We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
High-end laptops Reviews
15,104 Reviews

Sony Vaio VGN-S4M

£1,249 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Last month we looked at the Sony Vaio VGN-T2XP/S and we loved the styling but hated the price tag. This month we've seen the Vaio VGN-S4M; it's not quite as easy on the eye, but the cost is a little more pleasing.

Last month we looked at the Sony Vaio VGN-T2XP/S and we loved the styling but hated the price tag. This month we've seen the Vaio VGN-S4M; it's not quite as easy on the eye, but the cost is a little more pleasing.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

Nevertheless, the £1,249 asking price is still high enough to put the Vaio into our Power notebook category, and you'd perhaps expect a bit more than a WorldBench 5 score of 78 - merely average for a notebook of this size.

The one outstanding feature of the Vaio, other than its stylish chassis, is the 13.3in widescreen. Using X-black technology, Sony has managed to achieve a bright, colourful image without making the screen too shiny. The 128MB GeForce Go 6200 graphics card does a reasonable job, but the frame rates suggest it won't be much good for gaming.

The battery life was a real let-down. It's a small model using a 1.6GHz Pentium M 730 processor, so you'd hope it might last a little longer than two hours and 45 minutes.

Despite the fact that it is quite small, the Vaio is very usable, with a good keyboard and decent-sized keys. You can connect to wireless networks with the 802.11b/g facilities but there aren't many connectors on offer.

The Sony has a 60GB hard drive, and if you need to back up your data there's a dual-layer DVD writer.

Vaio VGN-S4M Expert Verdict »
1.6GHz Intel Pentium M 730
Windows XP Home
512MB DDR RAM
60GB hard drive
13.3in 1,280x800 TFT display
128MB nVidia GeForce Go 6200 graphics card
24x/24x/10x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x/3x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) drive
802.11g facilities
Microsoft Works 8.0
313x225x35mm
2kg
1-year return-to-base warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 5 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Other than the screen, there's little in the Vaio to justify the price tag. Performance is adequate, and battery life isn't much to shout about for an ultraportable. The design is eye-catching, but there are better deals available.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN review

    Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN

    Sony's take on the ultraportable market is represented by the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN, an 11in screen notebook weighing at just over 1.3kg.

  • Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S review

    Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S

    With its textured silver finish, minimalist silver and black interior and its stylised square keys, the Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S laptop is aesthetically pleasing. But how does it work out in the Test Centre?

  • Sony Vaio VGN-FE41E

    Sony Vaio VGN-FE41E

    The Sony Vaio VGN-FE41E is a sleek laptop. At 2.8kg, it is both durable and light enough to take on the road.

  • Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M laptop review

    Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M laptop

    The Sony Vaio VGN-NR21M isn't a full-scale desktop replacement, but then it's also not exactly something you'd want to cart around with you everywhere you go.

  • Sony VAIO VGN-NS20 review

    Sony VAIO VGN-NS20

    The Sony VAIO VGN-NS20 is Sony's budget VAIO PC.


IDG UK Sites

Amazon 3D smartphone release date, price and spec: The hologram phone?

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 5s review: why the iPhone 5s is still the best phone you can buy in 2014

IDG UK Sites

Passwords don't work: here's four ways to fix them

IDG UK Sites

The art of rebranding: Creative agency The Neighbourhood explains how & why it rebranded