***Sony Vaio Z*** Stone-cold killer! It's going to be Apple Vs Sony for Arrandale imo

Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
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We've been talking about this new behemoth from Sony in the Macbook Air forums as it's the same weight as an MBA (it's a premium ultraportable!) but the specs on it are so phenomenal that it'll surely take some beating even from an MBP update.


Sony 2010 Vaio Z Series



Top spec:
Design: Aluminium + Carbon Fiber
Weight: 3.07lbs or 3.3lbs (depending on which Sony website you visit)
Screen: 13.1", 1920 x 1080 Resolution
CPU: Core i7-620M. 2.66GHz, 3.33GHz Turbo. 35W TDP. 4MB L2 Cache
RAM: 8GB DDR3
SDD: 512GB (Raid 0 available)
Graphics: Nvidia 330M GT 1GB GDDR3 and Intel HD integrated - switchable
Battery: Sony: 6 Hours
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner
Other: x3 USB2.0, x1 HDMI Out, VGA Out, 802.11 a/b/g/n, GB Ethernet, 2.1 Bluetooth, webcam, mic, SD, Expresscard, Memstick

Not surprisingly the thing's almost insanely expensive at $4500+

With that repertoire, it's going to take quite a lot from Apple for me to go with them in my next update. Remember, and I say this again because of how astonishing it is, the Vaio Z is almost the same weight as the MBA (MBA is 3.0lbs) despite having x2 SSDs, an optical drive and discrete graphics!

I'm not going to pull the trigger yet though. It's a no-brainer to wait to see Apple's hand. They have a few avenues to potentially make me go for them instead for my next notebook:

1) Their multitouch trackpad is king
2) OS. Enhancing their current OS with updates (with Win 7, there's barely much distinction in quality anymore, both have positives over the other)
3) Cooling. It remains to be seen how much of a heat/noise monster the Vaio Z is. If it's unusably hot and loud, it's out. This is one of my main concerns with this as the CPU is 35W TDP.
4) USB3/Light Peak. Sony have only included USB2.0 in the Vaio Z. USB 3.0/light peak would have a huge bearing on my decision.
5) Design. If they produce something out of this earth design-wise (as the MBA almost is), then I'll shamelessly go for Apple. Design means a lot and there's not a better design in existence at the moment than the sensational-looking Air (Sony's new Vaio X is a second imo).
6) Improved IGP/Discrete interface. Eg as recent threads in the main news forum suggest Apple are looking into and may be one of the main factors for the delay.
7) OLED. With latest technology to minimize panel degradation.
8) Some other as yet unknown X-Factor. Remember, this is Apple :D Though in saying that, I have to say the iPad had no X-factor for me at all.

I can't imagine any company trumping the processor, RAM nor SSD that Sony have selected at this stage. With Apple's history of not incorporating bleeding-edge tech even in their flagship notebooks (the Macbook Air is a stunning exception), I'm not massively optimistic, nevertheless I can't wait to see how Apple respond especially with Steve Jobs recent quote:

"New Macs for 2010 are going to take Apple to the next level"

Despite the Arrandale Apple notebook delays (I'm religiously following the Arrandale thread with all of you), maybe the delay signifies something. Maybe we're in for a treat :)
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
The Sony Z looks fantastic but at $4500 I think I'll have to take a pass. I don't think we can realistically hope that Apple will improve much on the macbook pro beyond the processor and graphics--maybe battery life. Steve Jobs has become uninterested in notebooks -- its harder to trap people into expensive "ecosytems" with a full powered computer.
 

Tyrion

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2002
508
5
The Vaio Z is one of the most appealing computers I've ever seen. Also, I think only the ridiculously specced-out version actually costs 4'500 bucks; it can be had for much cheaper if you dont get it with four (!!) SSDs. It's quite awesome that they've managed to stick a dedicated GPU with 1GB of memory and an optical drive into this compact enclosure - makes you wonder why Apple doesn't do the same in their 13-inchers. After seeing the Vaio Z, "lack of space" wouldn't be a believable excuse.

The Vaio's big achilles heel is its lack of USB 3.0. If the upcoming MBPs have it, that alone would still make me get the MBP over it.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,277
3,347
well if Apple charged $4500 for the MBA I'm sure the specs would be alot better. I'm sure they can get much more in there at the same weight but not for the price they are charging now.
 

Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
The Sony Z looks fantastic but at $4500 I think I'll have to take a pass. I don't think we can realistically hope that Apple will improve much on the macbook pro beyond the processor and graphics--maybe battery life. Steve Jobs has become uninterested in notebooks -- its harder to trap people into expensive "ecosytems" with a full powered computer.
Unfortunately true and Apple's current lethargy in introducing Arrandale notebooks may suggest that.

