Sony VAIO Z

The Good An upscale 13-inch laptop to give even the MacBook Air a run for its money, Sony's Vaio Z is fast, slim, and light, and includes a docking station with an optical drive and discrete graphics.

The Bad Even though this updated version of the Vaio Z is less expensive than the previous model we reviewed, it's still a premium-priced laptop. We'd almost rather skip the GPU dock and hit a more ultrabook-style price.

The Bottom Line With slim 13-inch SSD laptops now well under $1,000, Sony's expensive, high-end Z series laptop is a tough sell, although the long-life slice battery and unique GPU/optical dock help make its case.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Battery 8.0
  • Support 7.0
7.7 Overall

Compare

Sony Vaio Z
Sony VAIO Z
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)
Apple MacBook (12-inch, Core i5, silver, 2017)
Apple MacBook (2017)
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
Apple MacBook Air (2017)
Lenovo 110S-11IBR - 11" - Celeron N3060 - 2 GB RAM - 32 GB SSD
Lenovo Ideapad 110s
Price $3,000 MSRP $1,000 HP $1,549 Amazon.com $842 Amazon.com $210 Amazon.com
Design
8
9
9
7
8
Features
8
9
7
7
7
Performance
8
8
8
8
7
Battery
8
8
8
9
6
Support
7
... ... ... ...

Review

Sony VAIO Z

Still the highest-end of Sony's Vaio laptops (after all, nothing comes after Z in the alphabet), the Z-series is a rare animal these days. It's a PC that starts close to $2,000 and goes up from there.

When the current iteration of the Vaio Z was first released in the summer of 2011, it was an impressive ultrathin 13-inch laptop, along the lines of the MacBook Air or Samsung Series 9. It outdid those machines by adding a separate docking station that included a few extra ports and connections, as well as an optical drive (upgradable to Blu-ray), and an AMD Radeon GPU.

But in the months since then, the perception of what a slim 13-inch laptop should do, and what it should cost, have changed. The current wave of ultrabooks (laptops that meet Intel's checklist for using that trademarked name) are just as thin, with 13-inch screens, current Core i5 processors, and SSD hard drives. The biggest difference is that ultrabooks start at $799, and few creep past the $1,000 mark, while the Vaio Z starts at $1,649 and can go past $3,000. This review unit came in at $1,999.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $3,000
  • Brand Sony
  • Type 2nd Gen Core i7
  • Installed Size 6 GB
  • Edition Windows 7 Professional
  • Capacity 256 GB
  • Diagonal Size 13.3 in
See full specs
model Sony Vaio Z

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