Hands-On Video: Sony VAIO Z Series

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Earlier tonight, at the Highbar on the roof of the Hilton in midtown Manhattan, we got our hands on one of the svelter models in Sony's new lineup, the VAIO Z series. Sporting a 13-inch widescreen display and weighing 3.3 pounds, this is a very attractive ultraportable, and part of a number of new models of Centrino 2 notebooks that Sony is releasing. After the jump, take a look at our video and initial impressions of this stylish ultraportable. And stay tuned for our full review.

They keyboard is a continuation of the design that proved popular in previous VAIO models, even if it does resemble those on Macbooks. Even so, if any computer manufacturer can best compete with Apple on style, it's Sony. We were impressed with the ports Sony was able to put on the sides of the Z, including an HDMI port. After all, who wants to be stuck watching a Blu-ray movie on a 13-inch display? Yes, Blu-ray comes as an option, and the success of this line of notebooks will be as much a factor in Sony proliferating the new high-def optical media as their PlayStation 3.

As you'll see in the video, the glossy display has one drawback: It's rather reflective. Even though the video was shot almost over the shoulder of Mark, we still got a bit of the late afternoon sun shining in the lens. However, at 13 inches, the chances that more than one person is going to be looking at the screen at ony one time is pretty slim.

[flv:/flvs/SonyZSeries.flv 480 360]

The standard VAIO Z notebook will start at about $1,800 while the SSD model will go for around $2,300. Look for our full review of one of these units soon.

Add a comment
  • S Says:

    Looks like no Fn key next to the arrow keys. That would mean using two hands for PageUp and Pagedown...

  • Aman Says:

    Hey, just ordered my VGNZ555DNB today (Canada). really excited about it, the design is absolutely amazing. this is my fifth VAIO in the past 2 years, and is replacing my SZ.

  • Haribo Says:

    Yup..agreed with Sonyy being the first lightest (or slimmest) laptop and that unique keyboard design,
    agreed with APpPLE arrogant commercial...

    Sonyy still hold the quality with their price tag unlike apppple.......at least this Z-series is made in Japan.....SR &FW series not>.< no wonder so few hundred bucks diff

  • mohamad anbarzade Says:

    thank you for all of your reviwes
    the vaio products are really beautifull

  • linux Says:

    I agree with most what Cedric's comment. Apple does copy from others. It's just that US customers don't see other fancy electronics that typically show up in Asian market first. Although Dean was right about the reviewer pointing out Sony was the first. Non-US-centric needs to "crosscheck" too.

  • Dean Says:

    Cedric, i beleive you mis-heard that the reviewer said in the video. he said "the keyboard is very macbook like, but that sony was infact the first".

    Anyway, The Z series absolutly rocks. I just woner how it will stack up to the centrino 2 redesign of the TZ series.

    Im just worried that the notebook will look overly wide.... hmmm.

    Dean Fredericks

  • Cedric V Says:

    Thank you Mike for such an interesting preview.

    But please stop pretending after so many others that SONY copied MacBooks' keyboard for its Centrino 2 VAIOs (and TZ older subnotebook) since the truth is... as often when it comes to APPLE, exactly the contrary! Back in 2004 - i.e. long before APPLE introduced its own MacBooks in 2006 - SONY launched a pure masterpiece of design and miniaturization: the ultra-slim, ultra-high-end VAIO VGN-X505VP. Four years before the MacBook Air (!), this ultra-subnotebook weighted only 822g (not 1.36 Kg!) and already had a sunken keyboard design* with separated keys. At the time, the X505 was a spectacular technology showcase (carbon fiber structure & magnesium alloy... neither plastic nor aluminium!) when the Air is only a (poor? oversold?) design statement in 2008.

    Unfortunately, many US-centric journalists, bloggers and commentators make the same mistake because they take all what APPLE says for granted. OK APPLE is the best company when it comes to self-satisfied and arrogant marketing but please do not consider it the most innovative before thoroughly crosschecking all what it constantly asserts... It should be the job of any I.T. commentator after all!


    Cedric Verneuil

    *: each key being individually integrated into the casing

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