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  • Brad4 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the news update. I also like Sony products, but I'm going to pass on this one. The first thing I scanned for was the display, and I was disappointed to see yet another 16:9 monitor. This would be a nice portable dvd player, but horrible for real productive work. Reply
  • tmensonides - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Is there anyone out there now doing differently? I think alienware, hp, dell, lenovo all dropped their 1920*1200 options from their laptop lineups...their might be a few 1440*900 left but i haven't looked.....and certainly not on a 13....

    I agree though, 16:9 is not great for working....i wonder at the engineers who design these things and then have to actually use them....must be a marketing dept mandate or something
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Honestly, good luck with that. 16:10 is dead. At some point you're just going to have to suck it up, buttercup, and either buy a used 16:10 notebook with outdated hardware, an Apple MacBook Pro for as long as those 16:10 panels last (hint: probably not long), or cope with having ONLY 1600x900 available in a 13.3" form factor, which in my experience is still the highest resolution I've ever seen on a 13" notebook. Reply
  • quillaja - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    You forgot the 1920x1080 13.3" screen on the Sony Z series. I wish that screen was an option on the S. Reply
  • bennyg - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    I would love to see a good hi res screen on a 12/13/14 incher. And a sane one not the Veyron of laptops (Vaio Z) - "spec to the max price bedamned". Can't understand why Asus haven't offered the high-end SKUs of the U36 models with high-res screens.

    ---

    Having used both WUXGA and 1080p on my last two 15 inch lappys, aspect doesn't mean anything, screen quality is much more important than 120 vertical pixels.
    Reply
  • sferrin - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    The OP has a point and it's not so much the resolution as it is the ratio. I have a 790Z with the 1600 x 900 screen and it's a pain in the ass for some work as it's like looking through a slot. I hadn't really noticed how bad it was until I had my dinosaur Sony Z1 with a 1400 x 1050 screen out at it felt like I had a TON more space. I love that thing (if it had updated guts and say a 2000 x 1500 display, or even 1600 x 1200 I'd prefer it over my 790z for everyday stuff). Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - link

    Honestly I would prefer the 1600x900 over a 1400x1050 if I'm using just one screen. With 1600x900 you can actually put more than one thing on the screen side by side, while with the 1400x1050 you're pretty much stuck using just one application (albeit with more vertical space). Reply
  • Ushio01 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Then get the 1600x900 upgrade 100 more vertical pixels than the old 16:10 1280x800 used to offer. Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    "Then get the 1600x900 upgrade 100 more vertical pixels than the old 16:10 1280x800 used to offer. "

    1600x900 is better than 1280x800, but in the marketplace its really replacing the 1680x1050 res. Still a step down. Especially vertically (particularly)
    Reply
  • Ushio01 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Please point me to a 13" laptop that ever had a 1680x1050 display?

    If you mean desktop monitors it's 1920x1080 that are replacing 1680x1050 with IPS screens to boot.
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    How about the Sony Z line, with 1920x1080 13.1" (not a typo) display? :p

    Also, I want to note the the author: the HD6470m can simply download the latest AMD drivers, and install OVER the existing (must be installed) Sony driver set. Just make sure to download the large 80MB+ file from the second or third tab of the AMD driver website, and NOT the 1MB "downloader/launcher" file.

    In addition... the HD6470m kicks the HD3000 solidly on it's rear, no questions asked. It's not "70%," as claimed in this article, due to other little things, like Intel's horrid texture butchering, and general driver quality in gaming.
    Reply
  • broccauley - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I'd rather have all those extra pixels in a useful aspect ratio.

    Also, more pixels != always better, especially since software support for high DPIs isn't always great and I don't want the eye strain.

    BOYCOTT 16:9. DEMAND 16:10.
    Reply
  • joshu zh - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    What makes 16:9 display bad is thw Windows - all toolbars/icons eating up the areas at the top and bottom of the screen. if these toolbars/icons can been relocated to either the left or right of the screen, 16:9 will not be too bad. Reply
  • Ushio01 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Right click bottom toolbar and drag to either side of the screen. Reply
  • gochichi - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    That's an awesome suggestion! Thank you! I'll try it for a while, but my initial feeling is that it's awesome. (the hiding thing just doesn't ever work out well). This, this really could be awesome for us with the 16:9 (which i don't even hate to begin with).

