Now let’s get to the bit that makes the whole experience so unique: the Power Media Dock. To maintain the slim profile of the Z-series laptop, by making it both cool and lightweight, Sony has to shift two major components outside of the laptop. The Power Media Dock contains both the Blu-ray drive as well as the AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card. You can plug in the Power Media Dock which contains an extra USB 2.0 and USB 3.0port, as well as another HDMI port and a VGA port. These two extra display ports, plus the already existing HDMI port on the laptop itself gives the Z-series laptop the ability to have a 3 monitor display setup. The Power Media Dock really turns the diminutive Z-series laptop into a full-fledged workstation. This is the kind of extreme flexibility you will rarely see from other companies. Of course, this is also why you pay such a high price for it.
As I mentioned earlier, the laptop itself has the Intel HD 3000 graphics built-in from the Intel Core i7-2640M processor, so it’s just about good enough to watch HD content and play basic browser based games. This usually keeps the Z-series quiet, but when I try to play regular games (like Modern Warfare 3) the laptop really struggles; first, because the onboard Intel HD 3000 graphics adapter is barely enough to play the game, and secondly, it gets alarmingly loud.
This is where the Power Media Dock comes in to save the day, with a dedicated graphics card. When it’s connected, playing games on the Z-series, or even doing some heavy video editing, becomes a pleasant experience. The HD 6650M takes most of the graphical workload, and because it has its own heatsink within the Power Media Dock, the entire laptop stays generally cool and silent. Another thing to note is that Power Media Dock will not work with the laptop if it doesn’t have a power cord plugged into it, meaning that your laptop’s battery won’t get sucked away.