MBA 13 vs Sony Vaio Z 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BostonBrawler, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. BostonBrawler macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Just wondering if anyone has had experience on the new Sony Z 13, and how it compares to the MBA13.

    I have a 2011 4G 256 13" MBA, and I absolutely love it. The fact that I can carry it in my bag and not know it is there is great. Bootup time is impecable.

    The downfalls are the battery life since installing Lion, as well as being in business, the use of windows native programs (dont want to waste time with parallel)

    So then I see an ad for the Sony Z and started looking into it. Find out it is thinner, lighter, and is a powerful machine.

    Has anyone had any experience with it, and if so, how does it compare to the MBA? Ive read online articles, but looking for actual insight.

  2. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Last I saw the Sony Z is not thinner.

  3. Nioxic macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    in a macbook air forum i doubt you'll find that many.. you'll have better chances on more "general computer" forums like or something..

    thats where i would ask any non-mac related questions (few mac users there too i guess)
  4. warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    Here's a pretty good review:

    I was thinking of getting the Z21 myself, but decided against it after I played around with it in store. It's a really nice machine and no doubt is faster (RAID SSD) and more powerful then the Air (full voltage processor). But the price just didn't seem right.

    I didn't like the idea of the PMD. I don't need a dock, I wish they had a cheaper option without it. And I absolutely hated the trackpad. I think last year's vaio Z is a better deal. Weights about the same but comes with a Blu-Ray drive and an Nvidia 330 IGP. If I were to get a Sony today, it would be the Vaio SA SSD version. Much cheaper, comes with AMD graphics and weighs about .5lbs more. But if you can afford the Z and like using a mouse, go for it.

    If you're not on set on Sony I would go with the new Asus UX31. Pretty much a shinier Air running Windows and $200 less.

    That's debatable. Air at its thickest point is 0.68" the Z21 is 0.65"
  5. BostonBrawler thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Supposedly .66" Sony vs .68" MBA. Now granted the Sony does not taper down like the MBA, so it is give and take.
  6. Aras87 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Z2 is better than MBA in pretty much every aspect other than the touchpad and the speakers. However Z2 starts at $2k. You pay more you get more.
  7. kulimer macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    If you are going for the look, MBA 13's finish and color is definitely tops Sony. But when it comes to software, you just don't have to worry about compatibility issues like you do with Mac. Mac is developing, but not fully developed yet.

    Plus, Windows 7 is nothing like xp, or vista, it's extremely fast.
  8. dztsys macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    vaio z

    I have been investigating and reading and playing around with it for the past 6 days and I have just ordered mine. 2.8 ghz 8 gb 1920*1080 full hd

    I looked into the mbas and mbp s and none of them gave you the same power whatoever.

    plus if you want to make a custom config with a MBP 13 to include 8 gigs of Ram and 256 gb SSD HD and the most you can go up is i7 2.6?? for alot more money?

    I dont think so and yes the new vaio z is thinner and lighter than MBA. not the thinnest side of MBA but overall...
  9. Neurobit, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011

    Neurobit macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2009
    United States
    Bought one

    For one of our employees that needed thin and light and is a Windows user.

    Laptop is very nice (VPCZ135GX). Fit and finish superb, although plastic, not aluminum like the MBA. The advantage is that it's lighter than my brand new 13" MBA, but not thinner. It is also a smaller since the screen seems to be a different ratio (I think 16:9) so the overall size is smaller, something between the 11.6 & 13 MBA size wise, which is pretty nice.

    Also, it is very fast.
    The model I purchased has 256GB capacity (dual 128GB SSDs in a raid 0 configuration) and either 6 or 8 GB RAM (bought this in May, so can't recall for sure) and Win7 64. Boot up is about 13 seconds, and everything about it is very, very snappy. All this performance comes at a price. I picked this up for $2000 since it was labeled wrong at Microcenter (actual price was $2300, but they honored the price). Compared to this my 13 ultimate is truly a bargain at $1700.

    Would I trade it for my 13 MBA ultimate? No (I'm biased :cool:), but it is a very nice machine indeed for someone looking for a Windows machine in a very small size coupled with very good performance.

  10. Aras87 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Z13 is old, the new Z2 is thinner than MBA at thickest point.
  11. unagimiyagi, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011

    unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Total bias here, but I have owned a Sony Vaio Z.
    They are built quite poorly, actually. They don't fall apart, but I had the speaker give out and the screens all have some piezo effect where you can see diagonal lines on them when you move your eyes across the screen. It's a real problem--if you notice it.
    Ergonomics are also not nearly as nice as a macbook air.

    In case it hasn't been said, looking at a spec sheet is the incorrect way to approach your decision if you're even considering an apple laptop. It's the user experience that makes the air better. You will enjoy using a macbook air much more so than using a vaio z. You do not see "fans" of sony vaio Zs, whereas you do for macbook airs. Why? Taking the emotions out of the equation that apple's design seems to inspire....I'd say that the perceived speed (and frankly that's what matters) is much better than the Z. Boot up, restart, apps launching. If there's one thing that usability research has shown, it's that as long as a machine is responsive and fast, almost all else can be forgiven. And it's not all just the SSD. The ergonomics of the keyboard--it doesn't bend, the key travel is good, the layout makes sense, the backlit keyboard. The speakers are loud for its size. The screen is super bright. The OS is absolutely the opposite of windows--you can customize os X alot if you want, but otherwise it just works out of the box for the vast majority of people. With windows, nothing makes sense. Ever. You've got to actively learn windows to make use of it; not so with os x. The touchpad is not just huge, but it is way more responsive than any other touchpad. And you don't get accidental touches with your palms like you do on a windows laptop. You can take that to the bank. Battery life is much better per watt hour than anything else out there. The magsafe adapter will save you a few times. The small size of the adapter. Low fan noise.

    Steve Jobs' anal-retentiveness to little details does add up, and you notice them over time once you go back to something else. You realize that despite the simplicity, there was a lot of thought that went into the air. Even the features that you thought you had to have, you're willing to make do without rather than buying a Z which has all the ports, etc. I've not met anyone who honestly would choose a Z over an Air if it was a fair fight--meaning, they really went into the store with the possibility of walking out with either one.
  12. dztsys macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    just arrived

    writing this post from my vpcz227gg. just landed fresh of hong kong. its a massive piece of jewelery. keyboard doesnt flex. and the touchpad is surprisingly smooth and responsive.

    all the critics about this and all other laptops are always exagerating imho.
    if you know how to handle a computer, u have ur habits and approach, you will getthe most out of your equipment.

    besides, the new vaio z's hardware is pretty stable, and quality.

    p.s: I can :eek:install Mac OS on my pc whenever I want ;)
  13. ecib macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2011
    I dunno. The Sony touch pad as well as the keyboard was looked at poorly in the various reviews. Always in the 'con' column. For me, this is huge. It's the User Interface, and the main way you interact with your tool.

    I can't see spending waaaay more money for a ******** UI. As a former Windows user for over 20 years, those manufacturers have a lot of work to do making their machines better suited to getting work done before I'll consider going back.

    For 97%+ of users, they just won't need the increased specs of the Sony for any reason. Outside of that small group, it's a two thousand dollar blazing fast laptop loaded with bloatware that does interaction more poorly, and has a crappy battery life.

    At the end of the day, it just doesn't even seem like the two laptops are even competing for the same customers. The Sony is about 2x the price for a spec bump that only would only be needed by a very small amount of consumers (especially at that price).
  14. warfed, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    The touchpad is bad yes, but the keyboard is great IMO. There is a reason why Apple copied their keyboards ;)

    The spec bump of the last MBA is also not needed for 97% of the users... but higher specs is never a bad thing. And the spec bump from a MBA to Vaio Z is not a small bump.

    You are right the 2 laptops target different markets but it doesn't mean that the MBA is better, it might be for you (and me) but the Vaio Z is simply a superior laptop in every way except the trackpad (and arguably the OS).

    Oh, and the battery life is far from crappy. 6 Hours of general use... add a slice battery and you can go for 14 hours.
  15. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    It seems this model is a nice Windows machine indeed.

    However, you already have a terrific Air and it runs OS X.

    I'd just look for some fixes to your battery issues or carrying something to help with that.
  16. dztsys macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    well youre right. after all its two different products and two different usergroups...

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