Does the Sony Vaio Pro 13 laptop battery really last for 8.5 hours?

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Does the Sony Vaio Pro 13 laptop battery really last for 8.5 hours?

Laptop makers are claiming more battery life for their latest hardware. But how long do they last in real life?

For various new laptops going on sale in 2013, some laptop makers are promising longer battery life than ever before (due in part to Intel's new 4th generation Core chip).

One of these laptops is Sony's Vaio Pro 13, which Sony claims can deliver eight and a half hours of use before you need to plug it in to recharge.

We've been using this laptop for a few days now. So how did it last during a typical day? As we've done with other gadgets before, we decided to keep a diary to see how long the laptop lasted.

A few notes:

  • We had the laptop display set to 60% brightness and set to power saver mode in Windows 8. Power save mode automatically turns off the screen after two minutes of inactivity before putting the laptop into sleep mode after 10 minutes.
  • The keyboard backlight was set to the default auto sensing mode whereby the backlight kicks in under low light conditions but otherwise remains off.   
  • While Bluetooth and NFC was turned off, we did set the laptop to remain connected to a Wi-Fi connection throughout the day.
  • Remember that the battery life of a laptop or tablet computer depends on what you're using it for. Turn the screen brightness right up, watch a lot of videos or keep the laptop doing a lot of heavy processing and you'll run down the battery faster. 

Here's what happened:

 

Time

Battery Level

Comments

 

8:00 AM

 

100%

Our day began with reviewing email, some light web browsing and editing documents in Google Drive. After 20 minutes the battery had taken a hit of 5%.

 

 

11:00 AM

           

 

92%

We closed the notebook for three hours which put the machine into sleep mode which resulted in a 3% reduction of battery life. That amounts to about a 1% battery penalty for every hour the notebook is in standby mode, suggesting at least four days of standby time.

                        1:15PM

 

 

55%

After a little over two hours of working on documents in Microsoft Office, browsing the web, sending a few emails and installing a program, the battery fell by 37%.

 

            1:45PM

 

 

45%

Streamed 30 minutes of HD video from YouTube resulted in a 10% hit on battery life which would add up to about five hours of streaming video from a full charge. Watching videos of the internal storage with the Wi-Fi turned off would obviously be less taxing on the battery so you could conceivably get a bit more juice out of the machine for those long haul flights.

            3:45pm                        

                        13%                       

Two hours of editing documents in Office, transferring a couple of small files over the network, web browsing and sending emails, resulted in a battery drain of 32%.

            4:30pm           

                        0%

The battery lasted for another 45 minutes before the computer finally shut down. It took the laptop an hour on charge before the machine was back to almost full charge.

 

So based on our experience, the Sony Vaio Pro 13 will stretch to half a work day before you need to start searching for a power outlet. It ultimately fell short of Sony's measure of eight and a half hours, but of course, how long the battery lasts will vary depending on how you're using the laptop.

There is the option of equipping the laptop with an extra battery, which Sony claims more than doubles the battery life.

Other observations:

  • We like the fact that it only takes three seconds for the machine to come out of standby so we could start working almost as soon as we opened the laptop.
  • We also noticed that the machine has one of the quickest start-up times times of any Windows machine that we have come across. It took about 10 seconds to completely boot into Windows from the moment we pressed the power button.
  • Switching between applications using trackpad "gestures" was responsive, though there was a bit too much friction on the surface of the trackpad for our liking particularly when compared to the smooth trackpad surfaces of other laptops such as Apple’s Macbook Air/Pro. 

 

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