    The true comparison laptop wise, is 16:9 versus a fewer inch laptop. Meaning, 12" 5:4 versus 13" 16:9 and in those cases the 16:9's win hands down.

    For instance my VAIO 14" has the same footprint as my Macbook Air 13" ... and they feel similarly sized (other than the air is obviously lighter). You gotta realize that keyboards are long, always have been, so you get especially for smaller laptops, a more useful package with 16:9... hands down.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    This is really a good idea. I did this about a week after getting a new 1080p monitor and it really saves space and makes my desktop feel less cluttered too. Reply
  • deeyo - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    yess i love the sidebar for my 1366x768 laptop. Especially when I have tons of windows open, it's organized really nicely

    very protective of my vertical space =P
    Reply
  • cptcolo - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    I could not agree more Brad.

    The low resolution 16:9 displays on most laptops are not useful for productive work and I would never buy one. Manufactures have designed themselves out of the market.

    I DO believe that laptop resolutions will increase. If people speak out enough against 16:9 some PC manufacture will ... think different. iPad 3 will make make these ultra portables look pretty silly side-by-side.

    I own a Lenovo T410s w/160GB SSD. It is powerful enough and great enough to be my only computer. This Sony and frankly all the new Ultrabooks could not do that, primarily because of one thing, a terrible screen.

    Thankfully we have the 13 inch 1440x900 16:10 (equivalent 16:9 size of 13.64 inches) MacBook Air, which can be made to run Windows 7 only. (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/windows-7-on-the-...
    Reply
  • Rookierookie - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    The 7200rpm HDD is a $20 upgrade, and it's definitely not optional. Heat and noise and durability concerns be damned. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Just put that $20 toward a quick SSD. Unless you need more than 120GB of space, you can get some awesome SSDs for under $200. Or you can just get a boot drive SSD (64GB and under) for under $80. Many high end SSDs are close to the magical $1/GB barrier now. Reply
  • Rookierookie - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    $200 is 10 times $20, and yes I do need more than 120GB of space.

    On desktops I'll gladly do a boot SSD + storage HDD. On laptops I'm not quite ready to do that.
    Reply
  • JNo - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    You might well be able to do boot SSD + storage HDD on this (and other) laptops too, so long as you don't mind losing the ODD.

    One solution I'm becoming aware of is to google/ebay "optical hard drive bay" for your laptop model and you can usually then get a bay to slot in to the lappy's optical bay which can hold a mechanical HDD instead...

    Then bingo - fast SSD + spacey HDD in a laptop
    Reply
  • tmensonides - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I was thinking of ordering a Sony because there one of the only manufacturers that offers what they call a "fresh start" option when cto... it is supposed to be vaio/sony, demo, game free....

    Looks like it is still in the cto options....

    Do you know anything more about that option?
    Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    You have to upgrade your Windows to a Professional version and pay more in order to be able to select "fresh start" which really sucks. Other manufacturers business lines such as Dell's Latitude or Lenovo's Thinkpad lines doesn't come with demos and stuff. Reply
  • tmensonides - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Yeah but you still get that thinkvantage stuff (dells got their own suite of junk..i have both a thinkpad and latitude at work)...at least the option is there.... Reply
  • Zoomer - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    Yeah, they have had that option for some time. I guess they need to make money somewhere.

    Think of it as a "can't fix my own computer" tax. ;)
    Reply
  • docp - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Dustin,
    Thanks for awesome review as always clear and very well detailed.
    brought back my old memories of sony crapware.
    I have been vaio FZ user right when vista came out and this new series got announced,

    I have been formatting the any new laptop that comes in family,Install clean windows 7 and then update essential programs to make all extra utilities working and security software that all and performance is amazing after this ritual.

    Regarding HDD also,I got 200 gb Toshiba 4200 rpm HDD(that times biggest HDD) to 7200 rpm hitachi 500 GB and its running as it is supposed to.fast and quiet.

