Sony Vaio Opinions?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday and
am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was worth
the $1250.00 purchase price.

Friends are trying to talk me into the Hewlet Packard models at comparable
prices (one is AMD64, the other a Pentium IV). The HP's have more features,
but I just can't get over the feel and design of the Vaio, plus I've had
better luck with Sony products than HP's.

I'm not using it for gaming; just the usual office-related stuff:
PowerPoint presentations; surfing the web; wireless networking; possible
multimedia presentations.

Thanks for any opinions.... really!

Brian (aka Beely)
13 answers Last reply
More about sony vaio opinions
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <waWdndfnk6PJ4F3fRVn-sA@adelphia.com>,
    Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday and
    >am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was worth
    >the $1250.00 purchase price.

    I looked the FS640 efore settling on a Dell i6000. My take away was this:

    * FS640 had a brighter and more contrasty display, but much lower
    resolution.
    * FS640 seemed to have more costly upgrades, particularly extended
    warranty and battery
    * FS640 got reviews that indicated it might be slower and/or have shorter
    battery life.

    In the five minutes I played with it, the build quality and keyboard
    seemed nice too. It certainly didn't seem like a bad choice.

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the quick response. I've heard about the quick battery drain,
    but I'll mostly be hooked up to electricity, so that's not a huuuuge
    concern. That's also why I'm not fretting over the costly battery price,
    either. The salesperson did say that the extended warranty (for another
    $249!!!) will cover battery replacements, which could be costly if the
    original one poops out. My wife is asking why I'm not looking at the Dells.
    I can only say it's psychological due to their widespread use in my office,
    and I'm trying to buck the trend. They do seem very dependable, though.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

    "MSCHAEF.COM" <mschaef@eris.io.com> wrote in message
    news:NPCdnQjtLfFM4l3fRVn-2Q@io.com...
    > In article <waWdndfnk6PJ4F3fRVn-sA@adelphia.com>,
    > Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday
    >>and
    >>am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was worth
    >>the $1250.00 purchase price.
    >
    > I looked the FS640 efore settling on a Dell i6000. My take away was this:
    >
    > * FS640 had a brighter and more contrasty display, but much lower
    > resolution.
    > * FS640 seemed to have more costly upgrades, particularly extended
    > warranty and battery
    > * FS640 got reviews that indicated it might be slower and/or have shorter
    > battery life.
    >
    > In the five minutes I played with it, the build quality and keyboard
    > seemed nice too. It certainly didn't seem like a bad choice.
    >
    > -Mike
    > --
    > http://www.mschaef.com
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <_-OdnZR9euynAl3fRVn-iQ@comcast.com>,
    Quaoar <quaoar@tenthplanet.net> wrote:
    ...
    >you know Sony, they have
    >Intellectual Property Rights written in big bad letters all over
    >everthing they market.

    I think that's the corporate culture. Enough of their business is content
    creation (Sony movies, music, etc.) that it's hard for them to see things
    from the more open PC way of doing thing.

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <UoSdnUnqDI5oPl3fRVn-qw@adelphia.com>,
    Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    ...
    >Well, so far, besides the responses on this board, I've heard from several
    >co-workers and neighbors who are mostly giving strong words of support for
    >the "ruggedness" of the Sony.

    You might appreciate this. I have a co-worker who took his small Sony
    subnotebook on a college-student/hostal style trip around the world, for
    eight months. He put it in a ziplock bag and dragged the thing up
    mountains, into swamps, and through deserts (he apparantly ended up
    shaking sand out of the mechanics more than a few times).

    I've seen the machine, and it looks basically new and runs well for its
    age. I don't know if this is reprsentative or not, but I think Sony is
    very much able to make a durable machine.

