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View Full Version : Are Sony Vaio's any good?


MBHockey
07-05-2005, 07:58 PM
My brother needs a new laptop for law school. I think i've picked one out, a Sony VAIO (getting a mac for him is out of the question)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00092DUKQ/ref=pc_de_a_smtd/002-6289082-7069660?v=glance&s=pc&vi=tech-data

can anyone tell me anything about their experiences, or about Vaio's in general? Is Sony a reputable brand of computer?

From what i can tell, it's made up of good parts...but what do you think?

fat elvis
07-05-2005, 08:32 PM
I've worked with a few...some old, and one newer 17" one. The initial quality is excellent, however they don't seem to hold up that well. sorta like the original Ti PowerBooks. The Vaio's also look nice, too. In terms of physical longevity I'd go with a Dell or *gasp* Lenovo ThinkPad ;) I actually don't mind the ThinkPads that much

voldenuit
07-05-2005, 08:34 PM
Depending on how urgent the purchase is, dual-booting x86 Macs could be interesting candidates once they come out...

And you should try harder to make your case in favor of a Mac ;) .

MBHockey
07-05-2005, 08:38 PM
Heh, yeah...he needs it before this coming fall, and likes my Mac, but i wouldn't feel comfortable sending him away to school with a whole new operating system on his hands -- he's not very into computers.

What about the Vaio's seem to break down? HD failures? Or worse stuff? We plan on getting him the 3 year extended warranty.

voldenuit
07-05-2005, 08:47 PM
Now if you could make your case how exactly someone "not very into computers" would be better served by an OS other than OS X, that might be most interesting.

It would however take quite a twisted lawyer to successfully plead such a cause ;) .

MBHockey
07-05-2005, 09:17 PM
It's just what he's used to...the reason most people don't even consider switching to a Mac; because he grew up with it.

vancenase
07-05-2005, 09:35 PM
It's just what he's used to...the reason most people don't even consider switching to a Mac; because he grew up with it.
only one data point, but ... my roommate had a motherboard failure with his Vaio. it was replaced 3 times (still had problems after the 3rd time). he eventually bought a dell. if he were posting in my place, he would not be so kind with his words.

cwtnospam
07-05-2005, 10:27 PM
Question: Are Sony Vaio's any good?
Answer: Do they run OS X?
:rolleyes:

vancenase
07-05-2005, 10:38 PM
one last comment (at least for now). our departmental IT guy told me once that his favorite PC laptops were those from IBM (thinkpads). i had a dell before switching to mac. other than the ultra-portable Dells, i think the Inspirons are way to bulky and plasticy (they feel cheap).

i'd recommend that he go to a store that carries the model he is interested in and play around with it. to me, the keyboard and screen are, arguably, (two of) the most important parts of the laptop, since you physically use them. if it doesn't feel good to my eyes and fingers, i wouldn't want to use it.

CAlvarez
07-05-2005, 11:43 PM
Professionally, I simply don't want to deal with Sony machines, and definitely never want to call Sony support for anything. I'd rather deal with the Indians at Dell. Actually I'd rather gouge out my brain with a rusty fork, plus that would put me on par with Sony support "techs."

The machines themselves are not as solid as most others. They get creaky and loose with a lot of travel. Many feature hard edges that become uncomfortable. They do offer high value for the money in some models unless you consider support and durability.

IBM is overpriced, but reliable. I won't buy or recommend them because of the price. Good support.

HP has fantastic support, and most of their models are reliable and rugged. Most are built with business in mind, rather than trying to be showy like the Sonys. They are nice to work on, and full support/service documentation is online.

Toshiba...dunno, I put them between the good and the bad I guess. Not a lot of experience with them, but most of it is just ok with no great nor terrible experience.

Dell. Hmm. Support is horrible. They've done a few dumb things here and there, but most of the machines give good value for your dollar. I've owned and supported them. I'd rather own and support an HP, but wouldn't cringe at a Dell like I would a Sony.

styrafome
07-06-2005, 12:09 AM
IBM is overpriced, but reliable. I won't buy or recommend them because of the price. Good support.

My Thinkpad's been pretty good to me. Was it overpriced? Not compared to my $2600 PowerBook! Which I paid because it is the PowerBook that I spend all day on and am quite happy with. Actually, my Thinkpad cost half of what the PowerBook cost.

CAlvarez
07-06-2005, 12:20 AM
You gonna tell me that your PowerBook isn't worth double the price of that Wintel machine? G'head, I dare ya. Double dog dare.

http://www.cbr1100xx.org/temp/funny/fishing_sign.jpg

Relative to other Wintel notebooks with similar features, quality, and support, the IBM costs more.

MBHockey
07-06-2005, 08:30 AM
Thanks CAlvarez, i will look into both Dell and HP as other options.

It seems that the consensus is to stay away from Sony's, eh?

Glad to know before i went out and bought it!

cameranerd74
07-06-2005, 09:07 AM
I'll second CAlvarez. We use Dell's for all our execs here and they're a lot better about support than Sony. I'm not fond of Sony machines at all, but I know several people who have them and can't complain. We have a dept. where all the users have Tablet PC's and they are issued Gateways. I really, really, really like the Gateway tablets, but their support is not quite up to par with IBM or HP. Dollar for dollar it's hard to beat Dell for laptops, unless you need a tablet. I've also had good luck with Acers.

MBHockey
07-06-2005, 03:46 PM
After looking over both companie's configurations...i've decided to go with an HP Pavilion dv1000 for him. Here are the complete specs:

-XP Pro
-80 GB HD @ 5400 RPM
-14" screen (1280x768) with BrightView
-512 mb pc2700 ram
-Intel Pentium M 1.86 GHz
-DVD/CD-RW combo drive
-Wireless B,G and bluetooth built-in
-12 Cell li-ion battery
-3 year HP express repair extended service plan

$1622.99 before a $50 mail-in rebate

CAlvarez
07-08-2005, 03:30 PM
I was going to mention the dv1000 specifically, but didn't realize they were still being made. I support a bunch of users of those, and we all love them.

However, the price seems high. The last one I bought cost me just under $1000 on eBay. I don't recall the specs like HD and memory, but for the price difference you can buy a lot of HD and memory. Oh, of course, that didn't include the three year service. But do look on eBay, and compare.

MBHockey
07-17-2005, 08:22 PM
The customized dv1000 was supposed to ship on Friday, July 14th. To my surprise, it arrived around 6 PM on the 14th. I was away for the weekend, and just started having some time to play with it.

Overall looks nice. Seems sturdy, looks nice, the screen is good. An oddity, in the bottom left of the screen where the start menu is, it seems really dim for some reason, quite odd.

I'm reformatting it now, HP shipped it with seemingly 1000 pre-installed programs that all want to start up with the computer and configure everything from bluetooth, to HP updates, to wireless connectivity -- can't Windows do this on its own?!

Anyway...i'm satisfied with the buy, it's quite fast, i really like the Pentium-M chip.

Thanks for all your suggestions, i'm sure my brother is going to love it!

CAlvarez
07-17-2005, 09:27 PM
A clean install from a Windows XP disc without all the bundled crap is always the best way to start with a new machine. Unlike iLife and other bundled Mac apps, most Windows machines come with garbage and demoware. HP does have a few nice utilities that you will want, such as the interface for the media remote control included on that machine (look in the PCMCIA slot if you haven't found it yet--very neat design idea). I'd recommend starting clean and then looking through the bundled extras to see what you want to install.

For AV, I highly recommend this program, which I sell to all my clients (home use is free): http://www.grisoft.com It's far better than any of the for-pay software from the big names.

roncross@cox.net
07-17-2005, 11:03 PM
I've worked with a few...some old, and one newer 17" one. The initial quality is excellent, however they don't seem to hold up that well. sorta like the original Ti PowerBooks.

What exactly do you mean by not holding up well, sorta like the original Ti PowerBooks?

I use my Ti PowerBooks at work and home for at least 10-12 hours a day and it is holding up quite well. I have been using consistently this way for at least a year now without any major issues or problems.

thx
RLC

MBHockey
07-18-2005, 07:01 AM
CAlvarez, the laptop is a lot better after a reformat and reinstall of XP. But, have you noticed that the laptop's processor (or something else inside) seems to make a "click" noise, or a "pop". It sounds really weird...at first i thought it was one of the many incessant feedback sounds XP loves to inundate its user with...but after i muted the sound i still hear it and it's quite odd.

I guess it could be either the HD or the processor? Have you seen that in other dv1000's?

heluani
07-18-2005, 07:42 AM
Even if you get a PC laptop, I'd make a partition and double boot Win-Linux. He'll have to start somewhere the switch to a better OS and at the same time he'll get to play witht open soft.

R.

CAlvarez
07-18-2005, 12:52 PM
But, have you noticed that the laptop's processor (or something else inside) seems to make a "click" noise, or a "pop".
Never heard that, but then, it could be one of the noises I just take for granted from being around computers. The HD could click here and there, depending on brand. A CPU doesn't make noise (well, if it does, it's the last thing it will ever do). Hard to say without sitting in front of it. Is it metallic? Does it just do it once or repeat a few times at random intervals?

He'll have to start somewhere the switch to a better OS
Foisting Linux onto a normal user, especially a laptop, is a good way to make sure he'll never consider anything other than Windows.