Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

Summary: Sony announced its new MacBook Air competitor, and the Vaio Z is one nice piece of mobile technology. I set out to configure one for my very own, but it's a little out of my price range.

TOPICS: Hardware

Sony has refreshed its thin beautiful laptop, the Vaio Z, with some truly outstanding performance options. Hardware 2.0 has the details, but essentially the Vaio Z is thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air while having some great options that permit tricking out the laptop to handle any task requiring performance. The only question about the fully configured Vaio Z is who can afford the price tag.

I set out configuring a Vaio Z on the Sony UK web site, which is the only place the new laptop is currently available. I figured that if I was going to spend a pretty penny on the system, I wanted it tricked out with every option for maximum performance and battery life. The system I configured has the following system components:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7, 2.7GHz with 4MB L3 cache
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional, 64 bit
  • Keyboard: English, backlit option
  • SSD: 512GB SATA Gen 3 Flash
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3
  • Power media dock: Blu-Ray writer
  • Display: 1600x900 (1920x1080 available but not chosen)
  • Wireless WAN: Not selected
  • Slice battery: Provides 14 hours with included standard battery

This is one sweet system, and with the maximized components is one of the best laptops ever made. The media dock is innovative in that it uses a Thunderbolt connection to the laptop, and in addition to lots of ports adds the ability to drive three external monitors in addition to the internal display. It also adds discrete graphics to the mix when connected to the Vaio Z. The slice battery is hot-swappable and pops on the bottom of the laptop to double the battery life to 14 hours. Yes, this is one hot system as configured, and all for the lovely price of:

For those of us on this side of the pond that converts to a tidy sum of $5,671. Yes, for less than $6,000 this sweet piece of mobile technology can be yours in just 3 or 4 weeks, provided you are in the UK. That includes VAT, without it's only $4,725. It will likely be coming to the U. S. so perhaps the price will be a little more palatable over here. Otherwise, the purchase decision will be awfully tough. Keep my car, or buy a Vaio Z? Tough, indeed.

Topic: Hardware

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  • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

    With that kind of price tag, I just don't see this doing very well over here.
    • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

      I own the previous model Sony Vaio Z Series and it is absolutely, hands-down, the best laptop I have ever owned, and I say this after having owned/used more than 18 laptops over the years (ever since my first laptop - Toshiba Tecra 730CDT) including my current-standby 17" MacBook Pro!

      Make no mistake - the screen is AWESOME (don't bother with the 1080 screen - it's resolution is too high for a 13" screen), and its twin SSD's just make this thing sing!

      That said, Sony is going to have to bring the new Z Series' price into alignment with US expectations if they want to sell many of these things in the US.
  • If I had the money

    I'd totally get one.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

      @goff256 And then you'd be on a fast for a few weeks. It's better to buy a desktops and a laptop of that price. But rest assured, it is pretty :-)
      Jon Hubert Bristol
      • I think I'd be fasting longer.

        but I said "If I had the money". :P

        Then again, for 5k I can get an AWESOME desktop from ibuypower
        Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

    This specific laptop is a technological statement. It's not supposed to be affordable or for anyone. Lots of companies make bleeding edge tech products that very few can actually own, but the companies HAVE to do that, otherwise that technology will never scale down to the options we can afford. Think about the Vaio X, Mr. Kendrick, if you can recall the model I'm referring to. Glorified netbook, yes, but the knowledge of how it's achievable to make a very, very thin laptop comes from the X - Sony learned valuable things from that, also very expensive for what it was, product.

    Making fun of the Vaio Z, Mr. Kendrick, is SO missing the point that the whole article is next to useless. Granted, very few people can afford it. But then again, VERY few people actually NEED a top-notch laptop of great portability AND a Radeon GPU of that caliber at home. Even fewer will make the most out of it.

    All told, this laptop deserves to be treated better. To be seen as what it is. It's a niche product, it's targeted, it's bleeding edge, it's a Sony "look what we can do" advertisement. Nothing more, nothing less. Making fun of it actually makes YOU look the one we should be laughing at.

    And, oh, by the way - if Apple ever did something like this, it would cost two of your cars or even half your house. Just a thought.
  • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

    Well, I'm a little surprised that the price of this Apple competitor is the focus of this article. Only a couple of days ago I spec'd out a 15" Mac Pro notebook and found the price in the same or higher range. So what's the point here? Especially when the article commences with Apple comparison and the link to the article, in the newsletter email, features this particular point prominently. Is somebody courting Apple's favor???
    • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

      @Christopher@... Just scratch off the Vaio name and slap a backlit half-apple on there - EVERY Cupertino fanboy will be saying "...considering the incredible design and performance inside, the $4000+ price is quite reasonable."

      I always find it mildly humorous when Apple fanboys take a stab at Sony when it comes to price.
  • Can I hackintosh it?

    I'd buy it if I could hackintosh it.
  • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

    This reflects so badly on ZDnet. comparing the Z to the Air is like comparing a porche to a honda because they have the same wheel base and then making a joke that the who would buy the porshe at that price. Retarded editorial. I just bought one, no thanks to reviews like this that don't address the issue at hand but some issue that the writer has. pathetic. Oh and i have a "tricked out" one close to his config, smaller SSD & better Display for 3K. Starting unit can be had for 1800$.
  • RE: Sony Vaio Z: ultralight laptop for less than $6,000!

    IF you compare a sony to an Apple product at the same price, the sony will blow it off the map AND apple has nothing to compete in the top end. I wish Apple had better gear, then i could buy a better machine for the same price but i can't. For now the price/performance crown is Sony's and Sony's alone. I wish these so called "writers" would either get it right or don't write at all.