Sony Vaio Z Series Vs. MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by asd31083, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. asd31083 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #1
    Let me preface this with the following: I own a 17" PB G4 that I love, but it has a large crack in the screen and the vertical line problem (see here) and it's due for an upgrade. The MBP was a logical choice, and I am certainly going to wait for the new ones expected in Sept. but I have been tossing around the idea of going with a Sony Vaio Z series. I really don't want to switch to Vista but I am going to medical school in a year and my uses will be limited to some video work (Adobe Premiere I guess, even though I love FCP), MS Office, email, etc. So, although I would miss the Mac OS, I wouldn't be doing as much graphics work that prompted me to buy my PowerBook 3+ years ago. Here's why I am tempted to go with the Sony:

    1. Montevina - faster FSB, 2.53 ghz chip, DDR3 memory
    2. 3.42 lbs (this is HUGE for me)
    3. 13" display with higher resolution than 15" MBP (1600x900 vs 1440x900, I don't mind straining my eyes)
    4. Up to 9 hr battery life with extended battery
    5. 320 gb HD (option of dual 64gb SSDs, but I need the extra space)
    6. Switch on-the-fly to integrated graphics for longer battery life
    7. HDMI
    8. Carbon fiber / aluminum chassis
    9. NVIDIA 9300m GS (yes, only 256mb, but not faulty like MBP graphics cards)

    All together, without the dual SSD & blu-ray options, there is only a $100 price difference between a loaded 15" MBP and the Sony.

    Of course, the new MBP might match these specs, but it does have a lot of catching up to do. Do people think the September update could even come close to these specs? I don't expect much of a change in the weight/size, but how about graphics/HD/battery/high-res display?

    Also, I know this might not be the right forum for this question, but is it possible to predict whether a system with these specs could be "hackintoshed"?
     
  2. tmelvin macrumors 6502

    tmelvin

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    #2
    Oh No...not another <<PC/LAPTOP HERE>> vs. MB/MBP thread?!!!

    For me it's not about getting the biggest baddest. I can't remember who, but another person posted a comment on a different thread about the new 17" Lenovo, and how it beat out the current MBP 2 - 1 in terms of specs. But in the end it's really a matter of whether or not you want a kick but [spec wise] system with Vista/XP, or a Mac with OS X. For me the latter was the determining factor. Have an iMac and Refurb MB. Both are on all the time, with NO crashes, NO issues. Can't say the same for the last 2 DELL D820's I had at previous jobs, or the HP NC8430...
     
  3. asd31083 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Trust me, I am not excited about the prospect of using a Vista/XP machine. Though I could replace iPhoto with Picasa or something, it will never be the same. What I was really going for in my post was the following:

    1. I always recognized Apple for quality - hardware, OS, etc. - as I have had very few significant problems with my old TiBook and my current PB G4. But, in light of all this talk about faulty graphics cards and bad LED displays, I'm hesitant to drop $3k on a MBP just to take it to the Apple store three times.

    2. I also recognize Apple for design, and if I take an unbiased look at the MBP and this Sony, I have a hard time giving the win to the MBP with its 5.4 lb Al body versus the Sony's 3.4 lb carbon fiber/Al body. I think it was Engadget who compared it to the MBA, even though the specs make it an MBP competitor.

    The reason that I posted this is because in my opinion, this is the first real challenge I've seen to the MBP's design/feature set combination. For years lenovo/dell/sony users have had the guts of their computers match or beat those of the MBP for less $, but here we see a machine with form that beats the MBP too.
     
  4. tmelvin macrumors 6502

    tmelvin

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    #4
    Well, I'm told that the Vaio are very good. High quality, etc. I don't think you'd be disappointed [from a hardware standpoint]. It's a tough decision. In the end, I'd still give the nod to the MBP...I've seen both Vista and XP in 1920x1200 res., and it still looks bad...IMO
     
  5. nishishei macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2005
    #5
    The Sony Z-series is Made in USA (if configured-to-order) or Made in Japan (if pre-configured). The Apple MBP is Made in China ("Assembled in China"). I don't know if that matters to you, but some people here apparently make a big deal about it.

    I wouldn't get the current generation MBP if I were you, I would wait for the next upgrade which might include a design change and a new keyboard. I have a 2008 15" MBP. While I like it (particularly the LED screen), I don't view it at all as a tough computer. The build quality of the MBP, while acceptable, isn't to the level of Thinkpads, Toughbooks and the high-end carbon-fiber Sony VAIOs. I frankly treat my MBP with kiddy gloves. The MBP's LCD cover has a lot of flex (which can damage the LCD if you put too much pressure on it) and the aluminum case is also prone to warp from the heat. The keyboard of the current MBP feels a bit cheap and plasticky, and if you have nails, sometimes feels like scratching chalkboard due to the aluminum paint finish on the plastic keys. These are minor but annoying things to consider for a "Pro" laptop. My 12" Powerbook G4 was built much better IMO.

    I've seriously considered selling the MBP for the Z-series VAIO. I'll need to see the Z-series in person before I make up my mind though. Also the 15" MBP is not a light or small laptop by any means. The MBP keyboard is also placed very deep, so my watch is constantly scraping the palm rest as I type. Again, annoying. The Z-series appears to have a much shorter palm rest.
     
  6. Habakuk macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    My last notebook was a Sony Vaio GRX 316G 16,1" - very expensive (€ 2700). After 1 year the CD drive was defect. After 3 years the RAM soldering on the main board got loose (almost ALL GRx had this, Sony didn't care) and one year later the backlight was broken. The Sony service was disaster, they wanted € 800 for the repair and send the device from Vienna to France (est. 8 weeks).

    My MBP's graphic card runs like a charme. The display was defect (one of the very first ones with LED backlight) and changed by ASC within hours.
     