    I dont know why sony installs so much of crap and why bog down pretty good hardware with stupid software.
    Its hurting their own business .
    Just plain stupid of sony .
    Reply
  • docp - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    their is this little program which does backup and restore your windows 7 activation .it came out for vista and it works beautifully for windows 7 as well.
    this is completely legal and no shady grey tricks for activation.
    Reply
  • Saidas - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    ABR? Reply
  • docp - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    yes ABR,awesome software.
    on side note,sony does allow you to debloate your laptop for additional 50 $ in form of windows 7 business upgrade.
    so only home premium version targeted at home users is bloated most.
    wrong strategy.
    Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    But I'm returning it because there were several problems with it.

    First unit had a bad bezel, not aligned/glued properly, and the 500gb WD Blue Scorpio 5400rpm made a click noise every time when idle. Returned.

    Second unit came with almost perfect bezel, and the hdd was a Hitachi, and was very satisfied. Then my Alps touchpad stopped working. When I place my hand on left palm rest, then it would work. One day later, it started working again. I decided not to keep it even though I had such a great deal.

    The screen has a very narrow viewing angle. I think it's even worse than the Acer 11" $200 netbook I had. You can't keep the lid open all the way for long time because it blocks the vent. The lid doesn't open too much either, so you'll be using it with the lid close to almost all the way to get that perfect viewing angle.

    I liked the laptop a lot if it weren't these problems. I had 8gb ram, and samsung 256gb ssd in it. It was blazing fast. AMD graphics did make a lot of noise though.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    dude how can the AMD graphics in this laptop create noise??? the heatpipe of the gpu is connected to the cpu with single fan. Seen few Vaio passing buy from friends all those fans are horrible. Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    You know what I meant there. I forgot to put "Using " in the beginning of that sentence.

    Of course they are connected to a heat pipe, duh.

    When using intel graphics, I never had any complaint about the noise because it was mostly quiet.
    Reply
  • waldojim42 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I never had a problem with the screen blocking the exhaust. But mine did die a very early death. How much fighting did you have to go through for a replacement? I ended up on the phone for many, many hours trying to understand their system. "We don't have authority to do that, customer relations does." Followed by "Nope, sorry, you have to talk to the San Diego tech department." Who never answered the phone... Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Sorry to hear your experience. I just had to speak with Microsoft support person who was handling my case. When I finally said I want to return it, she said she'll email me a prepaid return label. No hassle at all. Reply
  • waldojim42 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    That is good to know, going through a third party may be the way to go from now on. Reply
  • icebox - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I got my wife a 13'' vaio one year ago as she travels a lot. We had exactly the same problem, slow system, hdd was writting all the time. I reseted twice, uninstall everything I could it was still dead slow.
    It finally annoyed us so much that I went and bought a seagate momentus xt (she has to much files for an ssd to be an option) and installed windows off a standard oem disk (I had to call Microsoft's hot line for the activation but they were helpful and it worked) and only installed the needed drivers and nothing more (jumpy launchers, media players, demos, trials be damned) It's working fine ever since
    Reply
  • dingetje - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    yep, 16:9 is useless for anything except watching movies Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    ...except you can get it at 1600x900, which is a higher resolution than we ever got in 13" or 14" notebooks. I agree the native resolution is crappy (although reasonable for a 13" notebook), but how is 16:9 at 1600x900 worse than 16:10 at 1440x900? Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    Why? Reply
  • MacTheSpoon - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the great review. Any plans to review the Lenovo x220? That's another interesting battery slice computer. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Lenovo kit is still hard to get in house. We'll try, but don't get your hopes up. Reply
  • MacTheSpoon - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    OK, cool, I'll keep my fingers crossed... Reply
  • GiantPandaMan - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    As a happy owner of the x220t (tablet) I'd say that it's a fair bit better. The only bloat comes with the Lenovo software, which is pretty easy to uninstall. I got mine with an SSD so I don't know if the software bloat really caused any slowdown. The screen (IPS) is absolutely excellent. Runs very cool, but it does only have an Intel IGP.

    The big negatives were:

    Touchpad/pointer dying due to a driver conflict with Windows 7 64bit. Had to use my stylus just to get things back running. That's been fixed.

    Touchpad is just a tad too wide and a little annoying due to the lack of true left/right click buttons. I actually disabled it entirely because every time I typed I'd end up sliding the cursor by accident and deleting whole paragraphs. Thank goodness for undo.

