisingly free of flex. Many slimmer-profile laptops lack support behind (or across) the keyboard, but the T13 doesn't seem to suffer.

There are a range of configurations available, the model we played with was running an Intel Core i3-2367M processor, 4GB RAM with 320GB HDD. The 13.3-inch display offers a typical 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and is nice and vibrant, with what looked to be good viewing angles.

Naturally there is the system SSD, as offered by Ultrabooks to enhance performance, and an SSD option is available if you'd rather have the solid drive, although it bumps the price considerably.

In terms of connectivity, the flanks of the Vaio T13 offers 2x USB 3.0, including one which will charge USB devices, which is always handy. You also get HDMI and VGA, a proper Ethernet port and a memory card reader.

First impressions of the Vaio T13 are good. It feels solid and looks like it could be a great portable companion.