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back to article Sony Vaio Z11 13in laptop

Apple may have grabbed headlines for releasing its new MacBook Pro with two GPUs on board - one for casual, one for best - but Sony had already done so, with its Vaio Z11, launched in the summer and now available for review. Sony Vaio Z11 Sony's Vaio Z11: As a recently launched laptop, it's no surprise that the Z11 is based …

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Boffin

GPUs

Sony have been doing this for the last 2 years at least. My org laptop has one for stamina, and one for speed!

"I'll feel the need, the need for speed!" *High 5*

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Stop

RGB nonsense

"RGB colour gamut as per the NTSC US TV standard"

Which is what? Sounds like marketing rubbish on the face of it. If you want to impress photographers it will need the gamut of Adobe RGB (1998) and no less.

Meh!

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Anonymous Coward

Stamina/Speed switch

Not sure why everyone is making such a big deal about this "new" feature in the new Macs - the Sony SZ series of yesteryear had it too! i picked up an SZ4 in April 2007 but in the main, the SZ model had been out for some time beforehand...

Sony is as bad as Apple for over priced, over beautified (if that is a word!) machines, but one reason I have one over the Mac Air is exactly as Tony says - the footprint is that much less! It is just about small enough to be usable on flights, yet at the same time has all the ports and connectors I need when working away from home without lugging USB hubs and external gadgets to enable me to work productively.

At the end of the day, the Z is merely an upgrade of the higher end SZ's (with the new SR being an upgrade of the lower end SR's) and it would be hard to justify getting one to replace a one year old machine. Unless I drop that older machine of course.

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Gold badge

Nice hardware

There's one or two nice Apple alternatives out there (by nice I mean good specifications, good design), it's just a shame the OS choice is either Windows or Linux or some BSD OS (including OpenSolaris in there).

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

They beat apple to the dual GPU thing with THIS?

I bought a Vaio SZ670 over a year ago that has the dual GPU feature. This is not new for Sony.

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Meh.

(Comment preface- I've got a Macbook, but I'm no Mac maniac. That said, I am looking at replacing my Macbook with... a new model Macbook)

As the article says, this thing is targetting Mac customers, and given that it's a 13.3" laptop I'm going to say that they're definitely targetting me with this. But it's more expensive than a Macbook, and I don't see what I'm getting extra. I like the dual-GPU idea, but El Reg's tests show that I'll get an extra... 15 minutes? Not much to write home about, then. Plus, slightly shoddy build quality compared to the lump of aluminum that is the new MB. And the Macbook looks cooler, sorry.

I wish Sony all the best because I think Apple could do with some more competition sometimes but this ain't it.

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@Anonymous Coward

I think the fuss re:Apple is just that some people care about their GPU and were bothered by the integrated chipset; that bother being aggravated by Apple not offering alternatives in the same price band and form factor. Conversely, now that Apple have adopted this completely proven idea, they've all but become the only manufacturer that considers it a standard feature (again because of the limited options in Apple hardware, but you see my point I hope).

But, yeah, you're right - it's hardly an innovation.

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Go

@Thomas

Good point - hadn't thought of it that way. I've been looking at Lenovos recently and they definitely seem to like producing the same machine with both integrated and discrete GPU, and giving it the same model number but different suffix. Doesn't really fit in with Apple's minimalist line offerings I guess so they differentiate by including this as standard, and allows everyone to run with or without discrete GPU. I'd like to see what savings Apple gets for economy of scale in having so few variants of machine on offer...

@Alastair (and also the review): I'm surprised to hear that the thin screen flexes so much! What is it made of? I would have thought it'd be Carbon Fibre which shouldn't flex much at all. The TT gets the same comments as well about bendy screens, but I noticed that both the older SZ and TZ have rigid screens, so much so that I have a bad habit of picking up machines by the corner of the screen. My work HP doesn't like it much, with a big green stripe that occasionally appears...

AC as I'm meant to be ensuring a certain tax doober changes as it should do for our customers...

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Silver badge
Linux

Targeting Mac customers?

True, I was considering a Mac when I got the (very similar) SZ a year ago, but the sony won because it was far more powerful and had the 3d chip. It's targeting people who want a smalll, light, powerful, pretty laptop and don't care about MacOS.

A year ago apple weren't producing anything that small with a decent GFX chip. Now? Well I'd probably go for the cheaper macbook option, if I could overcome my revulsion at the keyboard. I'd say it's apple that have moved into Sony's territory here.

Also I got mine for 700 quid less than the UK list price because I bought it in the US. We are still being *hugely* ripped off here in the UK. From 1400 quid the reg article says. Sony.com has them starting at $1650.

That makes me sick.

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Pedant

Surely the trackpad scrolling is software, not hardware.

And the scale on that graph sucks, give us some more detail!

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Pedant

The trackpad scrolling areas are hardware related as the special areas of the pad have extra links and controls wired to them if you have a look at the underside. I would guess that is how you can scroll as you click on a selection similar to if the trackpad was a multitouch one, though that would be a very limited kind of multitouch!

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Bronze badge

Keyboard

How much does that keyboard remind you of the ZX Spectrum? Slap a few weird symbols on them and three different shift modes and you would be right there.

As for the size - the larger the keyboard is, the easier it is to type on, so the fact that the MacBook Air is larger is surely a positive? Particularly since it does so while remaining lighter than this, and cheaper as well?

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