Notebookcheck

Vaio Z Flip VJZ13BA11L Convertible Review

Back in style... for a price. The Vaio convertible has returned to North America with a starting price tag much higher than other Ultrabooks currently in the market. What does the Flip have under the hood to justify its nearly two-fold MSRP?

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The Vaio brand has been on shaky ground even before the eventual spin-off from Sony in early 2014. Its notebooks in particular were facing increasingly tough competition with alternatives that were often less expensive than the equivalent Vaio model. The recent launches of the Vaio Z Canvas tablet and Vaio Z Flip convertible, however, show that its new leadership is ready to introduce the brand back to the worldwide consumer market.

The Z series represents the luxury Vaio line and the Z Flip is no exception, especially after taking note of its high starting price of just under $1800 for the entry-level SKU. This makes the convertible one of the most expensive for its size class whereas competing 13-inch models like the Yoga 900, XPS 13 9350, Aspire R13, and MacBook Air all start for hundreds less. We give our detailed take on the notebook in this review to see how it holds against the current competition in terms of performance and workmanship.

It's been quite some time since we last checked out a Vaio notebook. Nonetheless, the previous Multi-Flip and Fit series of convertibles utilize the same rotating display concept as the Z Flip and are worth a look:

Sony Vaio Z Flip (Vaio Z Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 930 MHz, 20.19.15.4326
Memory
7986 MB 
, 1066.7 MHz, 10-10-10-28, Dual-Channel, LPDDR3
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 2560x1440 pixel, Capacitive Touchscreen, native pen support, IPS, Name: VVX13T043N00, ID: MEI96AA2, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 325.1 x 215.9 ( = 0.7 x 12.8 x 8.5 in)
Battery
58 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix
Secondary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Intel® HD Audio, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Vaio stylus, Stylus rubber grip, HDMI-VGA adapter, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.343 kg ( = 47.37 oz / 2.96 pounds), Power Supply: 259 g ( = 9.14 oz / 0.57 pounds)
Price
1800 USD

 

Case

Visually, the Z Flip is distinct and carries the same visual style as the 2013 Flip 13A with some major overhauls. Premier Vaio notebooks never disappointed in the past from a design standpoint and the Z Flip continues the trend with its defined edges and sleek inclines that instantly distinguish it from competitors. The matte aluminum and uni-directional carbon surfaces are smooth to the touch to give a premium look and feel. Fingerprints accumulate more easily on the bottom base than on the outer lid, but there is otherwise little to else to complain regarding appearance.

The build quality of the notebook is good with a couple of unfortunate weak points. The base is susceptible to side-to-side twisting and creaking with a moderate amount of force and pushing down on the center of the keyboard results in noticeable warping. On the other hand, the lid is a bit less susceptible to twisting and depressions with no audible creaking, which makes this one of the few notebooks where the lid can feel more rigid than the base itself. In fact, the lid is thicker than on most other notebooks and is almost as thick as its base portion since it must be able to reliably support a rotating touchscreen across its horizontal center axis. The hinges are relatively stiff with very little teetering when typing and will also elevate the base at a slight angle similar to the recent HP Envy notebooks.

Ergonomically, the perimeter of the display is rubberized to provide an easier grip when in tablet mode. Its "flipping" mechanism operates via magnets and latches and is visually more appealing than on the similar Aspire R13 series while being more finicky than the straight-forward 360-degree hinges of the Yoga series. Both landscape and portrait orientations are comfortable to use so long as users keep in mind that the unit's center of gravity will be much lower compared to a dedicated tablet. Like most convertibles, the formidable weight of the notebook prevents prolonged use when standing or without a desk. Note that the rear camera on the bottom base of the unit is essentially only usable when in tablet mode.

Speaking of weight and size, the Z Flip is indeed thinner than the older 13-inch Flip 13A while weighing about as much as the Yoga 900 or XPS 13 (1.3 kg). It is, however, just slightly thicker than many of its competitors due to its unique lid. Length and width are otherwise standard for a 13.3-inch notebook with the exception of the XPS 13 and its signature InfinityEdge.

