Performance wise the S5VP beats the outgoing S4M in pretty much every department. That’s not surprising considering the fast 2.13GHz CPU driving it along. In fact this particular S5VP is exclusive to Sony Style, while the more widely available S5XP only sports a 2GHz CPU and 100GB hard drive. Back to performance, the S5VP turned in overall scores of 262 and 2729 in SYSmark 2002 and PCMark 2005 respectively - comparatively the S4M scored 215 and 2141.
Battery life is down a little with the S5VP, but that’s hardly surprising considering the higher specification. A time of two hours 45 minutes in Mobile Mark 2005 is somewhat disappointing, since I would have liked to have seen at least three hours from a thin and light machine like this. DVD playback time came in at two hours 22 minutes, which should be enough to watch most movies.
To be fair, I think that Sony has spoiled me when it comes to battery life after reviewing the superb VAIO TX1XP, which turned in a Mobile Mark time of five hours 43 minutes! I have to remind myself that the TX1XP is a much smaller device, with far slower components, not to mention a smaller screen that’s equipped with an LED backlight.
As with all Sony notebooks you get a very impressive software bundle with the S5VP. As well as Windows XP Professional, you’ll also find a suite of Adobe applications like Premiere Standard, Photoshop Elements 3.0 and Acrobat Elements. You also get Microsoft Works thrown in so you’ll be able to get productive straight out of the box.
Considering the special specification of the S5VP it comes as no surprise that it doesn’t come cheap, and £1,799 including VAT is definitely pushing the upper end of the scale for a notebook like this. That said, you are getting some very beefy components, including a very fast CPU and a massive hard drive considering the physical size of the notebook.
Also, when you buy the S5VP from Sony Style you get 12 months free broadband from BT, including a router. This is the basic 2Mbit/sec package with a download limit of 2GB per month, but this would cost you £17.99 per month if you purchased it separately.
The Sony VAIO S5VP is a surprisingly powerful notebook considering its size. Battery life could be better, but it’s not far behind Sony’s quoted three hours. The price is high, but if you’re looking for a powerful notebook that can still slip unobtrusively in your bag every day, the S5VP should definitely be near the top of your list.