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Sony VAIO VGN-Z520N/B 13.1" Laptop (2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 Processor, 3 GB of RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, Vista Business) Black
List Price: $1999.99

Our Price: $1599.99

You Save: $400.00 (20%)


Product Description

By using a mercury-free backlit LED display, the VAIO Z series notebook keeps one less chemical out of both your home and the landfills. The Z notebook is ENERGY STAR 4.0 qualified, which means that it uses less power and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict efficiency guidelines set by the environmental protection agency and the department of energy.The VAIO Z series notebook holds an environmental rating of silver from EPEAT. Built business rugged, the VAIO Z notebook offers the portability of 3.31 lbs (with standard battery) form factor with the performance of a larger computer. Encased in durable carbon fiber and featuring scratch-resistant XBRITE-DuraView LCD technology, the Z notebook is designed to withstand the rigors of the road.

Built tough for business, the Sony VAIO VGN-Z520N/B blends easy portability with high-performance computing. Weighing just 3.31 pounds, this Z-series notebook offers a 13.1-inch screen featuring scratch-resistant XBRITE-DuraView LCD and a 250 GB hard drive with Sony's G-Sensor Shock Protection technology. A multi-layer carbon-fiber casing covers the LCD panel and bottom of the chassis to help protect against knocks and bumps, and a seamless aluminum keyboard panel adds structural rigidity to help keep internal components protected. And with up to 9 hours of standard battery life, it has the stamina to power you through your most demanding applications.

The durable, business-ready VAIO Z notebook in black.
It's powered by the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processor--with Centrino 2 technology--which boosts speed, reduces power requirements, and saves on battery life. The 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 includes a quick 1066 MHz front-side bus and 3 MB of L2 cache, providing an optimized, multithreaded architecture for improved multimedia and multitasking performance. This VAIO Z notebook also features Sony's Hybrid Graphics System, which lets you toggle between internal Intel GMA 4500MHD and external NVIDIA GeForce 9300M graphics chips, enabling you to choose lighter battery consumption or better performance depending on the situation.

With the integrated wireless WAN, you can access the national Sprint Mobile Broadband service (subscription required) to extend your wireless coverage beyond LAN access networks and hotspots, giving you the freedom to go farther, do more, and stay connected. Communicate with pals all around with world via VoIP calling and video conferencing using the built-in microphone and Motion Eye camera (with zoom function). Other features include 3 GB of installed RAM (4 GB maximum), dual-layer DVDí└RW drive (which also burns CDs), quad-mode Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth connectivity (including stereo music streaming), ExpressCard 34 slot, both Memory Stick and SD card readers, and pre-installed Windows Vista Business with SP1 (available XP downgrade on Windows Vista Business only).

This Sony notebook is Energy Star 4.0 certified, and has received a Silver EPEAT designation for meeting standards to help reduce its environmental impact. Additionally, it is RoHS-compliant, effectively reducing the environmental impact by restricting the use of lead, mercury and certain other hazardous substances.

Security Enhancements
Sony's VAIO Z-series notebooks take security seriously, employing a biometric fingerprint sensor and proprietary hard disk drive protection software to ensure your data is protected from unauthorized use as well as accidental damage. It also stores passwords to secure web sites you visit, so authentication and access are quick and easy--you only need your fingerprint. It also includes an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM) TCG Ver.1.2 compliant chip that enhances security by allowing you to control access on a specific client/user basis.
Spec Check
  • 13.1-inch XBRITE-DuraView LCD screen
  • 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor
  • 250 GB hard drive
  • 3 GB RAM (4 GB maximum)
  • Dual-layer DVDí└R drive
  • Quad-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth with stereo music streaming
  • Hybrid Graphics System: Intel GMA 4500MHD & Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS
  • Windows Vista Business with SP1 (XP downgrade available)
  • Weighs 3.31 pounds

The Basics

  • Processor: Experience improved energy efficiency, expanded wireless connectivity, and amazing battery life with the 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor featuring Intel Centrino 2 technology. This processor has a 2.26 GHz processor speed, super-sized 1066 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and a extra-large 3 MB L2 cache. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.)

    Formerly codenamed Montevina, Intel Centrino 2 processor technology improves upon every facet of a laptop's main features, including performance and battery life via new processors and chipsets, faster draft 802.11n wireless, and new business-class manageability capabilities. The new hafnium-infused circuitry--which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors--conserves even more energy, giving you more time away from the wall outlet.