    Difficult ordering. The x220t was paper launched, even though they had it posted on their website. Waited over a month from order date to receive my laptop. Their laptop support people were terrible at knowing what was actually going on. At first they didn't know the difference between the gorilla glass tablet and the normal tablet. Then they didn't know when the gorilla glass tablet would be available. (Found out via twitter rather than their support people.) Then they didn't know what was holding up my laptop when the ship date started changing randomly then going to "unknown" mode. That said, it did ship almost the same time as its original invoiced ship date prediction. I think this may have been more of a specific issue with the x220t though, and not the x220.

    As far as I know the ordering issues have been fixed. The x220 is a great piece of hardware. I'm not so sure about Lenovo's support system/people however.

    Me, I'm quite happy with my laptop. Great screen. Great battery life. Great keyboard. Tough case/screen with no flex and a solid feel. I fear might happen if I ever have to need to get any repairs on it though.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I'm glad that this has been mentioned for once and I hope that the readers realise that MS gets ALL the blame when a computer runs slow

    HP 5330m: 98 processes
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-business-class-...

    HP Probook 6460b: 106 processes
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-business-class-...

    Been there, done that, removed the processes. To Sony & HP: If you want to compete then stop bogging your machines down with absolute rubbish. To Microsoft: Stop the oems destroying YOUR name!
    Reply
  • InterClaw - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    The 14" Samsung Series 7 (NP700Z3A-S01US) feels a lot more interesting to me. Reply
  • zsero - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Sorry, all over the internet Sony S is called SA and SB. Can you clarify things a bit?

    Is this a THIRD model? Or is it an SA or an SB?

    They are in different price range (900 EUR vs 1900 EUR), as well as have different screen options (1600x900) and so on. Ideally it would be nice to have a paragraph about the differences in the Sony laptop range, SA, SB, Z, etc. But at least call this arcticle Sony Vaio SB!

    For a reference, have a quick look how notebookcheck did it, I know they are a german site, but when there is such a huge difference it would be nice to clarify things a bit.
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Sony-Vaio-VPC-...
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Sony-Vaio-VPC-...
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    This is the SB, and there was actually some contention between us as to which model we should refer to this one as. Reply
  • krumme - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    Another excellent piece from Dustin. Besides the fuent style, i like he present his opinions as what they are - opinions - and not the only objective truth in this world.

    It is impressive and surprise Sony did work with this machine to get those idle numbers.

    The consumers is sure stupid, when they buy those 160 shader gfx, i newer expected that to happen. Why the OEM want to offer it, when it is of no benefit is also a mystery? - thinking long lasting brand loyality...

    I think for good measure, every review using the hd3000 should mention the mkv bluray video problem, and quality of the gfx. I take my old 16 cuda 8600m gs over my hd3000 any day. Theese benchmark does not reflect that perception. And i can not be the only one thinking the quality of video and gaming is weak on the Intel. I dont know the technical reason, but the ATI and NV machines, on the same settings, give better picture quality than the hd3000 in fx. TF2. But i doubt that is the reason Sony included the ATI card, or what?
    Reply
  • Malih - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    This review makes me hunger for a 12 inch, or thin 13 inch Laptop with Llano in it. Get out of your a** AMD, get me this Laptop ASAP!!! Reply
  • Malih - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    a Sony VAIO S with Llano in it would be awesome Reply
  • KPOM - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    This compares pretty favorably to the 13" MacBook Pro, and since it's a Sony it should hold up pretty well. That they can cram a discrete GPU into this is small package is impressive and ought to get the engineers at Apple motivated to do the same for the next MacBook Pro, unless the Ivy Bridge chip is substantially better in the graphics department, in which case I wouldn't be surprised to see the 13" Pro dropped. Reply
  • hardwareguy - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    The 13" MBP already doesn't have discrete graphics. I think they keep it around for people who need a little more connectivity or hdd space than the Air offers. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I am still baffled why sony sent the 160 shader version and not the 480 shader version. The price between the two is barely anything. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I'd guess the SA is going to run pretty damn hot/loud as the major issue. I've actually got an Acer TimelineX 3830TG; run a game and the CPU throttles after about a minute because the CPU+GPU overwhelms the HSF. Part of that is Acer's BIOS, no doubt, but GT 540M and HD 6630M should generate comparable heat so unless Sony has better ventilation.... Reply
  • waldojim42 - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    Heat was never really an issue when I had the 6630 version. In reality, the machine would turbo up to about 3.2Ghz in most games, and be quite happy to run there all day. Doesn't change the fact that the fan can be annoying though. Nor does it change Sony customer service... or lack thereof. Reply
  • nutral - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    I actually have this laptop, with the sheet battery.

