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back to article Sony outs its first Ultrabook

Say hello to Sony's first Ultrabook - though it's not the Japanese giant's first oh-so-skinny compact laptop. Remember: Ultrabook is not a category, just an Intel brandname. Sony Vaio T Actually, it's not even Sony's thinnest machine. That honour surely goes to the rather more sexy - but older - Vaio Z, a 16.7mm-think machine …

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Silver badge
FAIL

Sorry Sony. This is not good enough

Using a cheapo 1366 x 768 screen!

Why don't you put in a decent screen and make your device stand out from the crowd.

You know all the other ones that probably use the very same part number for the screen.

As it stands, this is very much a 'Meh!' 'So?' ultrabook.

Fail for obvious reasons.

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Facepalm

Re: Sorry Sony. This is not good enough

Yeap, this is the same as the slurry of "ultrabooks" that have been featured on the reg recently, just got a different badge on the back.

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Silver badge

Re: Sorry Sony. This is not good enough

Yep, if anyone was going to distinguish themselves by making a song and dance about their display, you'd expect it to be Sony. Oh, wait:

Vaio Z Ultrabook. 13". 1920x1080 screen. Comes with a LightPeak dock that houses a Radeon 6630m and a BluRay drive. £2250. Eek. And the 15" version has a 1080 IPS screen.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews/ultraportables/2011/07/14/sony-vaio-z-40093414/

But sorry, Michael H.F. Wilkinson, still no CUDA.

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Re: Sorry Sony. This is not good enough

Perhaps they are using a cheapo 1366 x 768 screen because this is targeting the cheapo ultrabook market. This is likely meant to compete with all the other $600-800 ultrabooks. If you want all the bells and whistles they still have the Z series, though it's not officially an ultrabook. But you'll pay for all those bells and whistles and the high res screen.

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Holmes

Re: Sorry Sony. This is not good enough

Because this is Cheap Sony.

There are two laptop manufacturers with Sony in the name, using the same logo and sharing a website: Cheap Sony and Expensive Sony.

Cheap Sony products are exactly the same rebadged plastic crap as all other low-end laptop manufacturers make - Acer, Asus, Lenovo (non-Thinkpad), all that lot. Cheap low-end components, cheap construction, bad screens, bad keyboards. They invariably cost around 5-10% more than their competition and there is absolutely never any reason at all to buy one. If you want a cheap laptop, buy one from one of the other cheap companies and save a bit of money.

Expensive Sony products are actually made by Sony, in Japan, using unique designs and high-end components. They are often very well-made and very good, although sometimes they're just completely weird and pointless - hello, Vaio X and Vaio U, we're looking at you - and occasionally they have actual manufacturing / design flaws. The good ones, like the Z discussed in this thread, really are good, though. The only problem with Expensive Sony products is they're really bloody expensive; the current classic 'Expensive Sony' product is the Z and it'll run you two grand (of whatever currency you prefer, really) at entry level. Even the high-end S models, which are Expensive Sony stuff, are indeed pretty pricey.

If you happen to be rolling in the stuff, though, or work for a company with an understanding purchasing department, there's often a reason to buy an Expensive Sony system. I'm typing this on an entry-level 2009/2010 model year Vaio Z (with 'only' 120GB SSD and a 1600x900 matte screen) I've had for two years (the understanding purchasing department sure does come in handy), and it's _still_ probably better than most newly bought laptops. Can't say that about many two year old computers.

This thing, though, is Cheap Sony all the way and consequently will inevitably be a giant waste of money. If you want a cheapo Ultrabook just buy the cheapest one made by Acer or Asus or whoever, it'll be just as good as this crap.

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Silver badge

@Blank Reg - Cheapo ultrabook

Not likely - seems like the average price for these 1366 x 768 ultrabooks is in the $1200 range (see about 146 other ultrabooks reviewed on El Reg for examples), so all you're getting for a whole crapload of money is thinness

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Re: @Blank Reg - Cheapo ultrabook

$1200 is for the high end of ultrabooks I've seen. I can get Toshiba, Acer, HP etc. ultrabooks for $750-900 at regular prices, and they seem to be on sale every other week down as low $650. And prices are only expected to go down.

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jai
Silver badge

Remember: Ultrabook is not a category....

