Home Icon
VAIO VPC-Z217GGX (1)

Sony Vaio Z (VPCZ217GGX)

By Nathan Taylor | 11:37 am 18/10/2011

When it comes to thin and light notebook designs, Sony was a pioneer. Some of the early Vaio designs were revolutionary. But then it seemed to all fall apart – its more recent notebook designs have generally been relatively ordinary. That is, until the Vaio Z series.

The new ultrabook series, like the MacBook Air and Samsung Series 9, is a marvel of design. Super-slim at 16.6mm, the Vaio Z weighs a mere 1.15kg – making even the Samsung Series 9 seem heavy by comparison.

It’s clear that a great deal of thought went into the design, too, from the way the keyboard slopes down when the screen is open, to the backlit keyboard, to the excellent multi-gesture touchpad and the excellent support for networking and Bluetooth.

Perhaps most extraordinary is the screen – a 13.1 inch screen that’s full HD (1920 x 1080) in a world where most of its competitors are still 1366 x 768. Like the MacBook Air, it also has an anti-reflective coating for outdoor use.

The internals are also extremely impressive. It has a full-voltage 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor as well as two 128GB SSDs in RAID configuration (256GB total storage) for extra drive performance – and you can really notice it when it comes to boot up times and general operation. It comes with 8GB of memory and Windows 7 Professional. The battery is rated for 6.5 hours, according to Sony.

On top of that, it comes with an external dock called the Power Media Dock. This dock plugs into the back of the Vaio Z and provides a Blu-ray disc player and recorder, additional USB ports and gigabit LAN. It also has a dedicated graphics chip built in, which takes over from the laptop’s internal graphics processor at times when a bit more 3D oomph is required (such as when playing games).

In short, the Vaio Z is the fantasy laptop. It’s amazingly light, super fast, has the best of everything. The keyboard could be better, it could use less pre-installed software and it could run a little quieter, but those are relatively minor issues.

The major issue is the cost. We complained about the price of the Samsung Series 9, but this really is for people for whom money is not an issue. Maybe ten years ago $4000 for a laptop might have been OK, but compared to today’s products it’s insanely expensive.

 


Price (RRP)

$3999

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

A big wow on both design and performance; Has everything you could ever ask for – including Blu-ray;

Product Cons

It’s off-the-charts expensive;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Design

Latest reviews

  • Review: Acer Revo One (RL85)

    Most people who buy computers these days end up getting a laptop or a tablet, and that makes sense because portability is king. But desktops are still making an…
  • A safe choice: HTC's One M9 (2015) reviewed

    HTC’s 2015 flagship is here, and it’s speedy, shiny, and supremely solid. Can HTC out-do the Samsung Galaxy S6 before it even comes out?
  • Review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina (2015)

    Now that Intel’s latest generation of processors is out and has been for a few months, Apple is ready with an update, refreshing its line of computers to take…
  • Review: Alienware Area 51 (2014) gaming PC

    PC gamers that don’t mind sitting at their desks generally have three options when it comes to buying a computer these days: gaming laptop, build your own rig, or…
  • Review: Philips Fidelio NC1

    Philips has been out of the headphone game for a while, but the company certainly knows a thing or two about audio, so we’re keen to see what it…
  • Review: Nokia Lumia 735

    Smartphones can be found for all manner of price points, but you generally don’t get a decent camera unless you spend in excess of $400. Nokia wants to change…
  • Acer's Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition reviewed

    As far as gaming laptops go, it seems like Alienware and Razer hold the market’s attention, with HP getting in there recently, but Acer is attempting to grab it…
  • Review: Netgear EX7000 AC1900 WiFi Range Extender

    Weak WiFi range is the bane of most households, and while 802.11ac can improve things, it isn’t the be all end all if you’re using one device. Enter Netgear’s…
  • Audio excellence: Sony’s MDR-Z7 headphones reviewed

    Sony has been doing audio longer than most of the big brands, and as such, it has a pretty solid reputation for things that sound great. Generally, though, if…
  • Review: STM Drifter laptop backpack

    So many laptop bags follow the same design, with a zipper along the front following the arch of a bag and opening up the main bag, but STM’s Drifter…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More