    The Intel Core 2 Duo processor has two computational execution cores in a single processor, providing greater system response when running multi-threaded applications simultaneously with no significant increase in power consumption. It's optimized for multitasking and it can run multiple demanding applications--such as graphics-intensive games or serious number-crunching business productivity applications--while downloading music or running virus-scanning security programs in the background.

  • Hard Drive: The extra-large 250 GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 RPM) provides more than enough capacity for storing a large audio and video library, as well as extra space required for video editing. This SATA hard drive also quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to Firewire and USB 2.0.

    The G-Sensor Shock Protection feature makes your data even less vulnerable to loss or damage. When the built-in 3D acceleration sensor detects a risky movement like being dropped, the HDD-head will lock up to secure its position and protect the disc from scratching. An intelligent algorithm, unique to VAIO PCs, judges whether or not a movement is risky, activating disk drive protection only when your hardware is at risk.

  • Memory: The 3 GB of installed RAM (PC3-8500, 1 x 2 GB, 2 x 1 GB) helps boost the amount of available video RAM that's shared with this notebook's video card. It also offers a top-of-class 1066 MHz speed. This notebook has a 4 GB maximum RAM capacity (2 x 2 GB). To receive the faster data transfer benefits of the dual-channel DDR2 RAM, any RAM additions require memory modules of same capacity and clockspeed.

  • DVD/CD Drive: The dual-layer DVD drive is compatible with a wide range of formats, including both DVD+RW and DVD-RW discs, CD-RW discs, and dual-layer (DL) DVD+/-R discs, which can hold up to 8.5 GB of data--great for backing up your MP3 collection or your most important documents. It features the following speeds: 4x for DVDí└R DL, 8x for both single layer DVDí└R, 8x for single layer DVD+RW, 6x for single layer DVD-RW, 5x for DVD-RAM, and 24x/16x for CD-R/RW. It reads DVD-ROM discs at 8x and CD-ROMs at 24x.

  • Keyboard & Mouse: This notebook has a standard 82-key keyboard (2mm stroke and 19.05mm pitch) and electro-static two-button touchpad.

The VAIO Z focuses in on the details.
Screen, Video & Audio
The 13.1-inch XBRITE-DuraView LCD has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels--perfect for added screen real estate as well as watching movies in 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Sony's DuraView LCD technology utilizes a special hard coating on the LCD to help defend against scratching and general wear and tear. It also has an LED backlight, which provides lower power consumption for improved battery life as well as incredibly high brightness levels that amplify the color display.

This notebook uses Sony's exclusive Hybrid Graphics System, which lets you set your graphics performance with a simple flick of a switch, enabling you to toggle between an internal graphics chip for optimal power consumption with excellent performance or an external graphics chip for even more robust performance. You can choose either the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (with up to 1300 MB of dynamically allocated video memory) or the installed Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics card (with up to 1370 MB of shared video RAM). This notebook also has an integrated Intel High Definition audio card.

Enabled by PureVideo HD, the Nvidia GeForce 9300M helps movies come to life with outstanding picture clarity, ultra-smooth video and vivid color. The lifelike images have up to six times the detail of standard DVD movies. Delivering state-of-the-art graphics performance, GeForce 9300M GS graphics card is sure to give you the power and performance you crave to play the hottest DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 titles.

This Intel GMA 4500MHD is built with Intel Clear Video technology, which delivers clearer, more detailed images by eliminating many of the jagged edges and video artifacts seen when viewing interlaced content and features powerful color control to ensure videos are not too dark, overly bright, or washed out.

Networking, Connectivity & Expansion
Go beyond LAN networks and find the internet virtually anywhere with integrated Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) technology via optional Sprint Mobile Broadband EV-DO service (software included, subscription required)--helping you to keep connected without having to hunt for a Wi-Fi coffee shop. Sony's SmartWi technology seamlessly integrates your wireless Wide Area Network (WAN), office/home Wi-Fi LAN, and Bluetooth options, enabling you to toggle among your wireless connectivity options depending on your surroundings.

Be ready for the next platform in wireless connectivity with the integrated Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 5100AGN LAN chip. Based on the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, it offers up to five times the performance and twice the wireless range as existing 802.11g wireless. It's also backward compatible with 802.11b/g networks (commonly found in home routers and wi-fi hotspots) as well as 802.11a networks (which has a higher throughput, but more limited range--great for closed office environments). You also get super-fast wired connectivity, with a Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000).

With the Bluetooth connectivity, you can communicate and synchronize with Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as PDAs and cell phones as well as enjoy wireless stereo music streaming (thanks to its embedded A2DP profile). This notebook also includes a next-generation ExpressCard 34 card slot (though no PCMCIA slot), which lets you take advantage of thinner, faster, and lighter expansion cards for even more advanced wireless, networking, storage, and security features. Here's the full list of connectivity options:

  • 2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting a wide range of peripherals--from digital cameras to MP3 players
  • 1 FireWire (also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link) port for connecting digital video camcorders and other peripherals
  • 1 HDMI output (for connecting to a compatible HDTV or home theater receiver for uncompressed digital audio and video via a single cable)
  • Analog video output: 1 VGA
  • 1 ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Memory Stick/Memory Stick DUO slot (with MagicGate functionality)
  • Secure Digital memory card slot (compatible with MMC cards)
  • Stereo headphones/speakers/line-out
  • Microphone/line-in
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 56K modem (V.90/V.92)
  • Port replicator connector

The VAIO Z's ports (see larger version).

Operating System
The Windows Vista Business (SP1) operating system is designed to meet the needs of business organizations of all sizes. For small businesses, Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs running smoothly and more securely so you will be less reliant on dedicated IT support. For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business provides dramatic new infrastructure improvements, enabling your IT staff to spend less time focused on the day-to-day maintenance of PCs. An array of sophisticated new backup technologies helps protect your information even in the event of a catastrophic hardware failure. And Windows Vista Business has a new user interface, named Windows Aero, which is designed to deliver new levels of efficiency for any business user. This new interface makes it easy to navigate through the operating system and from application to application. For instance, Windows Aero helps you juggle multiple tasks at once by providing a three-dimensional, real-time, animated view of all your open applications and documents.

Every edition of Windows Vista provides the essential tools and technologies to help protect you whether you are browsing the Internet, connecting to a wireless network, or just reading e-mail. All editions of Windows Vista include new tools that can warn you of impending hardware failures long before you have lost any important personal data. And, all Windows Vista editions include parental control features that allow you to manage and monitor your family's use of games, the Internet, instant messaging, and other activities.

Preloaded Software
Microsoft Windows Live OneCare anti-virus and recovery (trial version), Microsoft Works SE 9.0, Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student (60-day trial), Sony Click to Disk Editor (CD and DVD burning), VAIO Movie Story (video editing), VAIO MusicBox

Dimensions & Weight
This notebook measures 12.4 x 8.3 x 1.3 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 3.3 pounds.

It's powered by the VGP-BPS12 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which has a battery life of between 3 and 6 hours (depending on usage). This laptop is compliant with Energy Star 4.0 specifications, meaning that it uses less power and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by meeting very strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

What's in the Box
This package contains the VGN-Z520N/B notebook PC, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AC adapter, and operating instructions. It is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty, and Sony offers 1-year of toll-free telephone technical assistance.

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor (2.26GHz), 3MB L2 cache
  • Genuine Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP1/XP downgrade
  • 13.1" widescreen LCD with XBRITE-DuraView technology & LED backlight
  • 3GB of pre-installed RAM & a roomy 250GB Serial ATA hard drive
  • Biometric fingerprint scanner & hybrid graphics system

Customer Reviews:

