Reviews and Problems with Sony Vaio Z-series (VPC-Z21xxxx)
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Even After Price Drop, Sony Vaio Z Is Still a Big-Ticket Notebook
20 August 2012
Excerpt: When the Vaio Z was first released in 2011 , it became clear that Sony was capable of besting Apple in the premium notebook realm, at least when it came to pure performance and exotic builds. The sub-three-pound notebook — a mix of carbon fiber, aluminum, and magnesium alloy — was one of the lightest and fastest machines available upon its arrival. It was also one of the most expensive, around $2,500 once you optioned it up.
Pros: Sharp and gorgeous matte display that has little to no glare problems. Top-of-the-line specs and upgradeable features. Good battery life, up to around 6.5 hours.
Cons: Strange and impractical trackpad. Klutzy keyboard. Carbon fiber elements give it a cheap, plasticky vibe. Expensive.
Conclusion: Judged by its technical achievements, the Sony Vaio Z is easily a 10/10 laptop. Sony has managed to pack a number of high-quality components into a very small space, achieving things that most ultrabooks shown at CES could only hope for. Better still, the Z isn’t particularly hot or noisy, nor is the battery life disappointing. And with the dock connected, this tiny laptop can play games as well as much large machines. Yes, it’s expensive. But what did you expect?
Pros: Incredibly thin and light, Powerful, High-resolution display, Good battery life, External dock enhances functionality
Cons: Chassis feels flimsy in spots, Display and audio quality is sub-par, External dock is a pain to pack, Expensive
Excerpt: It really is the Sony Way. Take a product that’s been around for a while, soup it up, throw in every possible feature imaginable, and make it smaller and lighter than everyone else’s machine. Then double the price. Such is the state of Sony’s entry into the suddenly white-hot ultrabook space, a market experiencing a full-scale pile-on as a half dozen competitors all attempt to outdo the nearly three-year-old Apple MacBook Air .
Pros: Awesome display: Great resolution and brightness, and very vivid colors. Truly impressive performance. Unrivaled combination of musclebound power with feather weight. Fair battery life (4.5 hours).
Cons: Very loud fan under load. Invasive Vaio software suite bundle is simply unnecessary. Cost equivalent to feeding thousands of starving children for a month.
Conclusion: This brings our love story to an end. If you crave an ultraportable that's as capable as much larger laptops, it's hard to beat the Sony Vaio Z 2012 model. It's stunning, weighs only 2.5 lbs. and has a small footprint. There's really nothing like it, and it's a continued testament to Sony's engineering capabilities. The Lenovo ThinkPad X230 comes closest but it weighs 3.4 lbs. and is significantly thicker and less attractive.
Pros: Incredible power in a 2.5 lb. notebook, great 1080p display.
Cons: Expensive, dedicated graphics requires external Portable Media Dock.
Summary: The Vaio Z is an exceptional 13″ laptop. It is the only 3lbs system that provides an overall “Desktop Experience”, especially when it comes to running popular applications like Office 2010 (Outlook, Word, Excel), Firefox and Windows 7. With a very fast SSD storage, it loads applications as fast (or faster) than my Desktop PC equipped with a 10k rpm Velociraptor drive and a Core i7 3.2Ghz CPU.
Summary: Some day Apple or someone else may be able to match the VAIO Z in terms of speed or portability, but at the moment this ultraportable stands alone as the fastest 13-inch notebook on earth. Is it worth $2,099? Definitely, although we think Sony should throw in the larger battery and a longer warranty for this price. As it stands, you’ll be getting a sleek and sturdy design, two SSDs, and a turbo-charged Core i5 processor that makes quick work of any task.