Sony VAIO Z-Series Laptop Review

By on December 19, 2011
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The future of laptops.

Good: Aluminum and Carbon Fiber body; Extremely lightweight; 1080p screen in 13-inches; Separate dock for Blu-ray and external graphics card; 3 monitor setup; Decent battery life
Bad: CPU throttling; Text looks small; Backlit keys cannot be kept on permanently; Terrible speakers
Price: AED 11,999
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The VAIO Z-series is one of those laptops that impresses on first sight, and continues to hold you attention all the way to the end. Looking extremely slick, the Z-series laptops are a perfect combination of lightweight business use for daily activity, as well as a powerhouse with the additional docking station for some extra oomph. In other words, perfect for the road warrior and those looking for a powerful laptop as a desktop replacement.

From the outside, the Z-series laptop looks very edgy, literally. The 13 inch laptop measures a mere 0.66” high and 8.27” long. Including the battery, it weighs under 1.2kgs. The reason for all this sleekness is the use of brushed aluminum and carbon fiber to form the chassis of the Z-series.

The brilliance, of course, comes in the form of all the high0end hardware packed in this beautifully thin body. That small 13” screens comes alive with an amazing 1920×1080 resolution, making it one of the sharpest LED panels in the world. The anti-glare coating is further improvement as outdoors usage is pretty impressive. This is all very impressive, but when I set the laptop away from me at the standard distance of 60cm, I had to start squinting to look at the text. Sure, it was ultra-fine, but still  a bit too small for my liking.

The Intel Core i7-2640M processor runs at 2.8GHz, Turbo Boosting up to 3.5GHz. Add to this 8GB DDR3-1333MHz memory (in 4GBx2 slots) and 256GB SSD (in 2x128GB with RAID 0) and you have an insanely fast machine with some of the highest components available in the mobile market. While the standard body does well with the Intel HD 3000 graphics, the Power Media Dock also has an AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card with its own 1GB of memory. More on that later, though; my point here is to show that in making a slim body Sony hasn’t compromised with mainstream components, but has gone with the best.

Sadly the keyboard takes a little getting used to. What I specifically mean is that in darkness the backlights turn off automatically after 60 seconds. You can change this value from 10 seconds to 60 maximum, after which they will turn off automatically. If you use the mousepad, they will remain off; only when you touch a key will the backlights turn on again.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Blah

    Love how Pro’s are 1080P 
    Con is small text :P caused by 1080P ? hehe

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      Well, when you squeeze such a huge resolution into a puny 13″ screen, something has to suffer. So even though the text looks sharp, it ends up being too small. 

      • devx1

        Hence why there’s a 900p version and the ability to adjust text size overall.

  • devx1

    Btw, forgot to mention. There’s likely a configuration problem with your VAIO Z or CPU-Z isn’t reading it right. My Z clocks are fine according to AIDA64/HwInfo/CoreTemp with correct speed adjustments.

    CPU-Z has an error and can’t pull up clock speeds for some reason.

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