Poll: Sony Z-series vs. MBP 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chuckflip53, Aug 15, 2010.


Sony V-series or Macbook Pro 13"?

  1. Macbook Pro 13"

    83 vote(s)
  2. Sony Z-series

    25 vote(s)
  1. chuckflip53 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    I've been hearing lots of people urging Apple to include higher resolution options on the MBP 13", add a faster processor, etc. Sony's Z-series laptop offers almost exactly what people been asking for: a faster processor, higher resolution, even a lighter overall weight. However, as soon as somebody points this out, everybody begins to suddenly defend the MBP 13" again. I haven't yet seen a poll for this so I decided to make one.

    Macbook Pro 13" base model (Sony Vaio Z-series laptop base model):
    2.4GHz C2D (i5-540M 2.53GHz; Turbo Boost 3.06GHz)
    250GB SATA 5400rpm (128GB [64GBx2] SSD RAID0)
    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM (4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM)
    13.3-inch LED-glossy 1280x800 (13.1" 1600x900 w/ anti-reflective coating)
    Mac OS X v10.6.3 (Win7 Home Premium 64-bit)
    iLife: Photo, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb (Adobe Bundle: Premiere Elements, Photoshop Elements, Acrobat Standard)
    256MB shared GeForce 320M (1GB discrete GeForce GT 330M GPU)
    SD slot, 2 USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Mini DisplayPort (3 USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, ExpressCard/34 slot, MemoryStick, SD slot)
    10 hours battery (7 hours battery)
    Multi-touch trackpad (touchpad)
    4.5 lbs. (3.04 lbs.)
    $1199 ($1919)

    Now, before I ask the question, don't forget the Macbooks (as of now) still come with the free iPod (or up to $199 rebate) and a free printer (up to $99 rebate) so, depending on what you're looking for, that essentially "equals" paying less by about $250 (after taxes have been applied). Also, knowing that this is a Mac-forum, I expect most of the replies to be biased toward Apple's MBP but at the same time there is no denying that Sony has created a beast of a 13" laptop. SO! After seeing these specs side-by-side, which laptop would you buy?
    (For the sake of leveling the playing field, let's say you have $1550 saved up)
  2. Nice macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2010
    where is the battery life... not talking about the design,trackpad, luxury feeling and on and on... my own oppinion: MBP
  3. Covart Guest

    Aug 15, 2010
    Can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I bought my MacBook Pro's was

    1. Operating System. Really love Snow Leopard and it's stability, although to be fair, Window's 7 is not bad and light years ahead of Vista.

    2. Ability to run my Mac as a windows-based PC. True I have to restart to get to the bootcamp partition, but if I want to run Windows 7, I have the option.

    3. Trackpad. Really love using my fingers to inertial scroll, flip back and forth between document pages and webpages, zoom with 2 fingers, etc.

    4. Aluminum unibody design. I haven't physically put my hands on every laptop out there, but haven't found another one yet that feels as solid and well constructed as the MBP.

    5. Battery life.

    There are better spec'd windows-based laptops out there, I just love my MBP's too much. Personal choice.
  4. Marat macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    If you have $1550 saved up,then you don't have enough for the Sony. MBP wins!
  5. saxon48 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
  6. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    One of the joys about Sony is that oft times you can't upgrade their version of Win7 Home Premium to Business or Ultimate. i.e. if you purchased it to connect to a server, furgitit....

    Besides...it's a Sony - Suckers Only...
  7. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    There's quite a bit of info on this forum regarding the Sony Z, if you search you'll find some good reading.

    Their screen's SUCK. Can't get past the poor contrast, viewing angles, dark spots, 'sheen' to the screen so this notebook as a choice becomes a non option. Sad part is Lenovo x series screens are worse, as are Dell's on the e4300/e4310. It seems when a notebook manufacturer makes for 'business' they don't give a damn what panels they use.

    On the two we've recently had the only other thing I really disliked was the trackpad. I could of over looked that, but not their low quality panels.

    Again, it's another thread mentioning or perhaps insinuating because the Z has a higher resolution it's better, put it beside a 13" MBP and then post your comments, you may be surprised.

    From someone who's owned a lot of ultraportables in my experience the 13" MBP is by far the best choice, for heavy use too, add ram, get an ssd and don't look back!
  8. chuckflip53 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    none of those are polls :D

    I added the touchpad and battery life onto the comparison chart; "luxury" is harder to compare - do you mean brand strength? form factor?

