New MBA vs Vaio Z?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rittchard, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    As excited as I am about getting a new MBA, I have to say some threads in this forum about the Vaio Z still have me second guessing a bit.

    When the MBA originally released, there was no competitor in its price/performance/weight class. But now the Z seems to have pretty much trumped the MBA in performance while maintaining a similar weight (comapring 13" versions).

    For the same price of the top of the line MBA ($1799), you can get:

    i5-540M (2.53GHz - turbo to 3.06GHz), 4GB RAM
    128GB SSD, Geforce GT330M graphics
    Built in DVD

    All this without sacrificing added weight, I have to admit I'm pretty impressed wih Sony.

    Not to mention the options for more space, Blu-Ray, better processor, etc. if you so choose, and they claim 7 hours battery life on standard settings.
  2. guitargoddsjm macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    I don't have a strong argument either way, and I haven't seen the Vaio Z or the new MBA, but I'll point out a few (obvious) things:

    1. The MBA's battery lasts a month on standby (like an iPad, iPod, etc). Most computers will drain the battery while they are in sleep mode.

    2. This goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways: the MBA runs OS X. If you don't prefer either OS X or Windows 7, then the Vaio Z seems like a great computer for the price.
  3. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    A more fair competitor to the Z is any Macbook Pro. The Z is twice as thick at the back as the Air and at its thinnest point it's still an inch thick. In other words it's thicker than any MBP.
  5. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    That's another thing I find odd/interesting. The Z looks so chunky in comparison, but they were able to maintain the weight. Apple has always been so obsessed with the lightest materials and constructions, yet even with such an almost unbelievably thin design they are still within 0.1 pounds of each other....

    OK now I see, it's in the overall dimensions:

    Vaio Z: 12.4" x 8.3" footprint
    MBA: 12.8" x 8.94" footprint

    I'm gathering in the MBA with the extra space you get the much nicer trackpad, as well as a slightly larger screen.
  6. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!
    My brother in law has the Z, and ignoring the Mac/Windows argument it's a very powerful and very fast machine, especially if you get the dual SSD in raid config. The trackpad is a frikkin nightmare though. After using the apple one there's no way I could go back.
  7. re2st macrumors regular

    May 2, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    I was (and still am) in the same boat with you. Strongly considered the Z13 (at some point in the past had it in the cart and about to click "Submit Order"). The thing is, I have played with it at SonyStyle Store, the build quality is nothing compared to the Air. The base has too many removable parts, with holes everywhere, sticker all over the place. And it is thick (although lightweight, hollow and lightweight).

    Don't ask about the specs, that alone is what dreams are made of. And they managed to get it in this small, lightweight package. It has every single thing that people here complained about on the Air, again, in terms of specs.
  8. GodlessGeek macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2010
    I'm writing this post on a VPCZ11 with 256GB SSD and a 750GB hard drive that I put in place of the DVD. It is an amazing machine with a fast i5 and 1GB NVida 330 with a gorgeous 1600x900 matte display that I'm right now using outdoors with no reflections. It is just under 3llbs and while a bit thicker than the MacBook air, it is smaller in width and height (very thin bezel). With the 1TB of hard drive space I can store lots of games and blu-ray / DVD rips.

    My only real complaint with the Sony Z is the trackpad and it's the main reason I'm getting an 11" MBA as my carry everywhere computer. I could use a mouse but I like having a great trackpad and windows trackpads for some reason always seem to fall way short of those on the MacBooks. The Z has two finger scroll enabled but it's never fluid like the Mac. The Mac's trackpads are like butter and are brilliantly implemented. It would be like an iPad clone that was great in every way except it only registered your touch 80% of the time.

    So if you are OK with Win7 (I am) and don't mind a Windows trackpad (I do) or if you use a mouse and not the trackpad then you will likely love the Sony Z. Mine will likely be on eBay soon after I get my MacBook Air 11". I have a ASUS G73JW for heavy mobile gaming and the Z is no longer needed. Good luck with your decision. They are both great machines.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    +1 I never understood why people compare the air to the Z. Not even in the same league.
  10. mookkoo macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2009
    Let me know if you decided to sell your Z11 :)
  11. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Mac OS X vs Windows? :D

    Personally... MacBook Air, because it looks sexy with an awesome OS X
  12. Maven1975 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    The only beef I have with my Z is the trackpad. That is where Apple really nails it with the Air.

