Performance and Benchmarks
System performance of the Sony VAIO Y was comparable to most CULV-powered notebooks, with the Intel Pentium U5400 processor. The 1.2GHz ULV processor was paired with Intel GMA HD graphics and performed well in our tests. At the time of this review the Sony VAIO Y is available with the Intel Core i3 330UM and Core i5 430UM with TurboBoost, as well as ATI Mobility Radeon 4550 dedicated graphics.
In our tests the U5400 and GMA HD graphics was able to handle HD flash video on sites such as YouTube with the latest Flash 10.1 plugin. The system was also able to decode 720P and 1080P movie trailers downloaded from the Apply website. From the performance seen on this system we fully expect the updated and faster components now seen in the Y to meet and exceed these results.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Wireless performance of the Atheros N-capable card in our review model was more than adequate for streaming high-bitrate HD video and handling fast broadband speeds. We measured a 4.2MB/s read speed over 2.4GHz N connection, with write speeds measuring 5.4MB/s. These speeds are roughly half what you might expect from a wired 100Mbps LAN connection. The test was performed from a distance of about 25 feet through three walls with metal studs. The router was a Linksys E3000 connected to an Ubuntu 10.04 server with an active Samba share that we mapped to the system being tested.
Heat and Noise
As a CULV-based notebook, the Sony VAIO Y operates in a very cool and quiet manner. During stress tests, the hottest spot on the top of the chassis reached 86°F, while the bottom reached 88°F. The cooling fan during all of this remained pretty quiet, as it didn't rise above a quiet whisper even under load. During average use the system stayed just above room temperature and was very comfortable sitting on your lap. It goes without saying, however, that adding the optional ATI dedicated graphics or choosing a faster processor may increase temperatures.
The Sony VAIO Y includes a 6-cell, 54Wh battery that provided reasonable battery life in our tests. With the screen brightness reduced to 70%, wireless active and refreshing a webpage ever 60 seconds, and Windows 7 on the Balanced profile the system stayed on for 5 hours and 46 minutes. For users looking for a little extra time away from the outlet, Sony offers an extended battery that gives an estimated 9 hours of battery life.
The Sony VAIO Y performed very well in our tests with the older Pentium-based model, with the latest generation including Intel Core i3 and i5 ULV processors. The VAIO Y also offers optional ATI Radeon 4550 dedicated graphics for people interested in mild gaming on the go. Compared to its bigger brother, the VAIO Z, the Y is toned-down without as many features or artistic design elements, but it still offers great build quality and very good looks. Battery life is good with the 6-cell battery; it got almost 6 hours in our lab, with an estimated 9 hours with an optional extended battery. If you're in the market for a stylish CULV-powered notebook priced under $800, the VAIO Y is a great choice and offers plenty of options to satisfy most buyers.
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