    -Mike

    PS: My luck is worse, I've had failures in both IBM and Apple laptops
    within 1-2 years of comparitively light use.
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    MSCHAEF.COM wrote:
    > In article <UoSdnUnqDI5oPl3fRVn-qw@adelphia.com>,
    > Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > ...
    >> Well, so far, besides the responses on this board, I've heard from
    >> several co-workers and neighbors who are mostly giving strong words
    >> of support for the "ruggedness" of the Sony.
    >
    > You might appreciate this. I have a co-worker who took his small Sony
    > subnotebook on a college-student/hostal style trip around the world,
    > for eight months. He put it in a ziplock bag and dragged the thing up
    > mountains, into swamps, and through deserts (he apparantly ended up
    > shaking sand out of the mechanics more than a few times).
    >
    > I've seen the machine, and it looks basically new and runs well for
    > its age. I don't know if this is reprsentative or not, but I think
    > Sony is very much able to make a durable machine.
    >
    > -Mike
    >
    > PS: My luck is worse, I've had failures in both IBM and Apple laptops
    > within 1-2 years of comparitively light use.

    I will concede that Sony makes rugged laptops. That might be due to
    their use of metal instead of plastic in many of the cases. Hinges are
    definitely better than average. That being writ, there are still
    warranty, service, and support issues that give me pause on the extra $$
    that Sony commands, especially since their hardware is often a bit less
    than cutting edge, with style. The flip side is that there are
    recurring problems in several series of Vaio laptops that have never
    been corrected or acknowledged by Sony. Weak AC adapter jacks,
    marginal/mis-designed CPU/GPU cooling systems, and RAM socket solder
    failures come to mind.

    Q
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    : In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday and
    : am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was worth
    : the $1250.00 purchase price.

    Aren't you liable for a 15% restocking fee if you return it? Or is
    that only if opened?

    : Friends are trying to talk me into the Hewlet Packard models at comparable
    : prices (one is AMD64, the other a Pentium IV). The HP's have more features,
    : but I just can't get over the feel and design of the Vaio, plus I've had
    : better luck with Sony products than HP's.

    For what it's worth, I had my hands on an older Vaio with a Pentium 3
    in it just a couple of weeks ago. I wiped the hard drive and installed
    Windows XP on it - very simple to do. I was very impressed with that
    build quailty and the support provided by Sony. If that is still true
    today, I would consider a Vaio.

    Andrew
    --
    ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
    *******************************************************************
    ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
    ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
    *******************************************************************
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Andrew,

    The 15% restocking fee only applies if I open the package and return it. If
    I do, Best Buy would let me purchase a different model without incurring the
    15% fee. Thanks for reinforcing my notions about the product quality and
    support. I will definitely keep your comments in mind.

    Brian

    "Andrew" <usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com> wrote in message
    news:zcasdlachjrkr112763035611@bizaveMYSHOES.com...
    > Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > : In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday
    > and
    > : am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was
    > worth
    > : the $1250.00 purchase price.
    >
    > Aren't you liable for a 15% restocking fee if you return it? Or is
    > that only if opened?
    >
    > : Friends are trying to talk me into the Hewlet Packard models at
    > comparable
    > : prices (one is AMD64, the other a Pentium IV). The HP's have more
    > features,
    > : but I just can't get over the feel and design of the Vaio, plus I've had
    > : better luck with Sony products than HP's.
    >
    > For what it's worth, I had my hands on an older Vaio with a Pentium 3
    > in it just a couple of weeks ago. I wiped the hard drive and installed
    > Windows XP on it - very simple to do. I was very impressed with that
    > build quailty and the support provided by Sony. If that is still true
    > today, I would consider a Vaio.
    >
    > Andrew
    > --
    > ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
    > *******************************************************************
    > ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
    > ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
    > *******************************************************************
    >
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    It is interesting, and pleasing, that the responses here focus on real
    issues, such as quality of display, warranty, service, construction
    quality, as opposed to, for example, whether or not one can save 2
    seconds processing a 4GB video file. The latter type of issues may be
    nice for the psyche, but do not have much practical significance.