Connectivity

Available interfaces are essentially limited to HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports. The lack of any USB Type-C ports is a big thorn to the Vaio Z Flip especially at this price range and when newer Ultrabooks are beginning to have the port standard. Even a single USB Type-C Gen. 1 port would have been useful to better future-proof the notebook. The fact that there are no USB ports on the left-hand side of the notebooks can also be a minor inconvenience.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 2x USB 3.0 (1x Sleep-and-Charge), Power botton
Right: 2x USB 3.0 (1x Sleep-and-Charge), Power botton
Rear: Volume rocker
Rear: Volume rocker
Left: AC adapter, HDMI-out, 3.5 mm combo audio, SDXC reader
Left: AC adapter, HDMI-out, 3.5 mm combo audio, SDXC reader

Communication

WLAN is provided a dual-band (2x2) Intel Wireless-AC 8260 M.2 2230 adapter capable of theoretical transfer rates of 867 Mbps. We experienced no connectivity or unexpected dropout issues during our time with the test unit.

WWAN and GPS features are not supported on the convertible. 

Accessories

Included extras outside of the usual paperwork are the active stylus, AAA battery, rubber grip, and HDMI-VGA adapter. The latter is particularly welcomed due to the limited port selection on the convertible itself.

Maintenance

A set of 10 standard Philips screws (2 under rubber footing) secures the bottom maintenance panel. Unfortunately, the panel is still very difficult to remove and is clearly not meant for easy end-user access. Official press shots of the Japanese model show that RAM is soldered while the M.2 2280 SSD and M.2 WLAN slots are both replaceable if required. The North American model may differ in terms of component upgradeability and layout.

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies when purchased directly from the online Vaio store. Extended warranty is available for up to three years of total coverage for an additional $200 USD.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The backlit Chiclet keyboard keys provide shallow travel (1.2 mm) and relatively soft feedback when pressed. Thus, the pressure point could have been more firm to improve the overall typing experience and to bring it closer to that of the excellent XPS 13 in terms of tactility. The keys are otherwise quiet with little clatter and do not wiggle in place. While the manufacturer advertises a smudge-free coating for its keys, fingerprints will still slowly build up over time.

No dedicated auxiliary keys are provided outside of the volume rocker on the rear corner of the notebook. Annoyingly, there are no keys available to quickly turn on or off the keyboard backlight.

Touchpad

The touchpad surface is adequately sized (10.5 x 6.5 cm) and with a smooth glide for easy cursor control and multi-touch gestures. We experienced no issues with input recognition during our time with the test unit.

The manufacturer has incorporated mica for solid feedback when using the integrated mouse keys. Indeed, pressing down on the touchpad results in shallow travel with a strong auditory feedback click. The force required to input a click is not too heavy or light and can be used comfortably for longer periods if an external mouse is not available.

Digitizer

The pressure-sensitive and active stylus will inevitably be compared to the Surface Pen. In this regard, the Vaio digitizer is just as comfortable to hold even without using the included rubber grip. The high panel PPI allows for fine notes and lines and the digitizer itself is detectable by the display up to about 8 mm above the tempered glass surface. Latency when writing is discernible but minimal and is not any worse than on the Surface Pro 4. Thus, fast writers will be most bothered by delay.

Another small gripe is the lack of a physical or magnetic pen holder on the convertible itself. Users are expected to carry the digitizer in their pockets or cases instead, which may not always be convenient.

Standard QWERTY keys with no special auxiliary functions
Standard QWERTY keys with no special auxiliary functions
Travel and feedback are weaker than on the XPS 13
Travel and feedback are weaker than on the XPS 13
Matte digitizer with two glossy buttons
Matte digitizer with two glossy buttons

Display

All current SKUs of the Vaio Z Flip come standard with 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution touchscreen panels. Needless to say, images and texts are incredibly crisp with no noise or other abnormalities. A quick search for its VVX13T043N00 panel name shows no other notebooks in our database that may be equipped with the same display. Measured brightness levels are greater than that of the newest XPS 13 with a contrast of well over 1000:1. Uniformity is generally good with the left side of the display being slightly brighter than the right. Note that Sony advertises a maximum brightness of 400 nits while our own measurements have recorded a slightly lower maximum brightness of 376 nits.

Uneven backlight bleeding is very minimal and essentially unnoticeable unless if the user is specifically looking for the fault under dimly lit conditions. Nonetheless, it is present around the bottom two corners and across the top edge on our particular test unit.

Very minor backlight bleeding along top edge
Very minor backlight bleeding along top edge
Subpixel array at 220.84 PPI
Subpixel array at 220.84 PPI
376
cd/m²
333.1
cd/m²
336.4
cd/m²
374.9
cd/m²
355.2
cd/m²
345.4
cd/m²
371.1
cd/m²
359.6
cd/m²
335.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 376 cd/m² Average: 354.2 cd/m² Minimum: 5.898 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 355.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 1246:1 (Black: 0.285 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.56 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.08 | - Ø
97.1% sRGB (Argyll) 64.3% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.33
Sony Vaio Z Flip
13.3, 2560x1440
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
13.3, 1440x900
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
13.3, 3200x1800
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
13.3, 3200x1800
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
13.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
7%
-22%
18%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38.4 (14.8, 23.6)
38.8 (18.4, 20.4)
-1%
50.8 (18.4, 32.4)
-32%
31 (12, 19)
19%
Response Time Black / White *
26.4 (6.8, 19.6)
22.4 (9.2, 13.2)
15%
29.6 (6, 23.6)
-12%
22 (9, 13)
17%
PWM Frequency
1316
198 (70)
Screen
-13%
-23%
7%
-7%
Brightness
354
310
-12%
302
-15%
297
-16%
351
-1%
Brightness Distribution
89
82
-8%
88
-1%
92
3%
90
1%
Black Level *
0.285
0.405
-42%
0.835
-193%
0.207
27%
0.58
-104%
Contrast
1246
812
-35%
383
-69%
1486
19%
616
-51%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.56
3.96
59%
2.68
72%
4.18
56%
3.39
65%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.08
3.51
14%
2.35
42%
4.94
-21%
2.36
42%
Gamma
2.33 103%
3.83 63%
2.09 115%
2.31 104%
2.2 109%
CCT
6560 99%
6711 97%
6975 93%
7645 85%
6653 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64.3
38.4
-40%
57
-11%
59
-8%
60
-7%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.1
59.8
-38%
88
-9%
92
-5%
93
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-13% / -13%
-8% / -17%
-8% / 1%
6% / -2%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is an estimated 64.3 percent and 97.1 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively, which is very close to the manufacturer claim of 100 percent sRGB coverage. This is very similar if not slightly wider than the gamuts of the Yoga 900 and XPS 13 9350 and is indicative of a high-end panel in play. The excellent sRGB coverage is not significant to everyday use, but should appeal to professional digital artists.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Dell XPS 13 QHD
vs. Dell XPS 13 QHD
vs. Lenovo Yoga 900 13ISK
vs. Lenovo Yoga 900 13ISK

Grayscale and colors are unbalanced out-of-the-box despite the fact that color temperature is essentially perfect at about 6500K. A quick calibration improves all aspects of the display from top to bottom as shown in our CalMAN measurements below. The nearly perfect sRGB coverage allows for excellent colors across all saturation levels to make this one of the most accurate notebook displays we've seen outside of professional workstations that aim for >95 percent AdobeRGB coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 19.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 23.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 37 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 55 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8587 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor usability is good under shade and below average under direct sunlight as the backlight is simply not powerful enough to overcome the strong ambient light. Glare is inevitable and the maximum hinge angle of roughly 135 degrees can only help so much to reduce it. Viewing angles are very wide as expected from an IPS panel with no significant color or contrast degradation. Apparent brightness drops slightly if not viewing directly at the screen.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
 

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.5 to 3.6 GHz depending on number of threads.
Turbo Boost up to 3.5 to 3.6 GHz depending on number of threads.

Our Vaio Z Flip configuration is the higher-end SKU with the Core i7-6567U, integrated Iris Graphics 550 GPU, and 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM. Lower-end configurations are available with the Core i5-6267U and either 8 GB or 16 GB RAM with no options for dedicated GPUs. Our test unit with the ULV Skylake i7-6567U CPU will be the first such processor in our database. The core can run as slow as 1000 MHz for power-saving purposes and as high as 3.5 to 3.6 GHz depending on the processing load. Its integrated GPU is quite powerful as well based on our gathered 3DMark data below.

RAM is soldered as dual-channel LPDDR3 with no DDR4 options. LatencyMon shows no recurring latency issues even with wireless radios active.

 

