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Sony Vaio Z, only option?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 25, 2011 10:42:52 AM

Hey TH,

Back again to try to find a solution for my 13" fix. (Probably poor wording there..) Any way I am looking for a 13" or 14" max laptop that has to have two things, first off a high quality display, secondly a designated gpu, and thirdly (woops) enough processing power to bring it all together.

I have been eyeing up Sony's Vaio Z for a while now, it is super light, has a gpu, fact processor, and a screen thats to die for. Sadly used models of the 2010 version start on ebay at 2 grand or atleast bidding goes there. They have released two new models the sony SA and the new Z. The SA has every thing I want, but they cheaped out on the display big time. The Z has every thing I want but has a price tag that could put more then a couple glasses of quality Cabernet in my hand.

I liked the look of the Envy as well, but the stopped putting the radiance displays in them. So what am I to do? I cant take the easy way out and go buy a mac because the smallest size I can get is the 15" and thats too big.

So I come to my finally source, after hours of searching the web. What do you guys suggest? My budget ranges up to 1600 and I will think about hitting 2000 (Sigh, cut back on my morning cappuccinos..) Thanks guys for your help

More about : sony vaio option

a c 244 D Laptop
July 25, 2011 11:21:09 AM

Is discrete GPU a must ?
July 25, 2011 11:41:20 AM

I need some thing for rendering, I have tried intels new hd3000 but its not enough. I know rendering is cpu intensive but I need some sort of graphics card =/
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July 25, 2011 12:33:48 PM

Maziar said:
Is discrete GPU a must ?


Also what are the key differences between the i5-2410M and the i7-2620M. It is just M not QM so its not a quad core if I am correct? That is fine because it will consume less energy. But will I see a large gain going from the i5-2410 to the i7-2620M ? btw the price dif is 250$ so if the gain is not over 20% idk..
a c 244 D Laptop
July 25, 2011 1:21:29 PM

Well,you have to sacrifice some of your needs.If you were fine with a IGP,then Lenovo X220,MBA/MBP 13" were all good.
If the weight isn't important,then another option is AW M14x
And yes you're right about the CPU,it's not worth the extra $250
a c 572 D Laptop
July 25, 2011 2:10:01 PM

The higher price of the Vaio Z is more like a round trip ticket to Napa Valley and a couple cases of quality Cabernet.

The power savings between the i5-2410M and the i7-2620M is minuscule and not a factor in battery life. The performance advantage is almost as small, certainly not worth $250 IMO.

You'd certainly be better off going with the quad core i7-2630QM (for about $100 upgrade over the i5-2410) vs i7-2620M. It might use a bit less power but your high performance tasks would finish faster (as long as they're mutli-threaded and not all CAD programs are fully multi-threaded).

That refreshed Envy 14 with i7-2630QM has everything but an IPS display. It's stuck on the premium TN 1366x736. It does have the dedicated GPU w/ AMD's HD 6630M. 2 out of 3 of your requirements and saving a good chunk of change.

I like the idea of a full size 17" desktop replacement for power/performance and a 11.6" sub-notebook for portability. You could get both for around the cost of a Vaio Z or a Mac Pro 15" with dedicated GPU.
July 26, 2011 1:15:43 PM

The ENVY looks pretty good, I might see if I can find a radiance display and install it myself since that would clock it price wise under the vaio Z and SA. Sony is like the apple of cpu's it would seem. Nice architecture but over price.

Do Asus or Acer have any offerings in this range? I think I have read about the timeline series being similar, also I think Acer does but their site is so bloody hard to navigate (or maybe thats just me..)

Thanks for the help guys.
a c 572 D Laptop
July 26, 2011 2:32:19 PM

Another option, and the one I favor, is a nice external 1920x1080 IPS monitor.
(and maybe a SSD).
a b D Laptop
July 26, 2011 3:05:54 PM

preolt said:
The ENVY looks pretty good, I might see if I can find a radiance display and install it myself since that would clock it price wise under the vaio Z and SA. Sony is like the apple of cpu's it would seem. Nice architecture but over price.

Do Asus or Acer have any offerings in this range? I think I have read about the timeline series being similar, also I think Acer does but their site is so bloody hard to navigate (or maybe thats just me..)

Thanks for the help guys.



Haven't done any laptop shopping in a while, but Acer's new Timeline series is pretty good, but doesn't have a good display (same as the ENVY). Most laptops of this size seems to suffer from this problem :/ . If a HD display is a must, i think the sony Z or the MBP are your only options. If not, several good suggestions have alredy been brought up.

July 26, 2011 5:43:56 PM

I mean I understand Higher quality screens are not used in the smaller products. Most people doing rendering, video editing, and photography have the 15" mbp or a lenovo. The Z would be perfect, I just have a hard time justifying the price..

300$ display
280$ i5-2410M
200$ alloy body
100$ over all engineering
90$ mobo
80$ RAM
350$ SSD
300$ gpu (vdock)

That comes to around 1700 this has a lot of give or take because a lot of these products they get way cheaper because of factory pricing and bulk. Some of the prices can not be fully calculated though for instance the engineering factor, I simply used what I knew the engineering calculated cost for apples 13" mbp was estimated at.

That leaves us with a 1 grand gab between the 256 Gb i5 Z. I know people say you pay for name etc. but 1,000? Also as far as saying that using a system like this to justafy costs has holes, you are correct. Buying a 60 cent hotdog at an amusement park for 6 dollars makes no sense so how can you quantify using a pricing method like this. Simply doing it where I can.

Any way I am way off the beaten track now. What do people think of the SA vs the Envy? biggest difference I see is the envy is 1" bigger and slightly thicker in most dimensions. Also the Envy can be configured with a quad core vs the duel core. I have never owned a laptop with a quad core. Just my desktop with my bloomfield i7-950. How are these lower clocked quads doing? heat ?

Sorry I have expanded a bit, but I have now spent so much time researching I have basically thrown myself down an endless hole it seems.
a c 572 D Laptop
July 26, 2011 10:31:06 PM

preolt said:
Most people doing rendering, video editing, and photography have the 15" mbp or a lenovo.
Actually, I'm sure the vast majority use something else. Dells, HPs, etc.

As a student you won't be spending 8hrs a day doing rendering, video editing, and photography while earning a living. So you can easily get by with a mainstream dual core notebook. And maybe you could set aside playing SCII for a few years and take up Sudoku instead?

-> Your personal requirements for an IPS screen, a discrete video card and a small, thin and light form factor are not requirements for doing rendering, video editing, and photography. Or completing a college education.

A compromise: Dell XPS 15z Core i5 Ultra-Slim Laptop $943
Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ GeForce GT 525M graphics.
Dell XPS 15z Review

-> The non Z XPS Core i5 / GT 252M 15" is also about $300 less expensive.
a b D Laptop
July 27, 2011 3:26:17 AM

Actually, have you looked at the Alienware Mx14? Depending on customization options, you can choose a variety of CPU options. The screen can be upgraded to a 1600x900 one as well. The graphics card in it is quite nice too. The only problem is that it's kinda bulky/heavy :S But still... much cheaper than the Sony, haha :p 
July 27, 2011 9:30:00 PM

I ment they use 15" for those fields and listed the first few that came to mind. I was told that HP and Lenovo will actually barter with you on the price if you call up, is this still true?
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