Discussion: 2009/11 Sony Z vs 2010/11 MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by KylePowers, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Heeeeeeeeyyy ever'body,

    While this thread may seem a little silly, as the 2011 MBA hasn't even been announced yet (and assuming that it will be), I've just been itching for some discussion.

    To start off, I have a Z purchased in 2009 (discounted from a Sony store, probably was released in late 2008... not sure). Specifications are as follows:
    • Intel Core 2 Duo P9600 2.7GHz, 6MB L2 Cache
    • Nvidia 9300M GS
    • 4GB DDR3 RAM
    • Hitachi 300GB HDD (probably 5400rpm)
    • 13.1in - 1600x900 screen, carbon fiber lid
    • Chiclet/island-style keyboard
    • DVD drive, fingerprint scanner, SD-card slot, bluetooth, camera, etc etc

    A 2011 Z, while very upgradeable, starts with:
    • Intel® Core™ i5-460M processor (2.53GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.80GHz
    • 128GB (64GBx2) Solid State Drive with RAID 0 Technology
    • 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
    • 13.1" VAIO LED Display (1600x900)
    • CD/DVD Player/Burner, Blu-ray optional
    • 7 hour max battery, 3.04lbs
    • Backlit chiclet keyboard

    Now it's quite obvious a 2011 Z will cost more than a 2010/11 MBA, but is it worth it? Which route would you go? Would you say the Z is more of a MBP competitor?

    I've been wanting to switch to a Mac and had been deciding on whether to go with a 2011 MBP, 2011 MBA (when announced), or 2011 iMac... but the 2011 Zs look scrumptious! One thing I didn't think I could handle was going from a 1600x900 display to the MBP's lower resolution. Significant difference! At least the MBAs is slightly closer.

    Of course, I don't really do much on my computer, aside from homework and various programs needed for said homework (or research or whatever). I do dabble in some light photography however and I already have an iPad 2 for media consumption/portability. So what do you guys think? Should I just wait it out and see what the 2011 MBA brings? Stick with my current Z until 2012? Who knows.

  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    OK ,assuming you are oldr than 12, you are asking us to respond to something, (Apple) that hasent been released . we are Mac people, direct you posts elsewhere:D:cool:
  3. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Numbers don't mean anything unless the machine is slow.

    That kind of configuration on sony Z series laptop will cost like 1800 dollars and beyond.

    Also, if you prefer window over Mac OS, then there is no competition here.

    That 7 hours of battery life is just what they claim. But, is it true?
  4. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Well, you'd be assuming correctly. And I did state at the beginning of the post that it was a bit silly to include in this discussion a product that has yet to be released... and I look back realizing perhaps my original post was a tad bit general... but my ideal goal was to establish a well discussed topic in which unbiased input swayed my understandings and desires. The 2011 MBA was not the only topic at hand, just something anyone would have brought up if I was debating between switching from a 2009 Z to a 2010 MBA. So to me, it only made sense to invite such an opportunity. This would be my first Mac, after all.
    True, numbers aren't everything. But as an electrical engineering student going into VLSI, there's certainly some truth into what they represent. And yeah, a new Z would be pretty expensive... probably more than what I'd want to spend, which makes a new MBA certainly more appealing. As for Windows vs Mac OS... well, I don't have much experience with OSX (though I do use Ubuntu every now and then for some exciting C++ programming and have played with the OSX skins they have out there). As for battery, my current Z isn't doing so hot in that department. When I got it (standard battery), it probably could last 4-5 hours... but now it doesn't even last 2. bleh.

    I guess to raise some more interesting discussions, is there anyone out there that has switched from an earlier Z to an MBA? Anyone who has done the opposite? If so, why?

    My current Z is holding up decently, but it's getting pretty bogged down and the fan(s) sound(s) like a jet engine. And ever since I upgraded it to Windows 7 (came with Vista), a lot of its nifty features don't really work anymore (like switching between intel and nvidia graphics, for example).

  5. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    the MBA is a known quantity and coming from a thinkpad x200s, i quite like it and not sure i can go back to PC hardware without seeing some real catch up work being done.

    i haven't played around w/ the new Z in person. this would be the deciding factor for me.

    all i know is, the MBA just works. quick boot up. long battery life. instant on. real snappy and very portable. the touchpad makes a mouse obsolete (i used to always carry around a mouse), and apple hardware just oozes quality.

    i actually quite like windows 7 the software, but not too crazy about microsoft partner's ability to build top notch hardware (sony, dell, acer, etc). $1800 is a lot of dough for something that's not going to feel as good in quality as the MBA. the only hardware vendor i do have faith in his lenovo with their thinkpad line. i loved the x200s and man are they taking forever to update their chassis.

