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-   -   Sony VAIO S-series (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/mobile-computing/45278-sony-vaio-s-series.html)

JD July 30, 2011 01:32 PM

Sony VAIO S-series
 
Anyone own one of these or have some decent links of reviews?

I've been considering replacing my XPS m1330 with something newer/faster, and the S-series seems like a good fit without spending over $2000. I like the 13.3" form factor so my choices are pretty limited. The Z-series looks amazing but it's a bit too expensive for my tastes.

Samsung's 9-series is alright too, but it has no dedicated graphics which is a bit of a let down. And for the price, I might as well get the Sony with AMD hybrid graphics.

I was looking at these two at Future Shop:
Sony VAIO 13.3" Intel Core i5-2410M Laptop (VPCSB11FXB) - Black : 13" Laptops and Smaller - Future Shop
Sony VAIO 13.3" Intel Core i5-2410M Laptop (VPCSB21FDB) - Black : 13" Laptops and Smaller - Future Shop
Which on the surface seem identical, but one has slightly better graphics HD6490 vs HD6470. Also the one with HD6490 has a Lithium-Ion battery and the HD6470 one has a Lithium-Polymer battery. Not quite sure if that matters, but it seems polymer batteries are more stable and last longer (recharge cycles).

Then I came across the CTO from Sony so that I could get the 1600x900 screen and HD6630 1GB graphics.
CTO | Customize | Sony Canada
But that's basically an extra $500 for graphics and higher resolution. Seems a bit much, but I could handle it. I'd drop the Blu-Ray and bump the CPU up to the i5 2540m. I know I could get a free PS3 this weekend, but I think I'll pass on that as I don't really need another console. I'd likely wait until they have a sale of sorts (they had a $200 coupon at the beginning of the month). Clearly there's a $200-300 markup in that price.

I could live with 1366x768 but I'd really prefer 1600x900 or 1920x1080. Seems to be a tough feature to find though in this 13.3" size.

But then I noticed that Intel is launching it's "ultrabook" platform design which seems like it might suit my needs/wants as well, but those aren't due until later this year and apparently no manufacturers have been able to meet Intel's $1000 price-point.

grinder July 31, 2011 11:50 AM

I've setup some F series VAIO's. Build quality feels good, and the screens are very nice; im sure the same translates thru the rest of the SONY lineup. I do recommend getting the best resolution display you can afford tho. 1366x768 feels so inadequate these days.

Andy July 31, 2011 03:47 PM

I have to agree with the display issue. 1366x768 is just too small of a resolution. I made the mistake going with it. It's fine if you watch video or play games but if you actually want to get any work done beyond using Word, it just isn't adequate.

JD July 31, 2011 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy (Post 537219)
I have to agree with the display issue. 1366x768 is just too small of a resolution. I made the mistake going with it. It's fine if you watch video or play games but if you actually want to get any work done beyond using Word, it just isn't adequate.

Yeah, I hate my 1280x800 screen on my m1330, so I think 1366x768 would only make matters worse.

$1500 is just a bit much to cough up when I'm pretty sure it's not worth that.

Not that it feels cheap by any means, but it didn't really feel like aluminum when I looked at it in store. I only quickly looked at it though, probably should of spent some more time but I hate Future Shop. I always feel like there's vultures (sales people on commission) circling around me.

johnnyblazzwa July 31, 2011 06:50 PM

you guys are too picky, its on a 13 inch screen. you probably wouldnt even notice if a pixel died

YukonTrooper July 31, 2011 07:30 PM

I had a Vaio Z for some months. The 1600x900 resolution was nice for some things and it looked pretty, but in all honesty I find 1366x768 far more practical at this size range. I was increasing webpage size more often than not. Like way more.

Freefall August 3, 2011 10:45 PM

I purchased a vaio sa about 2 weeks ago.

Sony makes the only 13 inch laptop with a resolution higher than 720p that I could find. I think its personal taste but myself I can't stand the 1366x768 all the icons look gigantic and there is little desktop space. Unfortunetly the vaio s series doesn't have the same screens as the Z series which are far superior but I couldn't afford the z either. The SA also has the fingerprint reader which you might think is pointless but its kind of nice and quicker than typing in passwords.

I like the laptops small profile and backlight on the keyboard. I dislike the key placements I am still getting used to the left shift button being much smaller.

I got the SA with the 1600x900 screen from the sony.ca site and payed 1299.99 after using cupon code sonyvip.

I believe that with everything I buy there is only one perfect choice that gives me the best options I can afford and in this case I felt it was the vaio sa. No regrets so far.

JD August 12, 2011 10:32 PM

Saw this in the Best Buy flyer today: Samsung Laptop featuring Intel Core i5 2520M (QX412) - Black : 14" Laptops - Best Buy Canada

Other than the 1366x768 resolution, it seems to hit all my spec requirements dead-on. Even comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB SSD! Also uses the i5 2520M which has additional virtualization features compared to the i5 24xx's which may be useful since I use VMware a fair bit.

Going to check it out in-store tomorrow and see what I think of it. For $1200 I'd have to say it's definitely up there for best value. The Sony SA is basically $600 for a higher resolution screen, ~5mm thinner and ~1lbs lighter.

The Samsung is basically the size (and probably weight) of my XPS m1330 w/ 9-cell.

SKYMTL August 13, 2011 05:52 AM

The Samsung has a glossy screen while the S-series has a matte screen I believe. I also have a Vaio Z 13.3 1600x900 and I sometimes feel myself wishing for a 1366x768 resolution screen due to the relatively small physical size.

JD August 13, 2011 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SKYMTL (Post 540695)
The Samsung has a glossy screen while the S-series has a matte screen I believe. I also have a Vaio Z 13.3 1600x900 and I sometimes feel myself wishing for a 1366x768 resolution screen due to the relatively small physical size.

Apparently Sony's screen looks pretty bad (colours washed out) and likewise the Samsung screen is bad too (too glossy, poor contrast). 1600x900 on 13.3" is definitely a bit of a stretch, but since I run 2560x1440 on my 27", I'm fairly used to "small" fonts and thankfully no issues with my eyesight ;)

However I cannot see 1600x900 on 13.3" in any stores around here...unless the Sony store would have them on display?

And my math was a bit off last night, the price difference is more like $400, not $800 since I could do the upgrades (SSD and RAM) myself.


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