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Vaio Z 2011 (VPC-Z2) review roundup

Posted On: Mon, 01/08/2011 - 12:42 by Alex

The new Vaio Z, in terms of specifications, is a pretty amazing ultraportable. It incorporates the fastest available dual core 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor and a matte 13.1" 1080p screen, in a carbon fibre and aluminium chassis which weighs just 1.165kg (with standard 6.5h+ battery) and is only 16.65mm thick. USB 3.0, a VGA port and ethernet are all available, without dongles. There's nothing else which comes close - unless price is a factor.

The fastest available 13" MacBook Air (recently refreshed) has a lower resolution glossy (urgh) screen, a processor which is rated for 0.9Ghz less performance and is heavier (200 g). It also has far fewer ports. To be fair, it's probably thinner overall and I suspect many more will opt for this because of price.

The closest Windows alternative is the Samsung Series 9 (which is like the MBA, but worse - even lower resolution screen and even slower processor). This is also the cheapest of the models mentioned. Even cheaper Windows alternatives are supposed to launch in September, the Intel "Ultrabooks".

Should buy a Vaio Z? Yes - if you want to run Windows, need to carry a laptop around (for work or otherwise) and can afford it (i.e. without selling a body part). I've pre-ordered.

To help you decide, reviews have arrived early this time, even before actual production units are available to those who pre-ordered. Unfortunately, the Z is said to be "noisy" (under load) although the other aspects pan out - the screen is reportedly gorgeous (execept at more extreme angles) and it boots quickly - within 28-38 seconds at default settings; and the reviews all fail to enable "fast boot" in the BIOS, which ignores peripherals until after login and can apparently cold boot in 14 seconds. On noise - I own a 2008 Vaio Z which was also said to be noisy, but for that system it was rarely a problem.

Read the reviews yourself - and once mine arrives I'll probably post impressions ;)

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