Sony Vaio Duo 13 slidey Full HD ultrabook packs stylus

The Vaio Duo 13, is a slidey sequel to last year's Duo 11, with a 13.3-inch screen that swooshes back to reveal a proper keyboard.

Sony's new hybrid ultrabook, the Vaio Duo 13, is a slidey sequel to last year's Duo 11, with a 13.3-inch screen that smoothly swooshes back to reveal a proper keyboard underneath.

It's a high-end machine and no mistake -- its Intel Core i7 chip, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 512GB solid-state storage will make Windows 8 run like clockwork.

The touchscreen packs a Full HD 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, which isn't quite up to the retina iPad's 2,048x1,536-pixel effort, but is still perfectably respectable for a laptop this size.

Taking advantage of that touchscreen is an included stylus, so you can doodle away or take notes. Unusally for laptops, Sony's sliders have rear-facing cameras, in this case an 8-megapixel jobber. Sony's included CamScanner app means you can take a snap of a document, which the app translates into a file you can scribble all over.

It's not thin, at a shade under 20mm thick, and it weighs a hefty 1.35kg, meaning you'll have trouble holding it in one hand and using it as you would a simple tablet. That girth means up to 15 hours battery life though.

That's what we found with the Duo 11, and that was slightly smaller. We also weren't super-keen on its sliding mechanism, which while very smooth left the screen rather wobbly. But it was a powerful beast, blasting through office tasks and even managing 3D games, despite its integrated graphics. There's no reason to think the Duo 13 won't offer even better performance.

The Duo 13 is out this month in the UK, but Sony habitually doesn't give out prices. Last year's Duo 11 started at a fearsome £1,000, and that had only a 128GB SSD, so I'd calibrate your expectations north of £1,500.

Would you plump for a hybrid like this for serious business? Or is a cheaper tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard good enough for most stuff? Get down to business in the comments, or on our flexible Facebook page.


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