And yes forgot about battery life - Apple's non-replacable, real-estate-maximising batteries will almost certainly be more impressive than the Vaio
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,326
379
Boston, MA
is there a cheaper version? no blue ray, 512MB graphics, maybe slightly slower and cooler CPU, 256GB SSD.

that should bring the price to a more real $3000. then it would be a killer.
 

niuniu

macrumors 68020
That amount is ridiculous for a laptop.
Well Apple charge $3,591.98 for this 13 inch MBP

2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
256GB solid-state drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Backlit Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)

So in comparison to Apple's prices and specs, that top of the range VAIO is pretty good value. Remembering it's a compact and light 13 inch.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,326
379
Boston, MA
i just specced out a more realistic version for me. unfortunately the 4GB version is out of stock so I chose 6GB. would be 150 bucks cheaper.

Estimated Ship Date 03/16/2010

Intel® Core™ i7-620M processor (2.66GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.33GHz
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Silver
256GB (256GBx1) Solid State Drive with RAID 0 Technology
6GB (4GBx1 + 2GBx1) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
CD/DVD Burner
Large Capacity Battery
3 Year Express Ship Service Plan with Accidental Damage from Handling Protection

cost 3099 dollar. remember the 4GB version would be 2959 bucks.

sounds very reasonable to me. windows 7 looks quite interesting now.:cool:
 

neondrgns

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2010
162
0
ITS NOT $4500 ITS $1800 starting
please stop spreading disinformation and qualify your currency the dollar sign works for multiple currencies, say USD.

$4500 may be the maximum amount you may spend on a full tricked out sony vaio, but thats still cheaper than Apples 17" mbp fully tricked out.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,326
379
Boston, MA
:confused:
A 13.1" screen @ 1920x1080? Wow. Thats got to hurt your eyes.

Specs outside of that are very impressive.
well i chose 1600x900 for that reason. just can't find if its matte or glossy.

engadget says:
While cheap laptop screens are riddled with poor viewing angles and a glossiness that make them more useful as a mirror than a display, the plus $1,800 VAIO Z's matte 13.1-inch, 1600x900 resolution LED screen is something to rave about. Horizontal and vertical angles were not an issue, and colors were incredibly bright and vivid when we watched an episode of Lost. Little to no adjustments were required to the angle of the scratch-proof screen when lying in bed to watch -- not something we can say for most laptop LCDs. The Z's speakers are decent for such a small system, and Sony has been kind enough to include a set of nice sounding earbuds in the box.
i love matte!

btw: i think it looks great. opened or from the bottom. actually i don't get TrunksGoku's point.:confused:
 

polotska

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2007
254
0
I've never been impressed by the build quality of the Vaios that I've seen and used.

I hope this one is better.
 

Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
ITS NOT $4500 ITS $1800 starting
please stop spreading disinformation and qualify your currency the dollar sign works for multiple currencies, say USD.
I mean USD dude, got the figure from this site - Highest spec Vaio Z (Signature Collection) starts at $4,499 USD - link
 

Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
http://www.engadget.com/photos/sony-vaio-z-series-review/#2695117

view the bottom, and then view when it's opened up

Bottom = not what i believe in.
That's another area Apple may be able to trump the Vaio because of their theoretically more efficient unibody (also their non-replaceable battery). Nevertheless it looks like Sony+co are cleaning up their insides more since Apple introduced unibody - there's a youtube video with one of the Sony engineers talking about the design - less composite parts etc. Whatever design differences, it must have been very efficient to cram that much in and keep it at 3lbs
 

Peter95

macrumors member
Jan 27, 2010
43
0
Yeah for that price, it better be stacked, but pound for pound, if rather buy a MacBook pro, spend half that price and buy the following model MacBook pro with the money I didn't spend with the first purchase....
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
5,836
2,263
California, United States
Well Apple charge $3,591.98 for this 13 inch MBP

2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
256GB solid-state drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Backlit Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)

So in comparison to Apple's prices and specs, that top of the range VAIO is pretty good value. Remembering it's a compact and light 13 inch.
Very well put. The Vaio is a steal compared to Apple's closest offering.
 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Mar 2, 2009
3,375
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
Spec's aside ... Price aside .... how is each computer to use day to day, I've owned both and can provide some input.

The Sony screen is incredible, viewing movies, photo's it's hard to beat *but* that's what TV's and external monitors are for ... I work on my computer an with resolutions like that on a 13'1" screen you get eye strain from reading fonts so small. Whether you eyes are good or bad, to read fonts that small from that distance for long periods of time is not good for anyone's eyes. There's a lot of info on the topic, (google).

Past the resolution you have the squatty 13'1" screen, again good for movies horrible for scrolling through documents, yes it's a noticeable difference to a 13'3" screen.

For a typing experience Sony's chiclet keys to Apple .... Mac's are much better to type on the keys are more round and indented with just the right amount of travel. Sony's keys seem to have sharp edges, corners, you'll notice they seem sharp after typing long periods.

The heat on the Sony is a problem, I'm not saying it isn't with Mac's either but these super high spec's create heat, the MBA's lower spec's save heat .... for a notebook that size full power isn't important to me, it's not often why they're sold, convenience and usability are the primary reasons and super hot noisy ultra-portables are no fun to use.

Use a Sony Z for a month and a MacBook Air for a month, I'd bet 9 out of 10 would choose the Air.