  • excellent all around laptop with some minor problem
    When I first saw this laptop at local electronics store, I immediately knew that this is the laptop that I will be getting. Solid build, great look, light and powerful for such a small notebook. Although my laptop arrived with the express card slot flap messed up, it did not ruin my love for this lovely laptop. The monitor is super thin and covered in one material, the keyboard area is covered in a slippery albeit comfy metal feeling material, the bottom is composed of another kind of material and the battery is in its own kind. It sounds like a clump of non matching stuff, but they fit and the design is flawless. For such a small laptop, all the necessary ports are there (vga, 2 usb, ethernet, modem, express slot, wireless, sound i/o). The monitor is super bright if you turn it all the way up, which I doubt you will. It is clean and sharp, however it doesn't glare as bad as some other types of monitor. For the keyboard, I don't know if its my hand or what, but I tend to miss a few letters when typing which may come annoying but it happens rarely and most typing program catches typos for you.
    My main complaint would be that Sony's crapware really clogs up the system. For the more adventurous souls out there, if you have a stand alone copy of windows vista, WIPE THE SYSTEM AND REINSTALL! I guarantee you this beast will kill your average desktop. Sony's driver website provides all the important drivers in which one should have no problem when reinstalling. Windows 7 users might have some problems as I have yet to be able to get the fn adjust brightness keys to work.
    The hybrid graphic switch system is really great. It switches really fast and smooth. However as per the power that is saved.. I would say it only differs by about 30 to 50 minutes of work. I have yet to really get the battery to over 5 hours. Dont' know how they adjusted it but I've only managed about 4 hours with bluetooth wireless dvd drive off, and screen to lowest. The laptop under prolonged use does not get hot. Unlike other brands of laptop that just heats up like a stove, sony did a surprisingly incredible job on heat control and truly deserves your attention.
    My biggest gripe on this laptop will be on the battery however. The battery takes forever to charge from 80% to 100% and loses charge quickly from 100% to 80%. It took me 5 hours just to get from 90% to 100% one time, and while off, it lost 18% in 15 hours. So somehow, the battery likes to stay below.. 80% charge.
    Regardless, it is an excellent laptop. Excellent build quality and great design. It is incredible !...more info
  • Greate laptop, just the battrey life is not as promised
    I bough this for $2050 out the door from. $350 less than Sony store price. The laptop is light and sexy. I also received the XP downgrade cd. It also comes with free quickbooks accounting software license. The only disappointment I have is with the battery life. The battery runs out in 2.5 hours in optimized mode. Not sure why is this happening. Because of this, I did not give it 5 starts. ...more info
  • Featherweight yet fully featured, and running on Windows XP
    I fell in love with this computer -- mine is the Z570N/B -- as soon as I laid eyes on it. Turning it on and having a look only made it more appealing. The LCD quality is outstanding (a definite deal maker for me, because I needed a portable for photo editing); the keyboard is the best I've ever used on a laptop, very comfortable, spacious and not spongy at all; sound quality is better than expected for a portable. I also liked the design, very sleek and classy, with very good materials, and the overall impression of quality build. Other plusses were the HDMI and firewire ports, and the built-in Bluetooth and wireless (almost a given nowadays, but you never know).

    So, yes, I took this little machine home with me. I am still impressed with its speed (great processor and lots of RAM) in any operation, and again, the quality of its 13.1" screen. So far it seems like the perfect laptop for my needs. I've yet to test other capabilities, like wireless and DVD burning.

    As for Windows Vista Business, well, I knew what I was getting into when I bought this machine. I knew, for instance, that I hated Vista and wanted nothing to do with it. I also knew that I was eligible for the downgrade DVD because it's Vista Business, and that Sony didn't ship it with this product. I'll burn the Restore DVDs just in case... I'm waiting for Sony to send me the XP Pro downgrade DVD, which I've already ordered, and am hoping the company comes through in its promise to deliver. Otherwise, I'll have to download the XP drivers one by one and do a fresh XP install. I don't love this idea, but I love Vista even less. And I'm definitely NOT going to let the OS spoil a fantastic machine for me.

    * November 2008 update. Sony shipped the XP downgrade DVDs within two days of my request (you have to fill out an online form at the Sony support site, with a valid USA address) but unfortunately I wasn't here to receive it. Now I am, and have downgraded that despicable Vista to XP SP3. Guess what? It worked with zero hassle, completing the process in less than 2 hours. All you have to do is insert and remove DVDs when requested. I now have this laptop running on XP and everything is working just fine (the Sony DVDs DO include all the drivers). If it was already very fast on Vista, imagine on XP... I use it on Speed mode -- so as to enjoy all the benefits of the NVidia video card -- and wireless, and as I write battery life has been almost 2.5 hours, with a bit more to go.

    I am very happy to say that Sony came through promptly and efficiently, and that I now have this laptop just the way I wanted it. Best of all, Windows One Care and most of the Windows and Vaio junk do NOT get loaded on the computer when you downgrade. I am using Norton Antivirus 2009 and Zone Alarm Pro firewall (which I downloaded at a discount by renewing a subscription I already had), so you can count on spending a little extra to make the computer as safe as possible from all the threats out there.

    One word of advice: as soon as I got this laptop, I partitioned the hard drive under Vista and placed lots of files in other partitions. My reasoning was that, since the downgrade would only erase the C: drive and everything in it, the files in the other partitions would be safe. However, the downgrade will only be carried out if it can access and erase all the Vista partitions. This meant I had to copy all my files into an external hard drive before doing the downgrade. Once the Vaio was running on XP, I re-partitioned the hard drive and copied all the files back. This was unexpected, but then I figured that Microsoft being what Microsoft is, of course Vista partitions wouldn't work on XP... Just a minor setback, and one that doesn't detract at all from the 5-star experience the Sony Vaio Z570N/B is being for me....more info
  • Excellent machine
    this is my second Vaio and some friends almost convinced me for a macbook...I'm glad with my decision...Sony VAIO rocks!!! ...more info
  • fast enough for use ... but more satisfying if downgraded to XP
    I expect a slow machine due to vista ... but turns out not too shabby
    However when I downgraded it to XP (from a sonystyle sent CD rom) it flies faster ... and its screen is as usual top of the art
    Everybody likes this model for its size, embedded dvd drive and slim looks
    I have nothing to add ... except that the LCD rectangle is quite elongated unlike the standard 16:9 format. The keyboard & body is rock solid & almost stylish for my taste
    and it amazes me for it does not make noise nor does it become hot that easily
    Keep it mind that this model is new ... and pricey for now...more info
  • Amazon demonstrates why I always go there first to shop.
    I am extrememly happy with this new Sony laptop which had all the bells and whistles I was looking for. The only con is only two USB ports which are on opposites side of the the laptop--a design improvement Sony should make would be a third one with power) along side one of the other ones.

    However, what I most want to review is Amazon's handling of a minor problem I had. While the details of a minor problem with the initial computer was worked out, Amazon immediately sent me, without charge, another identical computer. I have since returned the "extra" computer, but Amazon's swift action at no cost to me has made me a happy and loyal customer....more info
  • Awesome laptop
    Everything is great with this laptop. The Sprint broadband card is awesome! The only bad thing about it is the Sony bloatware. I spent hours removing it from the system. Then I installed the XP downgrade and had to spend a few more hours taking it off. Now that I've personalized it, it works great. ...more info
  • Best Vaio I ever owned
    This is by far the best Sony Vaio I ever owned. I previously owned a Sony C1MVP Picturebook, Sony Vaio T350P, Sony Vaio SZ110P, Sony Vaio TXN15P, Sony Vaio TZ150N/B. This notebook is by far my favorite one. It has a nice industrial look to it with the brushed metal and keyboard. It very light for a 13.1 inch notebook only .5lbs heavier than my TZ150 I had before. The screen has 100% color saturation and is by far the best screen I ever seen, that coming from a previous owner of a TZ150. Its powerful and runs Vista without a hiccup. Keyboard is nice and responsive. Nice big trackpad and the buttons are not too loud when clicked. If I had a gripe it would be that it doesn't come with the XP downgrade CD as promised. Also the screen is kinda soft meaning it tilts easily back but not forward....more info
  • so so.... Not great
    I like the notebook but because it is so slow in performance i need to return it.Vista already slows the notebook and on top of it all sony 3rd party junk make it very very slow.More over the system crashed right out of box.You need to force start very first time.
    Otherwise very good in weight style and lcd ....more info
  • Simply awesome
    Everyone else has complimented the same things I want to compliment. The LED backlit display, the DVD burner, the wireless, speed, weight, etc...
    This thing does everything they describe. It is fast, lightweight, powerful, smooth, good-looking, and did I mention, light?
    What I really am enjoying is the switchable graphics and the long battery life. This baby EASILY runs for the advertised 6 hours in stamina mode. I have done this on numerous occasions just to make sure it works... It does!
    One thing that I have not seen mentioned, is that this things power cord plugs into the hinge. Now that doesn't sound like a big deal, unless you have replaced a power jack, or worse yet a Mobo on your laptop because the cord gets tugs and breaks the jack or mobo. VERY smart design idea!! One of the main reasons besides the LED backlit screen, and spaced out keyboard, I bought this model.
    I also knew what I was getting into with that pig Vista. But Sony, true to the advertising sent me a disk within 2 days of me filling out their quick online registration.
    I downgraded with ZERO issues! (As mentioned by others, I made my Vista restore disks before downgrading) Everything worked just like it did before the downgrade. And now it was even FASTER on XP. I have since removed some of the Sony "bloatware" and really have it customized and zooming!
    The only real downside I can find is that the keyboard would have been the BEST EVER if it was backlit... And it is just a bit pricey.
    Hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine! Worth every penny!!
    ...more info
  • Good Laptop
    this sony Vaio is Woking great but only after i downgraded it to WindowsXP , because sony preloaded the Vista Version wit alot of uneeded trials and software which eat up more than 1.5GB of the RAM just after startup.
    but in the XP DVD all these unneeded software are simply not there, as a result a better performance in programes and even for the battary life.
    i like it that way...more info
  • Great Ultramobile & Powerful Notebook. Buy.
    Review after using this since September. My model is slightly different and I use high resolution version.

    There are some positives and negative.


    Light but powerful

    This PC is very light, but it does not sacrifice its processing power. Intel's latest 45nm P9500 works great. Even somewhat heavy graphic applications or encoding-decoding of files can work fast. Heat is also well controlled probably due to the benefit of the P9500 and the combination of internal system design and the air flow structure inside, which is typically the strong part of Sony that is very good at designing smaller consumer electronics. I never felt the annoying heat from the system on the keyboard and/or the areas around the mouse touch panel.

    Long Life and Graphics

    The switch above the keyboard that lets you choose between the nVidia chipset ("Speed") and the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD ("Stamina"). On a stamina mode, my experience is that the regular battery can keep the system running for around 6 hours, which is remarkable compared with its light weight. I set the brightness lower in addition to the stamina setting. Graphics resolutions and other features are automatically set at lower level on stamina mode. Performance, particularly with games and 3D applications, is better with the nVidia chipset, while the integrated graphics card favors battery life. A reboot is no longer required after a switch, either, due to the Intel Centrino 2's support for switchable graphics.

    I use 1600x900 resolution for the display, which is beautiful due to its LED backlit and very high resolution compared with other laptops. Its benefit is that you can have more workspace when using multiple applications at the same time, for example, a few excel sheets and excel VBA at the same time.


    Software for 3G connection, using the embedded Sprint modem does have some issues with compatibility in some cases. In my case, some Excel Add-In that uses an internet network connection crushes Excel itself every time I use it. Vaio Support desk which is as you image very slow to response due to inappropriate advice and long waiting time spent 6-8 hours in total and finally gave up to solve the issue and admitted that the original SmartWi software that manages network connection cannot be removed from the system when you use the Sprint modem is making trouble with other Excel Add-in. I suspect that the usage through Sprint is monitored by the software and both Sony and Sprint have some agreement on the revenue sharing of wireless data fees. Anyway, this is not at all positive for users and I had to buy other modems for use mobile data connections. Sony needs to focus on hardware only or otherwise improve its software quality. The frustrating experience with the support desk tends to remain in the memory of users for very long period of time.

    Otherwise, I feel the keyboard quality needs to be a bit improved to the extent that some key generates creaking noise sometimes. And the mouse pad area is just a bit too close to the keyboard and I sometimes touch it and make an error in typing.

    Net-net, this is the best ultramobile notebook that has strong processing power, real mobility, and beautiful design that I ever seen. It outperforms many competitions like Mac Air and X series from Lenovo. This is expensive notebook but if you need the best one right now, this is it. SmartWi is annoying in some cases but the support desk should have learned something from the trouble that I had already.
    ...more info
  • First Sony
    I have had his unit for one month. It has performed superbly. The screen is bright with exceptional definition. This is my first 2+ GHz machine and I am very pleased with the speed of operations. I read that the battery life was extended but, I didn't suspect it would be as long as it is! (How do they do that?). I even use the high output in my power management. The photos are on the screen are outstanding and much better than my printed photos. Now I must buy another printer....more info
  • Incredible Laptop!
    I have owned a thinkpad X41 for 5 years. I loved it because it was small, light, and relatively powerful. After all that time of constant usage and unintended abuse, I went into the market for a replacement. That was/is a sturdy laptop that just refused to die.

    I looked at the Lenovo X200 and X300 at the store. The x200 is small and fast, but my eyes really needed a bigger screen than a 12". Especially if you do graphics and design work. Plus it still lacked a dvd drive. The X300 is just over priced and still looks like my 5 year old laptop just wider. When I went to the store and saw all three I immediatly went online and bought the Sony VAIO VGN-Z570N.

    It is a great laptop! The battery litereally lasts 5 hours - on Vista! Imagine downgrading to XP (included) or using linux. I also got the deal where you get a free bag and battery if you buy by the end of December (check out pc nation). The keyboard is smooth and responsive. I love the toggle switch between performance (when using photoshop) and stamina (when just surfing the net). The screen is pretty wide and the resolution is incredible. It boots really fast (I am windows user). It has an HDMI slot and now I am watching movies on my HD screen dowloaded on this laptop. I do wish the screen was taller but that's not such a big deal. I highly recommend this laptop for people looking for performance, portability, and style!...more info
  • I love my new laptop
    This is my second VAIO laptop. (I am still not quite ready to retire my tinier -- but heavier -- VGN-T250, which I really loved.) I cannot say enough good things about this machine. The screen is gorgeous. The sound is really amazing from the speakers. The webcam is a little tough to find but works very readily. The fingerprint reader takes some getting used to (take the tutorial!) but what a great security measure. And as for the machine itself, it is INCREDIBLY fast, and has one of the most comfortable keypads and most sensitive mouse pads I've ever used. Did I mention how very light the laptop is, how elegantly thin the screen is, and how sensible Sony's power offerings (stamina or speed) are? You do burn fast through the battery on "speed" setting but overall battery life is good even then, better than 2 hours. I may pick up an extra battery in future just to have some extra juice when an outlet is far away, of course. Anyway, I think this is a wonderful laptop for the road and frankly would be in the running for me as a desktop replacement....more info
  • Excellent Ultra Portable Executive Laptop
    I have been through my share of laptops in the past year. I am the I.T Manager for my company so I have a bit of experience in this department. Typically I go with DELL on just about everything, but honestly I believe they have captured most of the market and by doing so they have really started slacking on their products which led me to SONY. I'm not even going to touch a HP, Gateway or Toshiba and I had previously owned a SONY a few years ago and had relatively little to no problems so i figured i would try again.

    So far I have been more than impressed! Out of the box this little guy fired right up without any problems. After about 45 minutes of removing the pre installed Sony software (not sure why it took some people hours?) and a few Windows updates this machine was flying.

    The display is incredible, much better than any laptop display i have ever seen, this is partially due to the higher end Nvidia video card and the onboard 3GB of RAM.

    The hard drive is more than enough for me at 320GB.

    The unit only weighs 3.3lbs, to me this is nothing coming from a 14.1" DELL Precision M2400 which weighed about 2x that!

    Some of my gripes:

    Internal Broadband card is set to Sprint! (come on, who uses Sprint anymore?)

    BIOS is very very limited, I'm a bit spoiled with all the options you can set in a DELL's BIOS

    It's still a bit hard to find accessories for this laptop since it's so new. I'm trying really hard to find a extra power adapter since the one i bought at the Sony store is a "travel" adapter and it's basically a brick.

    All in all I'm VERY happy with my purchase, I will be travelling to Germany in a couple weeks so i guess that will be the ultimate test.

    Keep in mind, there is a big brother to this laptop that was not in stock at the time when i bought my laptop but i think it is called the VGN-Z590N which comes with a more powerful graphics card, a BluRay player and 4GB of RAM, had I seen that one i would have bought it but either way, I'm happy with what I got and would HIGHLY recommend it....more info
  • So far so good
    Pros: It's an attractive, high end laptop: good performance and small.
    So far no complaints except some Vista issues (familiarity, compatibility and frequent questions and offers - many softwares offer to be installed before one can even find out what they are for). I haven't found the XP downgrade option, but am making peace with Vista. Works well as a desktop replacement with its docking station.
    Cons: Fairly pricey. You may want to buy one with the largest hard drive (Vista + Office used up half of the 250G harddrive without storing anything on it)...more info