Processor

Raw CPU performance according to CineBench is about 20 to 25 percent ahead of the Core i5-6200U and i7-6500U in both single- and multi-threaded operations. The high maximum Turbo Boost for a single active core of the i7-6567U even puts it on the same level as the much more power-hungry quad-core i7-6700HQ (28 W vs. 45 W TDP). However, dual-core ULV processors tend to fall behind dramatically in applications and benchmarks that utilize multiple cores. Despite this, the Core i7-6567U is still one of the fastest ULV Skylake processors we've benchmarked on a notebook so far.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6567U for more technical information and comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
142 Points ∼71%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
144 Points ∼72% +1%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
132 Points ∼66% -7%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
117 Points ∼59% -18%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
115 Points ∼58% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
364 Points ∼17%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
684 Points ∼32% +88%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
607 Points ∼28% +67%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
292 Points ∼14% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
293 Points ∼14% -20%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1.63 Points ∼72%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
1.64 Points ∼72% +1%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
1.48 Points ∼65% -9%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
1.34 Points ∼59% -18%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
1.33 Points ∼59% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4.02 Points ∼2%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
7.52 Points ∼3% +87%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
6.56 Points ∼3% +63%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
3.23 Points ∼1% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3.42 Points ∼1% -15%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5506 Points ∼62%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
5488 Points ∼62% 0%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
4817 Points ∼54% -13%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
4421 Points ∼50% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4816 Points ∼54% -13%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
12475 Points ∼25%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
20141 Points ∼40% +61%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
17958 Points ∼36% +44%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
10014 Points ∼20% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
10347 Points ∼21% -17%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
419.422 s * ∼5%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
230.637 s * ∼3% +45%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
254.003 s * ∼3% +39%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
531.64 s * ∼6% -27%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
481.807 s * ∼6% -15%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
584.876 Seconds * ∼3%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
575.413 Seconds * ∼3% +2%
Clevo W230SD
GeForce GTX 960M, 4712MQ, 2x Transcend SSD370 mSATA 256GB (RAID 0)
578.453 Seconds * ∼3% +1%
HP ProBook 650 G2 T8X61EA
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
702.671 Seconds * ∼3% -20%
Razer Blade Stealth UHD i7-6500U
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
675.153 Seconds * ∼3% -15%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10726
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
12475
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5506
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
56.26 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
4.02 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.63 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
66.74 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
364 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
142 Points
Help

System Performance

General performance according to PCMark 8 is mostly within just a few percentage points of the nearest competitors including the MacBook Air 13, Zenbook UX303UA, XPS 13 9350, and Yoga 900. We experienced no abnormal system behavior during our time with the Vaio test unit. The auto-rotate feature, however, was quite slow to change orientations when in tablet mode.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4432 Points ∼68%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4367 Points ∼67% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
4256 Points ∼65% -4%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3438 Points ∼53% -22%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
3863 Points ∼59% -13%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4321 Points ∼46%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4432 Points ∼48% +3%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
4083 Points ∼44% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4470 Points ∼48% +3%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
3709 Points ∼40% -14%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3424 Points ∼57%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3579 Points ∼60% +5%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
3454 Points ∼58% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2928 Points ∼49% -14%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
2837 Points ∼47% -17%
PCMark 7 Score
5449 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3424 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4321 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4432 points
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Storage Devices

The single internal storage drive offers NVMe speeds as commonly found on recent flagship gaming notebooks and certain high-end Ultrabooks. Transfer rates from our Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD are thus significantly ahead of the competition for this size class with sequential read and write rates nearing 1900 MB/s and 1100 MB/s, respectively. This is compared to roughly 500 MB/s on more traditional SATA III SSDs or 100 MB/s on mechanical drives. We would have been disappointed with anything slower than NVMe for the Z Flip given the price.

See our growing table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmarks and comparisons.

CDM
CDM
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
AS SSD
-70%
-43%
9%
-71%
Copy Game MB/s
638.87
479.27
-25%
298.73
-53%
752.57
18%
198.76
-69%
Copy Program MB/s
349.2
245.04
-30%
249.62
-29%
271.82
-22%
160.29
-54%
Copy ISO MB/s
730.73
643.18
-12%
364.49
-50%
1040.98
42%
249.28
-66%
Score Total
2323
2383
3%
1129
-51%
3158
36%
909
-61%
Score Write
559
463
-17%
429
-23%
664
19%
308
-45%
Score Read
1187
1281
8%
458
-61%
1679
41%
399
-66%
Access Time Write *
0.031
0.155
-400%
0.039
-26%
0.031
-0%
0.07
-126%
Access Time Read *
0.039
0.171
-338%
0.054
-38%
0.046
-18%
0.1
-156%
4K-64 Write
326.44
338.87
4%
302.97
-7%
492.01
51%
213.4
-35%
4K-64 Read
949.47
1140.14
20%
374.84
-61%
1496.74
58%
331.16
-65%
4K Write
121.8
23.73
-81%
80.56
-34%
116.49
-4%
65.11
-47%
4K Read
47.59
19.16
-60%
32.29
-32%
38.29
-20%
20.4
-57%
Seq Write
1106.62
1001.38
-10%
454.57
-59%
559.47
-49%
301.59
-73%
Seq Read
1895.88
1212.15
-36%
504.97
-73%
1442.49
-24%
474.51
-75%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Sequential Read: 1693 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1268 MB/s
512K Read: 1214 MB/s
512K Write: 1251 MB/s
4K Read: 52.35 MB/s
4K Write: 146.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 611.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 383.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

Synthetic GPU benchmarks rank the integrated Iris Graphics 550 just slightly ahead of the discrete GeForce 940M and even further ahead of the HD Graphics 530 and Iris Graphics 6100. The performance boost can be partly explained by its dedicated eDRAM for fast video memory access that is not present on lower-class integrated GPUs. Nonetheless, raw performance is almost half as slow (40 to 45 percent) as the gaming-class discrete GTX 950M.

