This Isn’t your Grandma’s Old VAIO S

    It was deja-vu all over again when the folks at Vaio asked us to take a look at the new incarnation of the VAIO S ($1,199 – $2,199), The last time we put this notebook computer through its paces was in November 2016. To sum it up: they’ve come a long way, baby.

    Speed and performance have been amped up due to its upgrade to Intel’s Coffee Lake processors (you can get it with a Core i5 or i7 eighth generation chip and various storage and RAM combinations). They’ve also added a fingerprint scanner for increased security.

    The backlit, tilted keyboard is still there, which was one of the greatest features of its predecessor and it had no problem seeing and connecting to our one-gigabit network via WIFI. In fact, WIFI speed exceeded 450 mbps, which is almost twice as fast as the speeds the folks at Comcast say we should get.

    The VAIO S still lacks an USB C port and DVD drive, but it does feature a gaggle of connection options including:

    • A 1000Base-T/100Base-T/10Base-T LAN port
    • A Super Speed USB 3.0 w/charge port
    • Two additional Super Speed USB 3.0 ports
    • A HDMI port
    • A VGA port
    • A headphone and microphone port

    Although there’s no rear-side camera, there is a one megapixel front-side camera that is adequate for video chats, etc. There’s also a secure digital (SD) slot and an integrated HD microphone.  We would have preferred a 5-in-1 digital media slot for folks with devices that use other types of storage, but we do concede that SD is far more popular than its competitors.

    The lack of a DVD drive makes the VAIO S ultra light weight, tipping the scales at 2.34 pounds plus its 13.3-inch full HD screen makes it compact enough to carry around in a briefcase or backpack.

    Other key specs worth noting include:

    • Up to eight hours and 45 minutes of battery time before you need a charge
    • Integrated HD audio
    • Bluetooth 4.1 compatibility
    • Intel UHD graphics 620
    • RAM from eight to 16 gigabytes
    • The processors can be boosted to four gigahertz
    • You can get either a 256 GB, 512 GB or one terabyte solid state drive

    Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email or through his website. Beginning Feb. 6, you can hear Mike waxing on and off about tech trends on Tina on Tech.

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    • Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years' experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike's Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on www.shns.com until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike's consumer technology website at www.jocgeek.com.

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