    id wait for the 2011 mba if i were you.
  6. jonomo macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2005
    I stopped buying anything from Sony a long time ago.. especially laptops.. Sony installs all this useless crap on your computer that just absolutely bogs it down.. and alot of the drivers are hard to find, so if you ever wipe (which is something you have to do often on a Sony), good luck.. Sony stopped innovating anything interesting since the 90's.. U have to understand the environment from which this laptop is designed.. Japan is still in the stone age when it comes to the internet.. even if the hardware were to be better, Sony's crappy software plus win 7 would make this thing unusable in my book.. if you buy anything from Sony these days, you'll notice their UI is just awefull.. they just add more and more buttons.. this is more an anti Sony rant than a pro MBA post..
  7. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Hmm... I'll probably switch to a 2011 MBA when the time comes... but would it be silly having an MBA and an iPad 2 =\

    I see quite a few of these threads around, so I guess I'll peruse them. Some people think the MBA with instant-on + keyboard + full OS allows them to do more things just as fast, if not faster, than they could with an iPad 2... which makes sense. But some people still find a certain area of their technosphere where the iPad 2 resides for them.

    For me, I typically use my iPad 2 for doing problem sets (like differential equations, bleh), drawing circuits, analyzing digital logic problems, stuff like that (using a stylus)... and I also like to watch Netflix... oh, and my girlfriend must consistently play that darn Smurf game :rolleyes:

    I guess I'll find out when the time comes lol
  8. TheMacBookPro, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

    TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Yes. I can easily get 5~7 hours of battery life depending on what I'm doing.

    OP: I have a VAIO Z (i7-640M, GT330M, Blu-Ray, 512SSD, 8RAM) and an 11" Air (1.6C2D, 320M, 128SSD, 4RAM)(just got it a few days ago!), so I think I'm qualified to answer your questions ;)

    I can easily get 5 or so hours of 'wireless productivity' on my Z, more if I turn down the brightness and disable Flash (so just about the same as my 11" Air). You'll probably get a bit more with the 13 Air.

    Power-wise, there is absolutely no comparison. The 320M is simply no match for the 330M (both are significantly better than the 9300M you have atm though). Despite what people say about 'Windows is poorly optimized so it's slower than any Mac' it is blazingly fast. QuadSSD coupled with RAID0 layout means insane read/write speeds (faster than the SSD on my Air, and that is already very quick).
    However, the Z cannot boot in 10 seconds nor shut down in 2 seconds nor launch any app within ~5 seconds. If you're looking for instant-on... this is not the machine for you. If you're wondering, my Z boots from cold in approx 30 seconds (no login screen enabled, like my MBA).

    FHD screen... not a downgrade at all ;)

    Now for the downsides: in Speed mode while gaming, the fans still sound like a jet engine and blows out air like a hairdryer. Gets very hot. 2~3 hours in Speed mode only.

    As for the Air... if you're going to get the 13 keep in mind that the weight is very close to the Z (2.9 v 3.1 lbs) but lacks a dedicated graphics chip, DVD/BD drive, full-blown laptop processor, etc.

    Main reason I bought the Air? Portability. I can just toss it into my bag when heading out without a second thought, while with the Z I wouldn't (it's quite a bit thicker, takes longer to boot, etc). I used to carry my iPad around instead. (now that I think about it, I don't think I would carry around a 13" air so...)

    If I were you I'd either save up for the 'Signature' Z with the i7/Bluray/etc or scour eBay for used examples (these depreciate way faster than Macbooks- one more thing to consider :) ) It'll definitely be more expensive, but IMO it's worth it if all you're looking for is an ultraportable workhorse.

    Hope this helps.

  9. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I have a 13/UMBA and love it for watching movies, browsing, and reading text, especially instant on and long battery life (8 hrs no problem). Use only at home.

    For office work, I have a Dell Latitude 4310, while bulky and heavy (4.2lbs w/ 6cell battery), I prefer it for office work w/ Win7, as it is very fast with an i5-540m processor, and Win7 is VERY good with its file management scheme.

    My brother-in-law has a 2009 fully loaded Vaio-Z, and it seems to only have 2-3 hours battery life when watching movies with graphics boost. I also don't like the offset touchpad, and the HD screen size seems too small. Those things bother me enough not to shell out $2K for a Z, and would rather have a MBA for home, and a cheap, but well-spec'd Dell for work.
  10. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    A Tad harsh on my part, anyway, Sony has a high spec'd machine, but it doesn't have OSX. OSX is what we all love, and along the line of the MBA, I believe it is Apples finest creation, in both 11" and 13" flavors. Again ,please accept my apology for my post, it is unlike me, maybe i am becoming a curmudgeon.:rolleyes:

Share This Page