See our dedicated GPU page on the Iris Graphics 550 for more technical information and comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
2492 Points ∼14%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4507 Points ∼26% +81%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
1801 Points ∼10% -28%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1416 Points ∼8% -43%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
1225 Points ∼7% -51%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
970 Points ∼6% -61%
1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5251 Points ∼32%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
8375 Points ∼51% +59%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
3738 Points ∼23% -29%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
4084 Points ∼25% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
5773 Points ∼35% +10%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
3683 Points ∼22% -30%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
2646 Points ∼5%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4258 Points ∼8% +61%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
2366 Points ∼5% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1706 Points ∼3% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
1162 Points ∼2% -56%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
1110 Points ∼2% -58%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
2839 Points ∼10%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4624 Points ∼16% +63%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
2423 Points ∼8% -15%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1828 Points ∼6% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
1327 Points ∼5% -53%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
1220 Points ∼4% -57%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
612 Points ∼5%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
1447 Points ∼12% +136%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
462 Points ∼4% -25%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
393 Points ∼3% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
233 Points ∼2% -62%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
242 Points ∼2% -60%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5773 Points ∼26%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
9857 Points ∼44% +71%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
3937 Points ∼17% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
5164 Points ∼23% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
6521 Points ∼29% +13%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
4936 Points ∼22% -14%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1638 Points ∼4%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3591 Points ∼9% +119%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
1589 Points ∼4% -3%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1020 Points ∼3% -38%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
672 Points ∼2% -59%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
677 Points ∼2% -59%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
1544 Points ∼7%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3410 Points ∼15% +121%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
1376 Points ∼6% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
981 Points ∼4% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
637 Points ∼3% -59%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
644 Points ∼3% -58%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
3985 Points ∼10%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
7110 Points ∼18% +78%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
2745 Points ∼7% -31%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
3527 Points ∼9% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
4717 Points ∼12% +18%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
3488 Points ∼9% -12%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
12986 Points ∼8%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
25091 Points ∼15% +93%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
8549 Points ∼5% -34%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
7894 Points ∼5% -39%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
6155 Points ∼4% -53%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
5721 Points ∼3% -56%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
8646 Points ∼17%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
16063 Points ∼32% +86%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
5816 Points ∼12% -33%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
6190 Points ∼13% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
5763 Points ∼12% -33%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
5008 Points ∼10% -42%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
47567 Points ∼68%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
30284 Points ∼43% -36%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
39880 Points ∼57% -16%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
36645 Points ∼52% -23%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
68873 Points ∼9%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
41685 Points ∼6% -39%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
43469 Points ∼6% -37%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
29408 Points ∼4% -57%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
62638 Points ∼34%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
33466 Points ∼18% -47%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
42616 Points ∼23% -32%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
30757 Points ∼17% -51%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
81504 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Ideapad 500s-14ISK
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Samsung PM871 MZYLN256HCHP
41492 Points ∼4% -49%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
53847 Points ∼5% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460p
HD Graphics 530, 6440HQ, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
49094 Points ∼4% -40%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCU
45426 Points ∼4% -44%
3DMark 11 Performance
2839 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
81504 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8646 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1544 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
690 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Real-world graphics performance when gaming is roughly on par with the Nvidia GT 940M and is significantly ahead of the HD Graphics 520 and Iris Graphics 6100 as commonly found on other Ultrabooks by roughly 70 to 90 percent depending on the title. Modern 3D titles are playable on medium 720p settings while anything higher will begin to greatly stress the system. Less intensive titles like Starcraft II or Dota 2 should run much more smoothly on higher settings. As mentioned in our next section, user should keep in mind that fan noise will climb significantly when gaming.

Some titles refused to run or crashed altogether during our benchmark tests. Both Bioshock Infinite and Rise of the Tomb Raider refused to run on our Ultra graphical settings, so we were unable to record their respective performance numbers. Fallout 4 failed to launch altogether at the time of review.

BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
106.7 fps ∼100% +146%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
56.5 fps ∼53% +30%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
43.4 fps ∼41%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
42.27 fps ∼40% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
24.5 fps ∼23% -44%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
23.3 fps ∼22% -46%
1366x768 Medium Preset
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
119.1 fps ∼100% +132%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
64.8 fps ∼54% +26%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
51.4 fps ∼43% 0%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
51.4 fps ∼43%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
29.8 fps ∼25% -42%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
28.6 fps ∼24% -44%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
43.2 fps ∼100% +83%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
25.8 fps ∼60% +9%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
23.6 fps ∼55%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
16.8 fps ∼39% -29%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
12.5 fps ∼29% -47%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
10.9 fps ∼25% -54%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
96.5 fps ∼100% +86%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
55.2 fps ∼57% +6%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
52 fps ∼54%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
35.4 fps ∼37% -32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
25.7 fps ∼27% -51%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
25 fps ∼26% -52%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
135 fps ∼100% +75%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
82.8 fps ∼61% +7%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
77.2 fps ∼57%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
52.1 fps ∼39% -33%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
41.1 fps ∼30% -47%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
34.3 fps ∼25% -56%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
25.8 fps ∼100% +105%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
15.7 fps ∼61% +25%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
12.6 fps ∼49%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
7 fps ∼27% -44%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
51.1 fps ∼100% +105%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
30.7 fps ∼60% +23%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
24.9 fps ∼49%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
13.3 fps ∼26% -47%
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
85.9 fps ∼100% +107%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
44.7 fps ∼52% +8%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
41.4 fps ∼48%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
18.5 fps ∼22% -55%
Sleeping Dogs
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
18.6 fps ∼100% +166%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
10.9 fps ∼59% +56%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
7 fps ∼38%
1366x768 High Preset AA:High
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
77.8 fps ∼100% +161%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
42.8 fps ∼55% +44%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
29.8 fps ∼38%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:Normal
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
147.3 fps ∼100% +98%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
85.6 fps ∼58% +15%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
74.5 fps ∼51%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
10.9 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
10.84 fps ∼99% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
5.3 fps ∼49% -51%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
18.3 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire V3-575G-5093
GeForce 940M, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
18.28 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T460s-20FA003GGE
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
9.6 fps ∼52% -48%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
23 fps ∼100% +130%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
10 fps ∼43%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
9.4 fps ∼41% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
5.7 fps ∼25% -43%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
46.3 fps ∼100% +119%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
22.3 fps ∼48% +6%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
21.1 fps ∼46%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
10.7 fps ∼23% -49%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
53.7 fps ∼100% +111%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
28.2 fps ∼53% +11%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
25.4 fps ∼47%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
12.7 fps ∼24% -50%
Metal Gear Solid V
1920x1080 Extra High / On
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
32.8 fps ∼100% +167%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
13.3 fps ∼41% +8%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
12.3 fps ∼38%
1920x1080 High / On
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
49.9 fps ∼100% +164%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
19.7 fps ∼39% +4%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
18.9 fps ∼38%
1366x768 Medium / Off
MSI PX60 QD-034US
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
59.9 fps ∼100% +8%
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
55.7 fps ∼93%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
35.9 fps ∼60% -36%
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 74.529.87fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 77.25223.6fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 51.443.4fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 41.424.912.6fps
Thief (2014) 25.421.110fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 55.718.912.3fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 18.310.9fps

Stress Test

Iris graphics is indeed powerful as far as integrated GPUs go, but it takes its toll in core temperature development. The Vaio is able to maintain its maximum multi-core Turbo Boost of 3.4 GHz when running Prime95 with core temperature plateauing at about 82 C. Running FurMark stresses the processor even more to 88 C while running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will throttle the CPU all the way down to a steady 1.6 GHz in favor of maintaining a relatively higher GPU clock at a stable core temperature. Note that maximum Turbo Boost is active for just a few moments under Prime95+FurMark stress until the CPU reaches a ceiling of 95 C. At this point, the processor will throttle accordingly for a steady 87 C to prevent damaging the hardware.

Unigine Heaven is more representative of gaming loads. When under these conditions, the GPU maintains a steady core clock of 1047 MHz while the CPU will operate anywhere between 1.6 GHz to 3.6 GHz depending on the onscreen demand.

