Sony Vaio VPCYB15AG versus HP Pavilion DM1-3016AU

Last month we wrote a article on our favorite budget ultraportables. The two least expensive options on our list were the Sony Vaio VPCYB15AG and HP Pavilion DM1-3016AU. We thought we would do a head to head.




Sony Vaio YB

Where the two are identical. Both the Sony Vaio VPCYB15AG and HP Pavilion DM1-3016AU are 11.6-inch ultraportable laptops with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution screen. Both are powered by AMD's 1.6 GHz dual core E-350 processor. Both come with 2GB's of RAM and 320 SATA hard disk drive for storage. For connectivity, both have 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth, USB 2.0 ports and HDMI out.

As you can see, essentially, these two laptops are nearly identical. Lets looks at what distinguishes them.

1. Price. The Sony Vaio YB is offered at a suggested retail price of Php29,999, and at this price you can pay for over 12 monthly installment. If you pay in cash or do a straight payment through a credit card, you can get it for Php26,999. The HP Pavillion DM1 is offered at a suggested retail price of Php22,990, and at this price you can pay for over 12 monthly installment. If you pay in cash or do a straight payment through a credit card, you can get it for Php20,999.

Depending on how you pay for it, the HP Pavillion DM1 is a 6-7K cheaper.

Winner - HP




HP Pavillon DM1

2. Battery life and endurance. The HP Pavillion DM1 comes with a 6-cell 4400 mAh battery. The Sony Vaio YB comes with a 4-cell 3500 mAh battery. Having identical innards, it is no trick guessing that the HP Pavillon DM1 wins this round. According to Laptopmag, the HP Pavillion DM1 has 6.5 hours of battery life, while the Sony Vaio YB will provide a tab under 5 hours.

Winner - HP




Sony Vaio YB

3. Graphics performance. While both units have AMD Radeon HD Graphics cards, the Sony Vaio has 384MB of dedicated video memory while the HP Pavillion DM1 relies on shared memory. Laptopmag in its review of the Sony Vaio YB said:

While we wouldn't recommend the VAIO YB as a gaming machine, it's capable of playing World of Warcraft. With the special effects turned down, the VAIO YB managed a strong 29 fps, a bit below the ultraportable category average but much stronger than the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e (21 fps) and the HP Pavilion dm1z (24 fps). 
Winner - Sony

4. Size and weight. The Sony Vaio YB dimensions are 8 x 11.4 x 1.2 inches and it weighs in a 3.2 pounds. The HP Pavillion DM1 dimensions are 8.4 x 11.4 x 1.2 inches and it weighs in a 3.4 pounds. The Vaio weighs less, but only because it has a smaller battery. We will call it a draw.

Winner - None.

5. Operating system. We would have preferred Windows 7 Home Premium, but neither comes with that. The Sony Vaio YB comes with Windows 7 Starter while the HP Pavillion DM1 come with Windows 7 Home Basic.

Winner - HP

In the end, the HP Pavillion DM1 is the better choice, trading some graphics power for longer battery at a lower cost. Objectively, that is what I would recommend and it is the clear winner in this head-to-head. 

Subjectively, the HP Pavillion DM1 does not look and feel like an HP Pavillion. It looks like a large HP netbook. The Sony Vaio YB feels and looks like a Vaio. For my money, I would splurge a bit and get the Sony Vaio YB.