This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The new VAIO SX series was announced on October 1. I borrowed the VAIO SX12 ALL BLACK EDITION immediately, compared it with the VAIO S11 RED EDITION which I had, and considered whether it should be replaced.
Let's check out the main specs of the VAIO SX12 ALL BLACK EDITION that I borrowed this time.
The exterior of this model is unchanged from its predecessor, only the inside has been redesigned. So the touch feels and usability of the keyboard have been retained.
On the other hand, I have the VAIO S11 RED EDITION, which was released in 2018 and has these specs.
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8GHz / up to 4GHz) processor
Storage: 3rd Generation High-Speed SSD 256GB
Wireless LAN: Wi-Fi 5
The specs are about two generations old, but of course, it's still very useful today. However, it has since evolved from the S series to the SX series, which is quite a generation gap.
The difference between having or not having a USB Type-C port is especially important.
We've been asking for it to be equipped since the days of the S series (it was once equipped as a port, but was later eliminated), but it's finally being used in the SX series. It's especially significant that it can be charged with a 5A charger.
Also, the larger keytops and the full key pitch of about 16.95mm to about 19mm, which is a big reason why I'm more inclined to buy the SX. After all, the full pitch size of the keyboard is easier to type on.
I bought the S11 instead of the S13 because of the size feeling at that time, and although the SX12 is a few tens of grams heavier than the S11, I think that the weight feeling of around 900 grams is the best for using it as a mobile.
One of the best things about VAIO is that it makes you want to own it in a big way, especially since other manufacturers don't often set up special edition models like the ALL BLAXK EDITION or RED EDITION.
How well does it perform?
This is not a comparison with the previous model, the SX12, but I compared it to my S11 in a benchmark test. Both of them support VAIO TruePerformance (VTP), so I'm comparing them with VTP on and off.
I started with the Chinebench R20, which measures CPU performance. Running multi-threaded and single-core, we see a nice stair-step performance difference. Even without VPT, the difference is about 140pts, so you can see that VTP is working effectively.
Next, I ran the PCMark 10 test to see how well the application performs. It is a score that can be used at a level that is not a problem if it is a normal business application, and even with the S11 with VTP, it was not as good as the SX12 without VTP.
I also run Fire Strike in 3DMark which measures graphics performance. It is interesting to see if the internal GPU makes a difference. The results are not at all at the level of 3D gaming, but the SX12 scored more than twice as high as the S11.
So I also tested the two machines with Dragon Quest X Benchmark Software Ver. 1.51 as a light game. The results show that the changes to the GPU inside the CPU have brought it up to a comfortable level of play, and according to VAIO, this is a significant improvement over the previous model. So we can say that lighter games are now enjoyable enough.
I had heard that the SX12 had improved battery life, so I ran the BBench and the result was about 7 hours and 47 minutes. The brightness is 10%, with typing, and I also selected sites to patrol where videos are also displayed. The nominal value is about 16.5 hours, which may seem a bit short, but I did the same with the S11 which has a nominal value of about 14 hours, the result was about 5 hours and 49 minutes, so it seems to be sure that it is improving.
Incidentally, the S11's battery was just replaced for various reasons, so it shouldn't have deteriorated that much.
While conducting the benchmark test, the sound of the cooling fan became quite loud. I measured it at about 30cm away from the SX12 with a noise meter, and it has a maximum of 46.9 dBA. The S11 was also examined in the same way and it was 46.1dBA maximum, so it may have become a little louder.
Of course, under less load, the cooling fan isn't spinning, so this isn't a problem if it's just a business application, but if you're playing a game, it might be a bit of a problem.
This is how I compared it to my S11, and I noticed a significant performance difference in just two years. When the CPU is renewed and new products are introduced every year, it's quite difficult to find the right time to replace the machine.
Still, if you have a model whose CPU is older than 2 or 3 generations, you may consider replacing it. I was also quite moved by it. But if I were to buy it, it would still be the RED EDITION, not the ALL BLACK EDITION. Then, since it's a limited edition, I'd have to buy it as soon as possible. I'll have to consult with my wallet.