Is the Sony Vaio Z the perfect laptop solution?
In an ideal world your laptop would be highly portable without having to make any compromises on specifications, features or battery life. Back in real life however, ultra-slim models often achieve their state by cutting out some bits you might miss such as a DVD drive. For those who want everything, can the format of Sony’s Z Series laptop provide the perfect answer?
What is the Sony Z Series?
First the Z Series itself, it’s a premium Sony model aimed, it says, at the mobile office worker. There’s a high resolution (1,600 x 900) 13.3 inch display, which has an anti-reflective screen. It weighs less than 1.2kg and is less than 17mm thick. Specifications are high too, it runs on an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and there’s up to 8GB of memory.
It holds its own design-wise too, its a sleek looking model that lives up to its premium positioning and feels super light but solid to hold. The basic laptop itself is very much in the vein of other ultra-thin models, such as the MacBook Air from Apple. Although the latest update of the Apple laptop performed well in our tests, we found limited ports and a lack of a DVD drive to be downsides.
Take a look at our MacBook Air review to see full results including ratings on performance, battery life and screen quality.
The Power Media Dock
The Sony Z Series suffers from similar issues but it has dealt with this by offering a docking station, called the Power Media Dock, for when you’re at home or in the office. It’s included in some of the more expensive model configurations or you can buy it separately.
This expansion module can be hooked up using an optical cable and gives you some extras. It adds connectivity options including extra USB ports, as well as VGA and HDMI outputs. According to Sony, with the Power Media Dock added this model has the power to manage three other displays, in addition to the laptop’s own screen, using these connections.
It also contains an AMD Radeon HD graphics card with 1GB of memory to boost the graphics performance, which means you can play most modern games with good quality graphics. There’s also a disc drive with options including a Blu-ray player or writer, as well as plain old DVD.
Even the dock itself is fairly portable. It weighs under 0.7kg and comes with it’s own stand. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to carry this around too and set it up at home or in the office if you wanted too.
If you purchase the dock separately prices start around £400, going up to around £500 for the version with the Blu-ray disc writer.
The perfect solution?
What you have with the Vaio Z, then, is a laptop that’s nearly as portable as a MacBook Air, on paper offers good battery life, and yet can be as powerful as many desktops when combined with the media dock. An exciting proposition if ever there was one.
There is a catch, however. At the moment prices for the basic Z Series model on the Sony website start at over £1,400 – and this version doesn’t even include the docking station. You have to spend a minimum of £2,000 to get the version we had our hands on.
Consequently we won’t be putting this model through our tests at present as we stick to a maximum price point of not much over £1000 for a laptop, as we know the majority of people don’t want to spend more than this.
Nonetheless, the idea of trying to offer the best of both worlds – an ultra-slim model with a dock for use at home or in the office with some of the extras you might be missing – is truly an intriguing one.
Is the Vaio Z your idea of the perfect laptop? Let us know in the comments below.
Post a Comment
Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked