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New Sony S Series

AndrewP84

Established Member
Hi All,

I have been trying to decide out whether to get a Tablet such as an IPad 2 or a smaller laptop and I think I have come to the conclusion that a laptop would be a better all round product for me.

I have been looking at the new Sony S series below and they seem quite a reasonable specification and they seem quite portable too. Has anyone got one of these or had a play with this model if so what was it like? :).

S Series : VAIO and Computing : Sony

I was looking at the Sony C Series also but after studying the 2 models I prefer the look of the S Series. I have never owned a Vaio before but from other reviews I have read and speaking to friends that have had Sony Laptops they are really good however the only drawback is the price.

Any opinions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated :).

Thanks

Andrew
 

Neil_H

Prominent Member
Yep, I've got one, had it about 2 weeks now and really happy with it so far.

wNb1UOC9.jpg


I went for a fairly modest spec:

Product ID : VPCSB1C5E
Description : Laptop VPC-SB1C - Configurable
Price : 898,99
Optical Drive : DVD disc drive
Hard drive : 500 GB Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
Wireless LAN : Wireless LAN(bgn) + Bluetooth®
Processor : Intel® CoreTM i5-2520M 2.50GHz
Display : 33.7 cm LCD, 1366x768 + webcam
Graphics : AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6470M 512MB
Finishes : Black
Memory : 4 GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Battery : Standard battery
Connectivity : No Wireless WAN

It's all I need and I haven't found myself wanting more except on the graphics, I really wish I'd bought the higher spec 6630 as it struggles a little on newer games. I did try to amend the order but it was too late. It has a switch that lets you switch between the onboard Intel or discrete AMD GPU for battery life and it works well, no rebooting needed or anything. It plays videos without any hitches, streaming HD from Youtube or avi/ mp4 etc from my QNAP nas box is no problem.

The keyboard is great, it's backlit and lights up in low light, and the light sensor also controls the screen brightness. The screen itself isn't brilliant, the horizontal viewing angle could be better but for the money it's good, just not as good as my wife's Macbook.

It has a really nice feel, the main panel is aluminium and looks good, but it's still pretty light overall. You can also get a seperate sheet battery that fits underneath and doubles battery life, I don't have this yet but will probably get one for my next trip. Battery life seems good, average use should be at least 5hrs, probably more like 7 with some care. It has 2 card readers, HDMI out and a USB 3.0 port.

Any questions let me know :)
 

jdevil

Distinguished Member
My brother has an older Vaio laptop (2007) which was purchased around £900 back then, never had any sort of issues on it apart from typical windows stuff. The great thing about it was the build quality, fabulous screen, long lasting case + lid and no cracks after so many years.

I'd say deffo go for Vaio, tablets are really good for surfing the web not for any other household stuff.
 

AndrewP84

Established Member
Yep, I've got one, had it about 2 weeks now and really happy with it so far.

image


I went for a fairly modest spec:

Product ID : VPCSB1C5E
Description : Laptop VPC-SB1C - Configurable
Price : 898,99
Optical Drive : DVD disc drive
Hard drive : 500 GB Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
Wireless LAN : Wireless LAN(bgn) + Bluetooth®
Processor : Intel® CoreTM i5-2520M 2.50GHz
Display : 33.7 cm LCD, 1366x768 + webcam
Graphics : AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6470M 512MB
Finishes : Black
Memory : 4 GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Battery : Standard battery
Connectivity : No Wireless WAN

It's all I need and I haven't found myself wanting more except on the graphics, I really wish I'd bought the higher spec 6630 as it struggles a little on newer games. I did try to amend the order but it was too late. It has a switch that lets you switch between the onboard Intel or discrete AMD GPU for battery life and it works well, no rebooting needed or anything. It plays videos without any hitches, streaming HD from Youtube or avi/ mp4 etc from my QNAP nas box is no problem.

The keyboard is great, it's backlit and lights up in low light, and the light sensor also controls the screen brightness. The screen itself isn't brilliant, the horizontal viewing angle could be better but for the money it's good, just not as good as my wife's Macbook.

It has a really nice feel, the main panel is aluminium and looks good, but it's still pretty light overall. You can also get a seperate sheet battery that fits underneath and doubles battery life, I don't have this yet but will probably get one for my next trip. Battery life seems good, average use should be at least 5hrs, probably more like 7 with some care. It has 2 card readers, HDMI out and a USB 3.0 port.

Any questions let me know :)

Thanks for your help Neil :), I think I am definately going for a Vaio, although I did look at the Z Series but I just dont think I can justify the extra money really. I might upgrade the graphics though as I may want to play the odd game on the laptop.

Have you connected the Laptop to your TV at all if so how does it peform?

Thanks once again :)

Andrew
 

johndoe1

Established Member
not trying to rain on anyones parade but I had a mess about with one on Friday, for whats nearly a grand (when specced up a bit) I found it a little flimsy. For a grand I expected a bit more.
Shame as on paper it ticks every single box for a portable machine.
 

Neil_H

Prominent Member
By flimsy you mean not well built? I'd only really agree on the screen, it's very thin, but more solid than it looks. The chassis is metal and feels solid to me. It's much lighter than my wife's Macbook, by about 700g I believe, and you really notice that weight. I guess these are the differences made for portability, I know which one I'd rather carry around.

This is a pretty detailed review:

Review Sony Vaio VPC-SB1Z9EB Subnotebook - Notebookcheck.net Reviews

Most Sony stores have demo models in, go and have a play with one. My local store has a silver one which looks crap compared to the black (actually more of a dark gunmetal colour).
 

johndoe1

Established Member
funny I have just been to pcworld and think maybe I was a bit harsh.. yes its mainly the screen but the keyboard and dvd tray as well.

I guess thats a macbook pro and not the air then.

One things for sure - nothing comes close to the s series for spec size and weight. I am torn between the air 13 and the s series at the moment. Didn't even realise the body of the s series is metal.
 

AndrewP84

Established Member
Thanks for your thoughts Neil :), for me I have been trying to decide what to get out of this or an IPad 2, now for the 64GB 3G Version its £659 and after thinking about it for another £100 I can get this Sony laptop, I wondered though to have a 3G slot put in its £100, would I need to buy a sim card do you know in order to access the internet via a 3G connection?

Did you go for the grey colour Neil?
 

Neil_H

Prominent Member
I guess thats a macbook pro and not the air then.

One things for sure - nothing comes close to the s series for spec size and weight. I am torn between the air 13 and the s series at the moment. Didn't even realise the body of the s series is metal.

Yes, the MBP not the Air. Nice though the Air is, it's a different machine altogether, much lower spec but much more portable (and much more expensive).

Thanks for your thoughts Neil :), for me I have been trying to decide what to get out of this or an IPad 2, now for the 64GB 3G Version its £659 and after thinking about it for another £100 I can get this Sony laptop, I wondered though to have a 3G slot put in its £100, would I need to buy a sim card do you know in order to access the internet via a 3G connection?

Did you go for the grey colour Neil?

Ouch, I didn't realise the iPad 2 was so expensive. They are nice devices, we bought my parents an iPad 1 for Christmas, but I don't really think they're comparable to a full laptop – it depends what you'll be using it for really.

Regarding the 3G adapter, it seemed expensive to me at £100, and I think you do need to buy a data plan for it as well via a sim card (this is just what I've seen on reviews, there is a little slot on the bottom for the sim). To me it would make more sense just to use the built-in bluetooth to connect with a mobile phone, or in my case I can use my jailbroken iPhone with the iPhone cable if I need it (unlimited data). I always have my phone with me so having a separate 3G connection makes no sense.

Mine is spec'd as black (which is a very dark grey, at least on the metal interior pieces, the outside is black plastic) - I'm interested in seeing a white one though, I was quite tempted by that.:)
 
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AndrewP84

Established Member
Yes, the MBP not the Air. Nice though the Air is, it's a different machine altogether, much lower spec but much more portable (and much more expensive).



Ouch, I didn’t realise the iPad 2 was so expensive. They are nice devices, we bought my parents an iPad 1 for Christmas, but I don't really think they're comparable to a full laptop – it depends what you’ll be using it for really.

Regarding the 3G adapter, it seemed expensive to me at £100, and I think you do need to buy a data plan for it as well via a sim card (this is just what I’ve seen on reviews, there is a little slot on the bottom for the sim). To me it would make more sense just to use the built-in bluetooth to connect with a mobile phone, or in my case I can use my jailbroken iPhone with the iPhone cable if I need it (unlimited data). I always have my phone with me so having a separate 3G connection makes no sense.

Mine is spec'd as black (which is a very dark grey, at least on the metal interior pieces, the outside is black plastic) - I'm interested in seeing a white one though, I was quite tempted by that.:)

Yeah I was wondering about a white one as I thought it would probably look nice, or even silver I thought would look good also. But I dont think you can go far wrong with black really.

Do you know if its possible to upgrade the memory yourself from the standard 4GB if you decide to at some stage in the future? I heard the RAM was soldered onto the motherboard in one of the reviews I read if I am not mistaken?

Thanks for your help :)
 

Neil_H

Prominent Member
Yes you can upgrade the RAM easily, the basic 4GB is soldered to the board, but there's a door underneath with one slot which can take another 4GB. Probably better to spec it with 4GB as it will no doubt be cheaper to do it yourself, I will be doing mine when I get round to it. If you spec 6GB you'll get 2GB in the slot and won't be able to upgrade without ditching that.
 

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