Running on battery power will limit CPU Turbo Boost potential while the GPU remains unaffected. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries produced Graphics and Physics scores of 2626 and 4313 points, respectively, compared to 2646 and 5251 points when running on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (C)

Prime95 Stress

3.4 -- ~82

FurMark Stress

-- 800 - 1000 ~88

Prime95 + FurMark Stress

1.6 800 - 900 ~87

Unigine Heaven Stress

1.6 - 3.6 1047 ~80

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

The cooling system consists of two fans, two heat sinks, and two heat pipes arranged in an asymmetrical layout. The heat pipes and placement of the CPU in particular directly affect surface temperature development as detailed in the next section.

Fan noise on the Vaio Z Flip encompasses the entire range from completely silent to jet engine loud. Regular workloads like light to medium browsing will have the system running silently while Unigine Heaven load will slowly cause fan speed to rise in a continuous manner as opposed to discrete steps. Unlike most other notebooks, the fans of the Vaio Z Flip pulsate more frequently under Unigine Heaven and are much louder as well from 46 dB(A) to 52 dB(A). This is noticeably louder than most other Ultrabooks and automatically makes the Vaio as one of the loudest convertibles when under gaming loads.

Maximum load with Prime95+FurMark will cause the fans to operate at their steady maximum of just over 53 dB(A). This is is the same ballpark as more powerful ultrathin gaming notebooks such as those from Razer and Gigabyte where such high maximums are a bit more justified.

Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
Noise
5%
10%
12%
6%
off / environment *
29.1
29.2
-0%
31.3
-8%
Idle Minimum *
29.1
29.2
-0%
29.7
-2%
29.2
-0%
31.3
-8%
Idle Average *
29.1
29.2
-0%
29.8
-2%
29.2
-0%
31.3
-8%
Idle Maximum *
29.1
29.2
-0%
30
-3%
29.2
-0%
31.5
-8%
Load Average *
46.6
40.2
14%
32
31%
31.4
33%
33.2
29%
Load Maximum *
53.5
46.3
13%
38.5
28%
31.4
41%
34.1
36%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29.1 / 29.1 / 29.1 dB(A)
Load
46.6 / 53.5 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.1 dB(A)

Temperature

Surface temperatures when idling are flat with the warmer areas nearer the rear quadrants of the notebook. Hot spots form quickly around the center of the keyboard when the system is put under medium to high stress. Its heat spread radiates like a point source according to our thermograph readings below, especially on the top side of the notebook. The front half of the unit remains relatively cool no matter the workload for comfortable palms while certain areas of the keyboard can be as warm as 40 C under extreme conditions.

Our recorded maximum values of 40 C to 47 C is typical of a notebook this size class. Certain models grow even warmer upwards of 50 C under similar conditions such as on the XPS 13, Razer Blade Stealth, or ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Keyboard base (Maximum load)
Keyboard base (Maximum load)
Base underside (Maximum load)
Base underside (Maximum load)
Max. Load
 35.8 °C41 °C30.8 °C 
 32.8 °C35.4 °C30.2 °C 
 27.8 °C27.8 °C27.2 °C 
Maximum: 41 °C
Average: 32.1 °C
39.2 °C47.2 °C44.4 °C
33.4 °C34.2 °C36 °C
30.2 °C31.4 °C30.8 °C
Maximum: 47.2 °C
Average: 36.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  49 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The stereo speakers are nothing special in terms of quality. They do not introduce static at higher volume settings or rattle the notebook during music playback. Bass is lacking as shown by our microphone measurements where lower frequencies are not reproduced very well by the system. Maximum volume is not especially loud, though it is sufficient for the sole user or a small conference room if needed. 

Stereo speakers on bottom of notebook
Stereo speakers on bottom of notebook
(Green: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)
(Green: System idle, Pink: Pink noise, Gray: White noise)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power demand lies comfortably between the MacBook Air 13 and Microsoft Surface Book. It's interesting to see that the XPS 13 draws about 30 W maximum under extreme stress compared to almost 43 W maximum on the Vaio Z Flip. The discrepancy makes sense as the i7-6560U in the Dell is a 15 W TDP CPU compared to the 28 W i7-6567U in the Vaio. Power draw remains quite low under idling states as well.

The small power adapter (10.5 x 4 x 3.75 cm) offers a USB Type-A port for charging purposes and is rated for a maximum output of 44 W compared to our measured maximum of ~43 W under both Prime95+FurMark stress. The adapter plug is designed in such a way that a moderate tug from any angle will detach the connector from the notebook instead of potentially pulling the notebook down off of a desk. Unfortunately, the drawback is a finicky connector that is both tricky to connect and too easy to accidentally unplug.

