PCMark 8 is a synthetic benchmark that puts the machines through normal usage scenarios such as web browsing, document writing, video encoding, photo editing and casual gaming. A good gauge of overall performance is the Home benchmark, which combines all of the above mentioned tasks.
All of our notebooks have similar components, with an Intel Core i7 processor, integrated graphics and a fast SSD. The only differences are Sony’s Vaio Pro 13, which has just 4GB RAM, and ASUS Zenbook UX301, which has a more powerful 2.8 GHz processor and Intel Iris 5100 graphics.
For the Home benchmark, the Acer Aspire S7 managed to stay ahead of the ASUS Zenbook UX301, despite the latter having a more powerful CPU and GPU. This result indicates that the UX301’s superior chip doesn’t give it much of an advantage if you’re using it as a general purpose machine.
In the Creative Benchmark, which tests the machines’ abilities to encode and edit multimedia, as well as gaming, the Zenbook UX301 CPU starts to perform as expected. It scored 23% better than the Acer Aspire S7, mostly thanks to its more powerful onboard Intel Iris graphics 5100, which is responsible for rendering and encoding multimedia.
And as for the Work benchmark, it’s the enterprise-friendly Toshiba Portege Z30 that leads the Ultrabooks. Its no-frills design allows it to perform best on what’s most important for its target audience (browsing and document editing) while preserving battery life.