    I also got in the amd 6630, wich is actually pretty good for gaming, i can run call of duty or deus ex on it pretty well. It does get hotter with the amd,, but it's not that bad.

    The bloat is kind of bad, i reinstalled windows 7 right when i got it and also put in a intel 80gb ssd, in the cd drive i put in the 500gb harddrive and i also exchanged the 1000wifi for a 6200 and put in 4gb extra.

    Right now it is a power machine, works very long on a battery and still very light and thin. i usually don't even have to take the charger with me.

    with the 6630M this does become a pretty good road notebook, with some gaming.
    Reply
  • waldojim42 - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    You guys really needed to test the SA. I did purchase the SA, with the Intel 2620 i7 and the AMD 6630. It did not get that warm, and still ran all day. The fan is still annoying though. I really do think you guys would have a totally different view of the machine though, if you considered the amount of portable power the i7/6630 delivers.

    I no longer own it though, as that fan died within 30 days. They then took over a month waiting on a motherboard to arrive. I finally coerced them into a refund, but was without a machine or my money for over 2 months.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    Sony provides a Fresh Start option for free (for the most part) for all their CTOs without the Sony bloat. Not sure if them not sending a unit configured like that is a good thing or bad thing. Reply
  • I am as mad as hell - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    First off, we don't own any Apple products in my household, except an old iPad Nano.

    Now to the rant: All of those Windows PC based OEM's are spineless and make super boring products. The notable exceptions are ACER and Samsung.

    Gosh, can any of them make a decent laptop that puts Apple to shame?

    It's not that hard. There is just lack of creativity and commitment to excellence.

    A good PC Laptop should have the following mandatory specs besides the obvious ones:

    High Quality NONE GLOSSY! IPS or better LCD display
    Non-Glossy Bezel
    1x SSD boot drive with at least 64GB Ram
    1x HDD with at least 500GB capacity
    Back-lit Keyboard
    Built-in Logitech/Microsoft Mouse
    Wireless RF Headset receiver for Sony, Sennheiser, etc... wireless RF sets)
    Built-in 3D cameras (1 one the front, 1 on the back)
    External SATA port
    HDMI port
    One Laptop model option with optional external Blu-ray burner (don't need to use an optical drive all the time)
    High Quality Speakers (making good use of the saved space, by not having an internal optical drive)
    External Speaker port on the backside
    USB ports away from the left/right front side of the base. They should be placed more to the back left/ right side of the laptop (2 on each side)
    Paint that won't wear off!

    Dear Windows OEM's,
    Got that, good!
    Reply
  • I am as mad as hell - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    Built-in Logitech/Microsoft Mouse RF receiver Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    Apple has opened up an opportunity to be beaten, by taking cues from second- and third-tier vendors at Best Buy and pushing pathetic glossy screens on everything.

    Their laptops also suffer from poor, incomplete keyboards. No Delete key? WTF?

    But does anyone step up with a state-of-the art, physically elegant competitor? No. They trowel out the same gaudy, chintzy garbage that's saddled with disgraceful crapware.

    It's too bad, because as applications become less and less important, the physical incarnation of the computer becomes more important.
    Reply
  • gochichi - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    It looks like an interesting enough product, and the review highlights that. But what of actually digging in and answering the questions that a potential buyer would want answered?

    Like, Sony offers a $50 upgrade to Windows 7 Pro, and then you can select "Fresh Start" for no further additional charge. Does this resolve the issue with bloatware? And sony should be getting flamed out of existance for having this as a hidden option (and you guys have some pull in actually changing this for us little guys, not sayinig you have tons of pull but surely more pull than a single concerned consumer).

    Also, the screen thing, I didn't even see 1600x900 as a listed option on Sony's website, would it really be that much to ask to get two review units in there and actually give us the information we're all looking for? I want to buy stuff, I want to read stuff that helps me really determine what I will be happy with.