    Not quite. The higher resolution is merely one aspect. In terms of raw power, the Sony Z blows away. The screen quality may be less 'vibrant' than the MBP's - I cannot personally say because I've never used a Z-laptop - though I have used plenty of VAIOs and not a single one has a screen so notorious that it inhibits the user. Maybe it does have smaller viewing angles but is that the main concern of the user who has already adjusted the screen to a comfortable position?
  9. chris2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2010
    At $1900, I would rather get the 15" MBP over the Sony Z for sure.
  10. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010
    If money was no option, then Vaio for sure

    And the battery life is 7 hrs with standard battery
    10.5 with extended
  11. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    It seems Sony's model is a wonderful 13" laptop. But I'd get a MBP. I'd like OS X and a quality trackpad, both of which are very subjective opinions. The only objective measure I care about is the battery life. I don't do anything more demanding than your average web browsing and stuff when I'm on a 13" portable laptop, so CPU, GPU, etc. don't matter much to me.
  12. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
  13. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    you forgot some stuff

    (os x) (windows 7)
    (aluminum unibody)(plastic)
    (magsafe power supply)(something typical non magnetic)

    lol if you consider it, if apple added $700 to the labtops price it would be higher then those sony specs, but its making macs more affordable to more people =D
  14. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    Sony Z > MBP 13.

    Sony Z weight = Macbook Air weight. So the Sony Z is basically a Macbook Air on steriods, an ultraportable laptop. 13 inch MBP is way too heavy to be an ultraportable laptop and is not even in the same league as the Sony Z.

    If people choose a 13 inch MBP over a 15 inch MBP for portability reason, than they need to consider getting a Sony Z without a doubt. The weight difference between a Sony Z and MBP 13 inch is greater than the weight difference between a 15 inch MBP and a 13 inch MBP. Also has a smaller foot print.

    So the Sony Z is a superior portable laptop. And I'm not even touching the subject of specs yet.

    If people think the Sony Z is expensive, then look at the Macbook Air how expensive that machine is, which weighs the same as the Sony Z. Yet the Sony Z is more powerfull than both the Macbook Air and the 13 inch MBP.
  15. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    If people buy a macbook Air for the same price as a 15 inch MBP, there is certainly a market for ultraportable laptops. ( the 13 inch MBP is not such a laptop, it's too heavy ).

    And the macbook air is crap in comparison to the Sony Z which both weigh the same. The 15 MBP is not even in the same class of a Sony Z. And those people who need ultraportability can buy a laptop with greater power than the 15 inch MBP.
  16. Covart Guest

    Aug 15, 2010
    I'm guessing you own a Sony Z. lol
    At slightly over 3 pounds though, the Sony is very light indeed. Still, I don't consider a MBP to be heavy. Anything under 5 pounds is light.
  17. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    I don't own a Sony Z, but a 15 inch MBP.

    I'm just saying it's a different group of consumers they target. For people who need an ultraportable laptop at the weight of a Macbook Air, then the Sony Z is a winner.
  18. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...as an owner of a Sony Vaio TR3 ultraportable (yes its ~7 year old now) I would never own another Sony product.... you think :apple: EOL's their stuff too early, try my TR3, three months from brand new and the new models were still ~6 months away...Sony wouldn't give any battery or HDD support...
  19. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2010

    Carbon fiber
    Sorry, try again
  20. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    So they say........
  21. chuckflip53 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    It seems that many of the people who argue in favor of the MBP 13" point to its OS, trackpad, and build quality rather than internal components (isn't that what we originally have been clamoring for though - i5/i7, higher res, greater vid card? :confused:).
  22. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Well if that's what you're looking for then fine but TBH, you'll get a lot more out of your computer if you look for the little things rather than the usual big stuff. This is the problem with the PC world, their biggest defense against buying a Mac is that PC's give you more of the "Big Things" but they completely ignore the little things that are really more important.

    For example, this thread is about the Sony Vaio Z vs. the Macbook Pro 13". Let's look at 10 small things and you'll see that the MBP offers more.

    First, Sony tried to imitate the multi-touch gestures from the MBP, the end result is a very poor implementation. The gestures on the Z aren't nearly as fluid and smooth as the MBP, many users are installing 3rd party drivers and software to get it work better but still there are a lot of issues with it.

    Secondly, the backlit keyboard on the Z isn't adjustable. Sony almost got it right with the ambient light sensor but failed to make it adjust to certain lighting conditions, nor do the allow the user to adjust the keyboard brightness so the end result is a very bright backlit keyboard or nothing at all.

