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Sony VAIO FIT 15 Laptop - CRASH--CRASH--CRASH!!
on October 28, 2013
Needed a new laptop and purchased a Sony VAIO Fit 15.5 inch Core i7 15218CXB Touch laptop for work. I was concerned about the graphics processor being shared with the Mobo instead of having a separate GPU like nVidia as I do considerable photo / video / graphics work on the road (i.e. video, Powerpoint, photo editing, etc.) But was assured that the laptop would handle it all. Slow(er) hard drive concerned me (5400rpm instead of 7200rpm) but again was told with Windows 8 and loaded ram I would be ok.
I played with the laptop a bit while at home and for the most part it seemed to function ok. Wasn't really happy with the "tile-layout" so I opted for the traditional "desktop layout". I'm sure if all you've ever used is a touch-tablet or touchscreen smartphone, then you'll probably warm up to the touch-screen / tile layout better but in all honesty...it can be confusing and not-so-user-friendly.
On the road, I was at a big conference where I had to construct client powerpoints each day for next day presentation. This is where things got disappointing real fast. Upon ingesting client photos for manipulation... the Sony VAIO started hiccuping... after a certain number of pics ingested... I opened the photo-software and found it to be quite unresponsive compared to other PC's I've had. Granted these were older PC's (Like a Dell 4600 i5) but I was expecting this new Sony VAIO to be equally responsive if not "faster/better". It was not. The problems started after opening Powerpoint and attempting to build slides in a series. I was able to do it but it was again, not very responsive. It seemed to have to "think about" what to do or as if it were buffering the images even after I reduced their size for faster manipulation. THEN...CRASH!
Locked up... nothing. So had to do a "forced power off / reboot"... froze up after opening Powerpoint and trying to save slides. Repeated the process. Then out of the blue... I get some benign Error message explaining a Hard-Drive Recovery was taking place. This happened on its own. I saw a message indicating that this was going to take some time...like 2+ hours. Great! So after watching this drag along, I decided to go for a hot tea and hope that when I came back to my room, all would be well. So about an hour or so later I get back and laptop is powered off. So I power up and nothing... I see a black screen with only the cursor...no log in, nothing zip, zilch, nada.
After forcing power off I do the alt-F8 continually ...had to repeat this process (power off / altF8) several times until I finally got in a "repair/recovery mode". Followed the prompts on the screen and once again... saw a message indicating this was going to take more than a couple hours...EFfffing GREAT!!" :( So I decide to call it a night...go to bed and let the laptop attempt to repair itself...hoping it will play nice in the AM. Woke up and it powered up and seemed to act like it was going to play nice.
Tried to do photos in powerpoint...managed to work ok and save to a thumbdrive... all went well. LATER IN THE DAY.... had to ingest a short video from SD Card... saved it and attempted to do minor edit using the Sony Video Software which came installed on the laptop.
Can U say Major CRASH?!! Sputtered..then froze and was unresponsive. ARRRGHHH!!!! :( Did a force-power off. BUT couldn't power back on....nothing! Dead Laptop. Soooo thinking I could remove the battery to reset the machine...BUT...this is basically a "SEALED SYSTEM" You can't access the battery as in other models as there aren't any latches or access points on the machine...you'd have to get a jeweler's screwdriver and disassemble it!!!! :( I contacted Sony Tech Support and they told me to push a "reset button" on the "bottom of laptop". Ok...looking at the bottom you don't see anything that even closely resembles a "reset button"...what you do see is a tiny...tiny... PINHOLE...yep a PINHOLE. AND you need to find a really tiny paperclip to carefully press inside the pinhole to "reset" the laptop power functions. (Holy Smokes...what a hot mess this design is!)
I pressed the pinhole and was able to power up. But got a the same dreaded BLACKSCREEN with CURSOR ONLY as before. I was told to power off and use a "HELP ASSIST" button at the top left of keyboard as this is some sort of manual work-around that gets you in the SONY Repair/Recovery Screen Mode. After pressing the HELP/ASSIST button the laptop booted up and the screen loaded the RECOVERY/REPAIR MODE... Deja Vu ... so I did a complete repair which essentially erased everything from the hard drive (I backed up my files on an external drive thankfully) and after about 2+ hours ( I don't know...I left it running in the hotel room to go do some work at the conference).... it was reset to where it was.
IN SUMMARY: I grabbed a colleague's DELL 4600 Windows i5 and did all my photo/video editing, Powerpoint work, etc... AND THEN SOME without fail. I didn't use the Sony VAIO again and instead returned it. The insult to injury came when the SONY folks said they'd replace it ... I told them "thanks but no thanks" HOWEVER...they only refunded my money via a SONY GIFT CARD!!! WTH!!!! :O Apparently the policy was either replace with equivalent or SONY GIFT CARD ONLY!!! Which means I can only use this for more SONY PRODUCTS at a SONY STORE (where the prices are inflated to begin with). So I'm more than upset. I guess when I replace the video camera I'll look at Sony camcorders but as far as their computers are concerned ...no 'effing way!
Your mileage may vary but if you plan on using this machine for photo/video/grfx work...you may wind up experiencing what I did.
The Sony Sales Rep told me that the new driver updates would take care of all my troubles but I had explained that when I registered my machine....the Laptop auto-updated the drivers so his point was more than moot. Very disappointed with SONY VAIO. Never again!