    Really enjoyed the review, so much to like about it. I have a Sony right now that has 1600x900 res on a 14", I just put an SSD and vanilla WIndows 7 on it and so I know exactly what you're talking about with that. It's not that it's a bad review, it's that it could be a DEFINITIVE review and its not.
    Reply
  • waldojim42 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    With Win 7 pro, and clean start, I had basic drivers, and a very few select Sony utilities. Basically, enough to get the full user manual, and access the advanced features. It was a nice surprise to have no bloat.

    As for being hidden, I didn't even have to ask. I bought the i7/6630 version in store, it was a standard option on it.

    The 1600x900 screen is only an option on the SB not the SA (or the other way around, I don't remember). Sadly, the machine that can take advantage of it, doesn't have the option. You do not get to have the i7+6630 with the 1600x900.

    As mentioned elsewhere on here though, buy third party. Don't buy direct. And get an extended warranty. The repair times are atrocious right now, and they aren't willing to just replace the machine... even new ones.
    Reply
  • megaphat - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    The reviewer has repeatedly raised the point of the switching graphics necessitating Sony's drivers (which may not be updated frequently), but I might just point out that the drivers can be unofficially updated. A user has created a driver package (http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/592418-discov... Apparently switching will continue to work, but WiDi requires a few changes.

    This makes it much more tolerable for gamers. With this in mind, I've ordered myself a SA (with the high res display and 6630).
    Reply
  • lfac.pt - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Just want to drop my opinion on the bloatware subject: I completely agree with the reviewer, the sheer burden of all the useless programs sony includes it's ridiculous. Things like remote play for PS3 or media importers that fire up every time I connect my Android to the PC, jesus... Sony it's shooting itself in the foot with something so obviously wrong (this is user experience 101) that the only reasonable explanation I see of this is pressure from upper management inside Sony to "synergize" with other products/companies.

    And I am somewhat of a power user, I can't even imagine what the poor souls that don't know who to uninstall a program have suffered in the ram-full-of-crap-stuff-always-popping-up hell :s
    Reply
  • omaudio - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    where is the noise info in "battery, noise, and heat'? I have been looking for a replacement for my Gateway LT2102 (LOVE this machine and their support!) and this looks interesting. My ultimate wish list is: 3lbs, backlit keys, cuda ready switchable gpu, quiet, 1366x768 minimum res, 5+hrs battery, 1.3mp web cam or higher, wireless hdmi (Intel?), bluetooth, gigabit LAN, decent trackpad buttons (ASUS=fail) etc.
    :)
    Reply
  • nutral - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The 6630 has the exact same graphics chip as the 6650, 6670, 6730, 6750 and 6770. the 6750 and 6770 have gddr5 memory instead of gddr3 of the others.
    I actually overklocked my hd6630 graphics chip from 485 to 748mhz. wich is over the speed of the 6730. The heat hasn't changed much but the performance is 25% higher, with a memory overklock from 800 to 900 i'm getting benchmark scores between the 6750 and the 6770. Mind you, the upgraded macbook pro 15inch has a 6750, so for a 13inch laptop it's quite some performance.

    I think it would be able to overklock every 6630 to around 600mhz, wich is the speed of a 6650M.
    Reply
  • frodbonzi - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    So it's been almost 3 months since this review... and Sony is selling the SA at approximately the same price as the SB was...

    I recently ordered the VPCSA390S :
    Intel® Core™ i5-2430M processor (2.40GHz / 3.00GHz with Turbo Boost)
    4GB (4GB fixed onboard + 1 open SDRAM slot) DDR3-SDRAM-1333
    AMD Radeon™ HD 6630M (1GB) hybrid graphics with Intel® Wireless Display technology
    13.3" LED backlit display (1600x900)
    128GB (128GB x1) solid state drive
    Extended Sheet Battery (Standard Capacity Battery + Large Capacity Sheet Battery)

    Price before tax was $1379 CAD - I had a ton of Sony points I had to redeem before Dec 31, so it ended up being free - hence the purchase despite possibly many other better laptops in this price range...

    I'm wondering - does anyone have this laptop (or reasonably close) and can say whether the upgrades over this article's laptop make it substantially better? Curious about the screen quality and the SSD difference especially.
    Reply
  • fagus195623 - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    is it sata 2 or 3

    in the first bios R1031h4 it was actived,
    later, last bios it was deactived R2085h4
    Nice when you did buy a 1000 euro laptop
    Reply

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