    Third, the Magsafe power connector shouldn't be discounted. Apple has a patent on this technology and for a notebook it's a huge deal. There are so many threads on here about Macbooks getting damaged but the only threads we don't see are about someone's Macbook getting yanked off the table or bed because the power cord got caught on someone's foot. I'll bet plenty of PC notebook forums have many threads about this.

    Fourth, the glass trackpad. It's really smooth to the touch, it's large and easier to use than any PC trackpad and it's wear resistant because it's not painted material, it's pure glass like the iPhone so you won't get that shiny trackpad like all PC notebooks end up with.

    Fifth, audio line level in. Most PC notebooks have a microphone plug and headphone jack. The MBP has a built in mic plus a line level in jack for professional recording. Sure you can use a mixer but Macs are made for music production and most PC's just aren't built that way.

    Sixth, everyone talks about Mac OS X being the heart of a Mac, sure it is, but even one step higher is UNIX which is the shell of Mac OS X and not only is it the most secure but it's best programming language.

    Seventh, build quality. It's not just about the aluminum of the MBP, it's the whole shell. There are so many forums about the Vaio Z's screen bezel coming apart at the seams and the screen is extremely flimsy. Just opening and closing it bends the screen horribly easy which gives it a cheap feeling. And although the Z has a fairly decent screen, it's really poor compared to the MBP in terms of viewing angles, color and clarity. The screen is where most PC notebook manufacturer's cut corners. Most of them will cheat the customer and give them a poor washed out screen with limited viewing angles to cut costs so they can shove on all the big things to make you ignore how poor the screens are. Again, in terms of good build quality, you can't say any of Apple's computers feel cheap, because they don't.

    Eight, the mini displayport connector. So many people discount this feature out of ignorance. It's far superior to the HDMI port which is why you see the HDMI port on some of the cheapest PC's. Mini displayport connector drives much larger displays with higher resolutions than HDMI. Funny how Dell uses the displayport on their top Alienware notebooks and not HDMI. Why?, because they know people will want to connect their gaming notebooks to very big screens to game on and HDMI just won't cut it.

    Nineth, running Windows natively. This feature is so greatly discounted. Many nerds think they can just as easily hackintosh a PC of their choice but a hacked machine isn't supported and not all features will work and many of those hackintosher's have to keep their "hacked Mac" one or two versions under the latest in fear of getting their machine bricked from Apple's latest update. You don't have to deal with any of that with Bootcamp.

    Tenth, slot load optical drive. Sure, we don't use the optical drive nearly as much as in the past, however for the high price Sony charges for the Z, they are still using those cheap and flimsy pop-out drives. It's more professional and adds to the great build quality to have a slot load drive on the MBP. Even Dell's line has slot load drives.

    Like I said, if only the big things (the usuals) are more important to you then buy the Sony Vaio, but a computer will make you more productive with the smaller things. :)
  23. KirkL macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2010
    United States
    Dude this is MacRumors, how do you think it's gonna turn out :p?
  24. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    It's always hard to explain it in words, but as usual HLdan that's bang on information you took the time to write there.

    Like many I just want a good notebook, whether it's Apple, Sony or Dell who makes it I don't care. The company that gets my money is the one who makes the 'best' notebook for my needs.

    So often in the windows world featuring power under the hood of windows notebooks masks and takes attention away from all the other marks they missed or neglected.

    I mean if you can't stand the screen, trackpad, heat, keyboard or whatever from a user's experience viewpoint then who care's what's under the hood.

    Especially when the extra power under the hood only benefits what maybe 5 - 10% of computer users, and that's being generous. 1gb video ram?, i7, proprietary ssd, how does this benefit the average user.

    It's not long since I had my Sony Z, I remember the frustration well.

    What is it about the 13 MBP that wins me over? ... day to day user experience ... I open the lid, it awakes from sleep instantly, no problems finding and connecting FAST to my wireless network. The screen on the MBP's wow's me every time I open the lid, super clear, excellent for photo's, movies, font is eye-strain free, very readable size, put a 13" MBP side by side to a Sony Z and you'll see exactly what I'm referring to.

    I love the MBP keyboard, the Z's is softer, easier to type a double letter, keys are squared not rounded like the MBP making the MBP more comfortable to type on for long periods. I could of gotten use to the Z keyboard, it's not bad by any means.

    Trackpad, MBP wins, Battery Life, MBP wins.

    I'd like to hear from people who've used both for a week or more, I'm yet to find anyone who'd choose the Z over the 13" MBP.

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