19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
TECH GEEK AND VALUE-HOLIC'S REVIEW
I must admit that I spend half of my salary on latest gadgets though I do make sure that I don't overpay for anything (meaning I never waste money on overpriced products from a fruit named company and the likes).
When I saw this laptop at 550 dollars at amazon, I knew i just had to buy it because the valueholic living inside me would never forgive me
I am quite happy that I did pull the trigger (till now...I will keep on updating this article). This is an extremely high end looking and feeling laptop made of magnesium alloy and for this money you won't find a core i5 laptop, let alone one which is as light as this one (3.8 pounds), has a slot loading optical drive, made of magnesium alloy and carries an expensive brand name (sony) instead of acer or asus.
However keeping aside what a great value this laptop is, here is what I think of this laptop during my two week's acquaintance with the product.
Excellent (I mean EXCELLENT) Keyboard and Touch Pad.
Very Fashionable (everyone thinks i bought if for at least a 1000 dollars)
Scratch Resistant Magnesium alloy Casing.
Quite Fast with Core I5.
Windows 8 is what Windows Vista should have been, an OS for the 21st century (see below as well)
Windows 8 (can be daunting at first for technically challenged people)
The Screen has quite bad Viewing Angles (and i mean QUITE bad). Come on Sony i know this is a cheap laptop but my 5 year old hp netbook has better viewing angle than this one.
Sony product have proven unreliable for me in last 2 years. Let's see how this one holds out.
1. I updated the touchpad software (synaptics) and upon restart the touchpad reverted to default windows drivers. I had to manually go to website and download and install the synaptic touchpad driver.
1. The pc hanged and upon restart a message appeared "No Operating System installed". I went to bios and saw that internal hard drive is not detected. Thinking that the connection may have become loose i gave laptop a slight shake and Eureka the laptop started working.
I absolutely adore the keyboard of this machine. Very Very comfortable to type on.
The screen viewing angles have really started to annoy me. Come on Sony i know this is a cheap laptop but my 5 year old hp netbook has better viewing angle than this one.
I have gotten use to the screen bad viewing angles. The colours on the screen are quite good actually. The laptop did show "No operating system found" a couple of times after the incident, but for last two weeks it is working like a charm.
Update 6: (After Three Months)
Three months on, I have changed the review to 5 stars from four. That rarely happens with me as i grow tired of tech products but this laptop absolutely deserves it. The reason for change are:
1. