Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Art of VAIO event

I've always loved how VAIO laptops look. Apparently, Sony's not blind to this, launching a bunch of new laptops in an event called "The Art of VAIO". The event was held at the Ayala Museum (where else?) last Tuesday. Third World Nerd was there. Prepare for pretty laptops, people.

The F Series has 3D

VAIO F Series

Headlining the new laptops is Sony's F Series -- otherwise known as "The One with 3D". It doesn't rank so high in the VAIO Prettiness Scale, but all the cool stuff is under the hood. They really didn't hold back with this one. It's got: 

• a Core i7 processor
• 8GB of RAM (who does that?!?!)
• an NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M video card -- wheeeee!

The big deal though is the 16-inch 1920x1080 3D display. Yep, Full HD AND 3D. And yep, it comes with 3D glasses. The caveat with all things 3D nowadays is that there are precious few 3D movies around, but for this laptop at least, there are also 3D games. Not many of those either, but at least you have options.

The price? A whopping P149,999. No one ever said all that stuff would come cheap.

3WN says: This laptop is a real beast. It's huge. It's powerful. And like most things 3D right now, it's not cheap. But if money is no object, you get the bragging rights of being the first kid on the block with a 3D laptop.

VAIO C Series

Or "The One with Colors". The C series gives you ridiculous levels of customization, letting you choose wild colors for your laptop, keyboard skin, mouse and carrying pouch (sold separately). I quite fell in love with the colors. I suddenly missed the days when Macs had personality. (I had a blue one back in the day, though I wanted a lime green one.)

Pretty decent specs in this laptop too. This one's a Core i5 with an AMD Radeon 6630M. The screen's a 14-incher. The resolution's pretty standard at 1366x768, but Sony's been known to make some nice screens. 

Bumped into Walter Lim of Abenson while at the presscon, and he asked me which colors I liked (he was investigating which colors to carry). I told him the green one looks awesome. He replied that safe colors tend to sell better. I know he's right, but I think you just have to be brave with this laptop. The crazy colors are kind of the point.

A blurry, real life photo.

3WN says: At P69,999, this is the classic VAIO dilemma. It's on the pricey side, but it looks so much better than the Dells and HPs of the world. So the question is if you think that design is worth the premium. I'm a strong believer in design, and I think a product with personality is priceless, but Filipinos tend to go for cheaper all the time. That makes me sad. I wish we were richer. That brings us to...

VAIO Y Series

Or "The Cheap One". This is Sony's laptop for fighting the legions of netbooks in the universe. They're quick to point out that the Y series is NOT a netbook. It's powered by AMD's Dual-Core E-350, which is benchmarked at over 4x the speed of an Intel Atom.

There are more differences. Screen resolution is at 1366x768, once again beating netbooks. The screen is also 11.6 inches, not the 10 inches of netbooks.

3WN says: It's not exactly in the netbook price range either, but at P29,999, it's not far. It's got the VAIO's good looks, so you're sure not to be mistaken for being, um, monetarily challenged.

The wifey with the VAIO S Series. She likes the pink one.

VAIO S Series

Also known as "The Slim One". Priced at P69,999 and marketed as a mobile laptop, this pits the S Series squarely against the 13-inch MacBook Air.

The bad news first: it looks fat beside the Air.

The S Series' spec sheet however gives the Air a thrashing. The S series has a 2.3GHz Core i5, which clobbers the Air's Core 2 Duo (so last generation). You can even "TurboBoost" the processor to 2.9GHz at the press of a button. This is a feature that comes with most VAIOs -- the choice of Speed vs Stamina mode.

Battery life is rated at 6 hours compared to the Air's 7 hours, but it's expandable to an incredible 10 hours with the extended battery pack. You can't replace batteries with the Air, as with many Macs. Of course, the extended battery pack on the VAIO will make the S series heavier if you choose to buy one. There's always a trade-off.

3WN says: Why the comparison with the Air? My wife (pictured) is interested in both the S series and the MacBook Air. It comes down to this: you get far more computer with the S Series. This is something of a double-edged sword. More computer as in better specs (hell, you even get a DVD player). When you're mobile though, you may want less computer. Your choice. They're both super mobile computers. Depends which is more important to you.

And now more pics of the event:

I actually got to escape from work and go to this event. For once!

VAIO stands for Video Audio Integrated Operation. You learn something new every day.

1 comment:

Mariel said...

"I suddenly missed the days when Macs had personality." Sigh, I can't agree with you more. One day, Macs became black, which was a cool move after the still-supercute white iBooks from the years before. And then they became silver...and seem to be staying silver with tweaks under the hood here and there. But, really, I miss the "oomph" and out-of-the-box design that made Orocan(?) make plastic drawers the color of iMacs back in the day.