    Like other people, I've also formed some opinions - and that's all they
    are. However, they are based on observations, not just pulled out of
    the sky, so here goes:

    Firstly, name me one manufacturer about whom one cannot find many
    complaints. I believe these don't exist. Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba,
    whoever, ALL have people complaining about something or other not
    working, or about poor service, or poor technical support (this is just
    about universal, even if some people are occasionally satisfied). Of
    course, we tend to hear from people who have had problems, not from
    those who haven't.

    Although money was not an issue for me, I found it difficult to justify
    to myself a laptop more expensive than necessary for the limited
    practical use that I make of it. So, I bought a modestly priced, but
    full featured (for my needs) Packard Bell. Do people have complaints
    about some of these? Sure, some, but, as mentioned above, same for any
    big names - just Google and see for yourself. The construction of my PB
    may contain some plastic, but it sure feels and looks sturdy. My
    machine has tumbled to the floor twice (while in the bag) from the top
    of my carry-on, with no ill effects. As far as performance is
    concerned, I don't see where my friend's stunningly beautiful,
    similary-spec'ed Toshiba is any better.

    No, I'm not promoting PB or anything else here. I'm just pointing out
    that people's perceptions are often based on nothing concrete. Or even
    if an opinion is based on one's personal experience, we need to keep in
    mind the fact that for every x satisfied users, there are y unsatisfied
    ones, and these are the ones we hear from most of the time. However,
    when seeking opinions such as those expressed in the OP here, we tend
    to get responses relating to items that are big sellers. Obviously, the
    more popular an item, the larger the potential number of responders.

    So, I suppose I'm suggesting that we shouldn't put too much emphasis on
    brand name, unless a particular model offers some specific
    features/functions/advantages for a given user. Let's not forget that
    most components of any laptop come from third party manufacturers, so
    there is not much reason to expect the brand name to reflect any
    specific level of performance.

    Sorry about the rant, if that's what it is.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Beely" <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Friends are trying to talk me into the Hewlet Packard models

    Someone will always have a competing idea of what "good" or "better"
    is, it's always nice to get advice and read reviews, but in the end
    it's your decision and you should be happy with it.

    My wife and I had matching Vaio R505 laptops for a number of years and
    were very happy with them. Hard drive upgrades were a bit more
    trouble than other machines, and it was essentially impossible to make
    a bootable CD-Rom work in them, or boot from a floppy and load CD-Rom
    drivers, but we liked the features and common peripherals.

    When we decided to replace them, Sony had obsoleted all the
    peripherals and no-one made the same thin and light laptops any more,
    so we went with Dell D600s with a giant pile of common peripherals,
    and have been very happy with them. The nice thing about Dell D-Bay
    peripherals is that they've been using them for years, and if my luck
    holds, we'll be able to use them on our next pair of Dell laptops,
    which ought to save me a couple of grand...
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    In article <mkd2c19g0qc15t981fthv53jqi4dejvj2i@4ax.com>,
    <William P. N. Smith> wrote:
    ...
    >The nice thing about Dell D-Bay
    >peripherals is that they've been using them for years,

    D-Bay was introduced with the D-series laptops.

    >and if my luck
    >holds, we'll be able to use them on our next pair of Dell laptops,
    >which ought to save me a couple of grand...

    I believe that Dell has committed to a 7-year lifecycle for D-bay parts.

    -Mike


    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Beely wrote:

    > In particular the VGN FS640/W model? I bought it at Best Buy yesterday
    > and am keeping it in the unopened box until I can determine that it was
    > worth the $1250.00 purchase price.
    >
    > Friends are trying to talk me into the Hewlet Packard models at comparable
    > prices (one is AMD64, the other a Pentium IV). The HP's have more
    > features, but I just can't get over the feel and design of the Vaio, plus
    > I've had better luck with Sony products than HP's.
    >
    > I'm not using it for gaming; just the usual office-related stuff:
    > PowerPoint presentations; surfing the web; wireless networking; possible
    > multimedia presentations.
    >
    > Thanks for any opinions.... really!