    If you can adjust to the Sony's trackpad, it runs rings around most (Other than 7+ pound) laptops on the market.

    Starcraft 2, GTA 4, Call of Duty MW2 all run on it without much compromise. I am waiting to see if anyone here buys a 1.6 11" and installs windows with MW2. That would be a cool game to have on a 2lb notebook.
  13. Fraaaa macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    London, UK
    This is one point.

    The second is are you willing to spend those money?
    Vaio is more expensive and of course more performant.

    Third, do you need performance or you need it for casual uses?
  14. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    I have always loved sony but I can't accept windows 7 as a competitor for OS X.
  15. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    The MBA can also run Windows, but the Z can't run OSX without any witchcraft or Tomfoolery. So OSX vs Windows isn't even an issue if you choose the Mac.

    And how is Sony's customer support ?
  16. Fraaaa macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    London, UK
    Vaio (1.35 Kg) vs Air (1.32 Kg)
  17. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    It's no different than the Windows users that do not want to switch to anything else. No matter what some spec sheet shows, if the computer doesn't run OSX native I'm not buying it. I've used Windows since 3.1 and every version since up through 7, and the lovely fun of XP at work. When it comes to my personal choice it's OSX hands down so the MBA, or MBP etc... at whatever price is within my budget is what I am going to buy.

    It's never a question of which hardware to buy, but which OS. Parts are parts, while I think Apple's unibody design are higher quality than a plastic shell, the OS will always win out for me.

    Just my 2 cents.
  18. esmode macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    These machines serve different needs. The Vaio Z fills some large requirements that the Air and MBP 13 can't. The Vaio Z's graphics, processing power, full hd screen resolution, anti-glare screen, and hd configuration are unheard of in that form factor. If you don't need that then I would go with the Air, unless you need the battery power of the MBP 13.
  19. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    The Z makes extensive use of carbon fiber and space ... it is much bulkier than the Air and has a lot of room to dissipate heat, but also feels much flimsier. In practice as long as you are careful the Z is not going to explode out from under you tho. The Z is also using those overly aggressive battery life benchmarks ... definitely compromises on the battery.

    Apple seems to like their aluminum ... I really like it in the 11.6" Air but it does pack on the pounds.
  20. bloodycape macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    I found it pretty good, but that partially due to the fact I live near the Sony Store. But, even if the Sony store wasn't close, when I had to call tech support I got a call center in Florida, a much welcome change from the others.

    As for battery life you will be surprised at what you can get. My Vaio TT is rated at 6-7 hours, but there are few users in power saved mode, with BT & optical drive turned off, 40% brightness, wifi on easily getting 9-10 hours, a bit more with SSD. I would think the Z could do around 5-8 hours depending on settings easily.
  21. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    If I couldn't get a Mac, it would be a Sony. However, since I've had a Mac for just under 2 years, the more I use my Mac with OS X, the less likely I'd buy a Windows pc. And if my wife would be more comfortable with Macs I'd have no Windows pcs in the house.

    She has an iPad so there is hope someday!!!!
  22. daleski75 macrumors 68000


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northampton, UK
    I am considering selling my Z11 for a MBA but undecided as mine is maxed out with 8gb of ram and an esata express card which I will miss however I do miss having a Mac though and playing around with OSX.
  23. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Perhaps the carbon fiber chassis has something to do with the weight of the Z also?
  24. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    The new Vaio Z spanks almost all the Macbook lines performance wise....

    Actually in benchmarks it does beat all the MBs even the i7 Pros since the GPU has more Vram....

    But I dislike the construction. It has a lot of flex and gaps. And for the price you are paying it's a little insulting.

    Overall great machine but unless you plan to game or render on the road I think the MBA is a much better machine from a practical point of view (lighter, cheaper, longer battery life, smaller form factor, faster general performance thanks to OSX)
  25. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    one has osx, while the other has the superior hardware. decisions, decisions.

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