Sony Vaio Z Flip
Iris Graphics 550, 6567U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Microsoft Surface Book Core i7
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6600U, Samsung MZFLV512 NVMe
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
Power Consumption
21%
-32%
-24%
14%
Idle Minimum *
3.7
2.7
27%
4.5
-22%
7.2
-95%
3.5
5%
Idle Average *
6.9
5.7
17%
9.8
-42%
9.3
-35%
7.3
-6%
Idle Maximum *
8
6
25%
12.2
-53%
11.6
-45%
7.9
1%
Load Average *
41.3
32.1
22%
46
-11%
31.9
23%
26.6
36%
Load Maximum *
42.6
36.2
15%
56
-31%
29.9
30%
28
34%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.36 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.7 / 6.9 / 8 Watt
Load midlight 41.3 / 42.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Runtimes from the non-removable 58 Wh battery are longer than many of 13.3-inch Ultrabooks including the Yoga 900, XPS 13 9350, and Zenbook UX303 while being noticeably shorter than the MacBook Air 13. Users can expect 7.5 hours of constant WLAN use while running our looping browser script on the Balanced profile and a 150 nit brightness setting (40 percent). Vaio advertises up to 11.5 hours of runtime based on its own internal testing.

It's worth noting that the Vaio Z Flip battery life curves produced from Battery Eater below do not appear to be as stable as most other notebooks. We believe this to be related to how the Vaio calculates remaining battery percentage as it would sometimes display incorrectly. As an example, the battery notification would sometimes display 90 percent only to jump to 100 percent a moment after and vice versa. It's a strange bug that otherwise has no ill-effects on actual real-world runtimes.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Sony Vaio Z Flip
58 Wh
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
54 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
66 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
56 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
50 Wh
Battery Runtime
21%
-14%
-29%
-10%
Reader / Idle
949
1572
66%
844
-11%
604
-36%
WiFi v1.3
451
620
37%
403
-11%
311
-31%
407
-10%
Load
159
97
-39%
128
-19%
128
-19%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 49min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
7h 31min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 39min

Pros

+ very accurate colors and grayscale (after calibration); >95 percent sRGB coverage
+ attractive convertible design; premium aluminum and carbon surfaces
+ bright, high quality touchscreen with pressure-sensitive active stylus
+ very good CPU and integrated GPU performance
+ quiet under low to medium loads
+ Rear and front cameras
+ long battery life
+ NVMe SSD

Cons

- no USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, or DisplayPort
- key feedback could have been more firm
- non-expandable RAM; no DDR4 option
- very loud under gaming to high loads
- high core temperatures under load
- base could have been more rigid
- difficult end-user maintenance
- no NFC or fingerprint reader
- high starting price; lacks bang for the buck

Verdict

In review: Vaio Z Flip VJZ13BA11L. Test model provided by Intel.
In review: Vaio Z Flip VJZ13BA11L. Test model provided by Intel.

We don't always expect everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to Ultrabooks and convertibles. Nonetheless, if your starting price is $1800 for a 13.3-inch offering, users will start wanting features filled to the brim in order to justify the price premium over other similarly sized convertibles or notebooks that start at almost half the price. From this point-of-view, it becomes easy to pick apart the Vaio Z Flip as it is overtly lacking in features like USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, NFC, DDR4, WWAN, and additional security measures. The classy materials and looks ultimately don't mean much when certain areas aren't as rigid as they could have been. Smaller complaints include the softer keyboard keys, lack of a built-in stylus holder, and lack of a rotation toggle button for tablet mode.

Look past the omissions and the Vaio Z Flip is a solid and well-designed convertible that holds its own against the current competition. The bright display in particular is amazing in terms of color accuracy and is one of the best in its size class. Performance from the Core i7-6567U and integrated Iris Graphics 550 is equally impressive considering the low 28 W TDP and respectable battery life, though the drawbacks are warmer core temperatures and louder fan noise than most other convertibles when under demanding loads.

While the Vaio Z Flip is powerful, unique, and attractive, it simply doesn't offer that much more than competing convertibles for the price. Buyers who don't mind the high MSRP will otherwise love the performance, battery life, display, and elegance of the flagship Vaio.

Sony Vaio Z Flip - 04/18/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
44 / 80 → 55%
Weight
71 / 78 → 84%
Battery
90%
Display
82%
Games Performance
67 / 68 → 98%
Application Performance
88 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
91%
Noise
78%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Average
77%
84%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Vaio Z Flip VJZ13BA11L Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-04- 1 (Update: 2016-04-14)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.