    Sony workmanship is excellent. Sony support not so good. The Sony seems
    to be a full Centrino machine, which means good power management and
    battery life and performance not bad at all. The AMD will be significantly
    faster but battery life will not be as good. The PIV just plain
    avoid--it's not a good mobile processor, never has been and never will--if
    it was fixable for that purpose then Intel would not have needed to develop
    the Pentium M.

    Centrino machines generally cost more than equivalent non-Centrino
    machines--at that price it seems a bargain to me.


    > Brian (aka Beely)

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "MSCHAEF.COM" <mschaef@fnord.io.com> wrote in message
    news:UoOdnQRpAZe-M13fRVn-hQ@io.com...
    > In article <UoSdnUnqDI5oPl3fRVn-qw@adelphia.com>,
    > Beely <beely2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > ...
    >>Well, so far, besides the responses on this board, I've heard from several
    >>co-workers and neighbors who are mostly giving strong words of support for
    >>the "ruggedness" of the Sony.
    >
    > You might appreciate this. I have a co-worker who took his small Sony
    > subnotebook on a college-student/hostal style trip around the world, for
    > eight months. He put it in a ziplock bag and dragged the thing up
    > mountains, into swamps, and through deserts (he apparantly ended up
    > shaking sand out of the mechanics more than a few times).
    >
    > I've seen the machine, and it looks basically new and runs well for its
    > age. I don't know if this is reprsentative or not, but I think Sony is
    > very much able to make a durable machine.
    >
    > -Mike
    >
    > PS: My luck is worse, I've had failures in both IBM and Apple laptops
    > within 1-2 years of comparitively light use.

    Agreed on the ruggedness. On my second Vaio. Both were top of the range at
    time of purchase. We still use both. They get a lot of travel and physical
    abuse. A lot of time in hot tropical and dusty desert environments. Ziplock
    bags a great idea when moving between airconditioned hotels and humid
    tropics. Condensation a problem with temperature changes, but never store
    in
    the bags. I have used a panasonic toughbook though, so if you need something
    very strong, I have not seen any better.

    The first Sony (PIV 2.8GHz) had a mainboard shorted out when some metal
    objects entered the PC slot during a security Xray (they were banging around
    in the tray together- my slackness). Replacement was slow but not too
    expensive, however this was a result of that particular Intel mainboard
    configuration- others types may be very expensive. Other than that
    accident, both have performed pretty much faultlessly.

    The comments from "Quaoar" news:_-OdnZR9euynAl3fRVn-iQ@comcast.com... are
    accurate and reflected by my experience. Sony "lost" my online
    registration... I didn't bother the second time around. My perception is
    always that they are very expensive both to purchase and repair but the
    product is good and reliable. Keep track of your recovery disks because you
    do occasionally need them (or in the case of the new machine, make backup
    recovery disks.) and always copy serial numbers and record any contacts with
    Sony Support. Handy for us is an authorised service agent nearby, so I
    found my best support was from calling the agent direct and they are always
    helpful.

    If you can afford the purchase of a high end Pentium M, a good Sony is
    highly recommended- add 2 gig ram and a 17" wide screen with X600 ATI
    graphics it is a very nice and well made computer. Great external speakers
    and port replicator came with the deal. The 2.8 PIV performed well but is
    really only a desktop replacement and not very mobile. Heavy and
    power-hungry. You will always find you will sometimes want to use it on
    battery and that's where the PM's shine. The PIV battery lasted only 50
    minutes and the spare cost $US390. Changing batteries a hassle mid-movie on
    flights.

    If your are not going the 'high end' path, there seems to be a lot of
    notebooks around that outperform the Vaios on a 'bang per buck ' assessment.
    I cannot comment on Dell but many who know them recommend them.

    Dave
  13. Hi all,

    I just wanted to update you on the Sony laptop. I ended up keeping it, and it still runs great. The condition is still as good as the day I opened the box. I am very happy with it. I just recently gave it to my wife to use as her primary workstation, and she loves it, too. Anyway, besides the friggin' battery only lasting about an hour, I have no other complaints. Thanks to all who offered their good advices.

    Brian (aka Beely)
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