....it just means "tries to look like a MacBook Air"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember: Ultrabook is not a category....

Actually, the new Ivy Bridge processors enables... just kidding, it is a total Air ripoff.

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Silver badge

Prefer the Z-series

Came with better screens and nVidia graphics. Light machines which run CUDA stuff. Not cheap though. My even older Vaio SZ is still working, and even it can run more (older) CUDA stuff. No Ultrabook ticks that box.

Pity.

Fortunately, there has been a spate of very decent 13" and 14" laptops with nVidia 520 and 540 graphics on board. Cheaper than the Ultrabooks too. So, guess what I will get to replace my crumbling SZ.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prefer the Z-series

z Series would make for a powerful laptop... although loses some points for portability. :)

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FAIL

Fails the first test.

Test 1. Does it have a number pad?

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Thumb Down

Re: Fails the first test.

Number pads on small laptops usually result in:

1. Stupidly small cursor keys

2. Offset touchpads

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Silver badge
FAIL

Fail

1366 x 768.

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Big ol' Dell

Ah, good old XPS 17. Sure it's thick (huge battery) and heavy, but it's got great hardware and the one I made was pretty cheap. Lugging it around makes for good excercise?

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Silver badge
FAIL

Dreaming of the 1980's...

I seem to remember my PC clone with a NEC V10 had a 4.77 to 10Mhz turbo button.

Have we really lost the ability to do this sort of thing?

I want a 3.2Ghz quadcore laptop which drops its speed to 1.6ghz and switches off two cores at my command, which would probably coincide with running on batteries.

More FAIL for the screen - my 1500Mhz single core Athlon laptop has 1400x900.

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FAIL

Re: Dreaming of the 1980's...

Er...all modern CPUs (from Intel or AMD) do much more sophisticated power management than that, transparently, constantly. Hell, they even do it in desktops, to reduce your power bill (and the amount of heat your HSF has to cope with).

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Bronze badge
WTF?

That side view looks iffy...

...the bottom of the vertical screen seems to be below where the rubber feet are, so if you put it on a table, the rubber feet at the back will be in mid air and the weight will rest on the bottom of the screen/hinge.

Surely it's not really like that?

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That's not how it is supposed to be set up

The bottom of the screen is slanted in the picture; if you rest the thing on a table with the display tilted back a bit, as is normal, then the bottom sits flush and the weight of the body helps retain it in that position.

You still couldn't pay me to use one though.

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

No thanks

I'll stick with my 3 year old vaio TT. As mentioned above its one of the Expensive Sony's. Slightly thicker (23mm) than whats in vogue these days but at 11" much easier to fit in a bag/rucksack corner than a 13". Also approriate screensize for the size (same as the Naffbooks 1366 ish).

An importantly more ports than you can shake a stick at.

2 usb

Firewire 400

Memory Stick

SD

Expresscard 34

HDMI

VGA

And built like an engineering masterpiece inside with the option for Raid SSD's.

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Anonymous Coward

Sony...

...I remember them - didn't they used to be 'good guys'?

I doesn't take long to go from 'revered' to 'reviled' - take note Apple/Google/Facebook etc.

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Silver badge

Nevermind the screenrez

Frankly, you don't need much more than 1024x768 to be productive whatever the usual howling chorus of screenres smacktards inevitably yell (on EVERY. SINGLE. LAPTOP. ARTICLE).

But those specifications really don't match up. Ignoring the screen, which is fine, the rest is third-rate.

Disappointing.

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Gold badge

Re: Nevermind the screenrez

Nope, screen res is important. I have a friend who has damaged eyesight, and needs a machine to run at 800x600 resolution. On that machine, Windows 7 is even more unusable than normal..

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I get it now

So once you make a thin laptop and brand it ultra, you have perfect excuse to ship it with horrible res. & joke like cpu. I5 vs i7 doesn't matter that much but once it is i3, really think about it

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FAIL

I don tthink i've owned anything made by Sony since my old Walkman... doesnt look like thats going to change anytime soon...

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Silver badge
FAIL

thats Sony for ya

Typical Sony these days, late to market with a me too product priced as if it was market leading. Sadly they are even late to the still birth markets like the Ultrabook fail segment.

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