  7. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

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    UK
    #7
    There's the problem - unless Apple use the 9300m card in the next MBP, there won't be EFI drivers for the card to use if you hackintoshed it, ergo it wouldn't work.

    You need very specific parts for hackintoshing, as you still need Apple/EFI drivers. Look at that Dell Studio someone did recently, not much worked.

    IMO, get with what your happiest with. I hate Apple fanboys (though I am one myself) who poo-poo a laptop because "eew it has Vista cooties!". More than 90% of the world uses Vista, and i honestly think some Mac fans slag Vista because they have to.

    Rant over, but seriously, if there's only $100 difference between the Sony and the MBP, I'd go with the Sony no question. Sony are a quality make and their laptops do look very stylish. I believe the Sony also has Blu-ray, can't remember if you mentioned that in your spec list.

    EDIT: just re-read your post and you didn't mention Blu-ray, which I bet the new MBP still won't have.
     
  8. nishishei macrumors regular

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    #8
    The Z-series Sony allows you to literally switch between the 9300m discrete graphics and the integrated graphics (Intel 4500) that OS X will support as soon as they get on board of Montevina. So you can just run OS X on the integrated graphics. Personally I wouldn't hackintosh it unless you really need to use some Mac-only software.

    Vista since SP1 is very decent I find. Incredibly fast and stable. They've fixed the slow-copy bug. The boot time still sucks balls though.
     
  9. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

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    #9
    Ah, in that case it would work, but other factors would prohibit 100% success no doubt. Yeah its not bad, certainly not as bad as the fanboys would have you believe - if they even know what they're talking about, and not just bashing it brainlessly to fit in.
     
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    But not an issue since you'll be sleeping / hibernating it most of the time - since it's more reliable than Leopard.

    However, Sony's have driver issues sometimes - I do hope their latest machines have that sorted out, and also come as default without the crapware I have to spend half a day removing before I actually start installing anything on it. The Z11 I have on preorder hasn't shipped yet, but I have little doubt that like my other recent Sony's, it'll be better than any pathetic excuse for a 'true' portable that Apple can crank out.
     
  11. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #11
    for the price the sony is the way to go - blu ray and the discrete/on board gfx make it the winner :S
     
  12. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #12
    If you get a new MBP I seriously doubt the GPU in it is going to be faulty in any way.

    My C2D MBP possibly does have the faulty GPU, but I regularly roast it on WoW and have experienced no sign of any issues so far. If it goes pop, I've got AppleCare.

    As for other issues, remember that people on forums generally tend to be posting because they have an issue of one sort or another. Apple's quality is generally very high. The Sony you want almost definitely has some issues with it in similar proportions, but I'm guessing it doesn't sell as many as the MBP does so there's less discussion. Hang around some Sony forums for a while and see if you get cold feet :)
     
  13. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

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    #13
    with regard to crapware, you can pay £25 for the Fresh Start service on sonystyle.com and your lappy will come with no bloatware or adware, just the OS.
     
  14. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #14
    or without shelling out another £25 you can simply pop in the setup disks that come with it and reinstall the os crap free :)
     
  15. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

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    #15
    Yes but i don't know how technically proficient the poster was. To some people, that is way too complicated and would look for an easier method of doing the same thing. Most people I know would use the paying way, largely because they are scared to death of screwing something up.
     
  16. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #16
    *cough* BS *cough*

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  17. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    Yes I know. However the Z11 I put on preorder is in the UK and they still think we love our crapware. And I'm not ordering a US-spec VAIO again despite the slight cost savings due to the WWAN card (Sprint EVDO) arrangement.

    Haven't had the opportunity of running it on anything worth a ****? So sorry.

    It's the time involved in 'finding/installing drivers' element more than anything else. Having done both, the mindless numbing effect of downloading the latest drivers from the Sony site then applying it after a bare OS install is on balance a slightly bigger evil for me than removing the worst crapware offenders and being done with it.
     
  18. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #18
    I don't think he is very good with computers, he seems to break every Apple he buys. ;)
     
  19. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #19
    fair nuff.

    having owned sony vaio's in the past *cough* there is a sony website where every laptop they produce has a page with its driver downloads in one easy .zip

    also with windows vista and a sony startup disk there shouldn't be many problems just installing whacking an ethernet cable in and then auto updating.

    saying that vista updates can break!
     
  20. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #20
    Your past experience probably needs an update. The Sony Update works, but there's usually a crapload of stuff to download. The e-support sucks too. Just as well the flagship models don't go wrong anywhere near as often as a flagship Apple.
     
  21. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #21
  22. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #22
    No sarcasm there. I just don't like sitting around reinstalling Vista, then manually triggering 20+ downloads from a site which may not be lightning-fast at all times, as opposed to nuking the primary hogs and getting pretty much the same end result.
     
  23. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #23
    yeah i know what your saying - i guess that im just used to reinstalling os's especially xp and vista - i find it easier to reinstall then i know exactly whats on my computer. I know with sony alot of the crapware is really sneaky and parks itself all over the place haha, so for me its easier to get a driver pack and do it from scratch - you save a bit more space too!
     
  24. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

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    #24
    You'll regret switching to a Vaio. I have a new MBP (yes, I'm aware of the GPU "issue" but the official signs seem to indicate that new MBPs aren't affected, whatever else online rumour mongers claim) and can't imagine ever using a Wintel machine again.
     
  25. monkey86 macrumors 6502

    monkey86

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    #25
    i dont think that its here nor there - i love macs but have used windows for years and windows laptops and pcs.

    the spec list for that vaio is better than the current mbp's and it will be better than the new ones blu-ray isnt going to happen in the next update.

    i say go for it you will get good wear, in 2-3 years when you need to update mac will be back on top.
     

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