Why is Sony's cheapest laptop nicer than Apple's?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macjay, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. macjay macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2003
    I'd say that Apple and Sony are very much in competition with each other as premium computer makers. Yet Sony's least expensive laptop, the 15" NR Series, blows away the MacBook in terms of build quality (no offense to MacBook owners). And the NR series' market segment is actually below the MacBook (Apple doesn't have anything in the consumer 15" market segment). The Sony NR looks and feels like a high quality machine -- the keyboard, the design, etc. It's a very simple and basic laptop, but the build quality is evident.

    So why is Sony's minimum standard of hardware quality (in a lower market segment) significantly higher than Apple's? They are direct competitors.

    I don't get it.
  2. Plutonius macrumors 603


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    What's to get ? The same thing applies to cars, TVs, etc. Buy a Sony if you like it better.
  3. jmack549 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    Put on your flame suit. If you don't worship Apple here, you are not welcome.

    P.S. I agree.
  4. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    You have to take into account that your opinion on the macbook build quality is just that, your opinion. Many people on these boards would downright disagree with you on that, including myself. Apple has very high standards of hardware quality. If they didn't, they wouldn't be designing all these new, minimalist designs that consumers seem to crave.

    EDIT: And to the above poster, I don't worship apple, and I'm as welcome here as anyone else. These are respectable boards.
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I don't think anyone here would fault you for stating your opinion on the Sony laptop - we're a fairly open-minded place here.

    However, the "build quality" of the laptop is only one of many reasons someone may chose a particular brand over any of the competition. Others would include:

    1. Brand loyalty - maybe I have a good past history with Dell machines and would stick with them over Sony or Apple despite giving away something in terms of hardware quality.

    2. Usage requirements - perhaps I'm an avid gamer and my focus is purely on gaming potential, both in terms of performance and selection.

    3. OS - maybe I prefer OS X vs. Windows, or vice-versa.

    In any case, I don't believe a blanket statement that Sony's quality is better than Apple's is accurate, especially based purely on what seems to be your evaluation of a minimum number of samples of each product.
  6. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Maybe the correct question is, why is the Sonys quality better than the macbooks in your opinion. And that is a question you can only answer yourself.
  7. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    the 13 colonies
    Well from my experience, Sony's build quality is actually piss poor. I have a Vaio laptop Pentium 4 that I'm itching to get rid of and will do so when the new MBP comes out and I have to say that I was very unimpressed with the quality of this machine. Almost immediately after opening the box I had overheating issues by just doing the most minimal things (I'm not a video editor or gamer or photographer) I had to have the fans replaced twice separately, after about 1 year the screen started flickering and the speakers died--had those replaced, then in June, one month before the extended warranty expired (thank god) the computer pretty much melted inside. What I thought was another fan problem (and also the optical drive was ejecting itself and would not go back inside so I couldn't use it) turned out to be much worse--the processor was welded onto the heat sink, there was nasty gunk covering the entire inside of it the machine (and I'm not filthy, I keep this laptop as clean as I can) and when I got the invoice with the computer when it was retured after 2 weeks, they had to basically replace everything inside except for the hard drive which was fine.

    Maybe I was just unlucky, but my brother has had 2 bad Sonys as well...I am not impressed with Sony's quality.
  8. koshper macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    I agree. I have just purchased my first macbook and I have to say i expected a little more from apple.

    Apple design is unquestionable but design and build quality are two different things. once you have the unit in your hands you realise.

    the button below the touch pad functions fine on the right hand side not the left so I have to place my left hand under my right to navigate around.

    the edges are quite sharp to rest your hands on when it's on your lap which can become v uncomfortable - i'm trying to get used to this but it's deterring me from using it other than on a desk at the moment. - i read other people saying this is not a problem, well that's rubbish when it starts to hurt.

    when i was wiping the top (apple logo) with the macbook shut i realised the screen moves quite a lot independantly from the body which shocked me.

    all in all i'm getting used to leopard and loving some of the intuitive ideas that are in place but build quality is far from impressive.

    had sony made vaio's with leopard pre installed I know which i'd get.

    i am hoping that the supposed mac announcements in January introduce something fantastic and well built because my first impressions are not great so far.

    other than that, loving the OS and simplicity of use.
  9. jmack549 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2007
    I've had two Vaio's, different experiences. My first one was a tank, and my 88 pound dog walked and stood on top of it multiple times without a scratch or problem to it. The next one I babied, and the motherboard went out when it was just out of warranty. Playing with my friend's Macbook, I can safely say my first Vaio trounced it, while my second was not nearly as good. So it differs.
  10. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003

    If that is true (I noted the careful use of the word maybe) then it is surely only a matter of time…
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think it hard to say that when only a Mac runs OS X (legally).

    They definitely compete, but Sony competes for the Windows market.
  12. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    you've gotta be kidding me. the NR is sony's low-end market laptop. look-up a review anywhere and it states the NR's build quality is the cheapest sony has ever made.

    oh, and good luck trying to delete all of the ridiculous bloatware that came preinstalled in it.
  13. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    LOL, I have the same problem on my macbook...

    As for the original post, I don't know much about sony's as I have never had one, but I can compare my first laptop which was a 15.4" HP. The bottom of my HP was a lot heftier than my macbook is, but the screen was a lot flimsier. The problem with a blanket statement like in the OP is that build quality can vary so much over time. Maybe your experience was with an older Sony and build quality has since gone down. Or maybe someone else has a brand new Sony and an old ibook. Its all relative, that's all I'm saying.
  14. ceres macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Dark Forests of Germania
    Sony has done a lot lately to (re)establish itself as a premium brand.
    This includes frequent product updates in the notebook sector. While apple basically uses the same chassis for yrs, Sony moves on much faster and improves build quality as pricing and production mechanisms allow.
    It´s like the 7 BMW chasing the S Class. Whenever the S Class comes out it´s on top but after 12-18 months BMW gets a facelift. Same with the Vaio imo.
    One additional player on the market that may actually trump Sony is Samsung. At 40% below MBP pricepoint they deliver quality that comes close.
    Does anyone know if there is only one manufacturer of Apple MB and MBP at this time?
  15. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    The question of niceness is arguable; while the build quality and screen may be better on the Sony, I'm much happier on a Macbook than any Windows laptop...
  16. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    What price do you put on the fact that it's a Windows machine?

    If we're looking at the same machine...

    The NR has an ugly screen hinge, tray loading disc drive and looks very generic. No built in webcam. Ports on the front, back, sides... ugh. Fire the design team.

    You can't for a second compare it to the MacBook, even just on "build quality".
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well Sony might be cheaper, but my next OS will not have a Windows name in it, until they release a much stable and lighter version ( I heard windows codenamed 7 is so far so good)

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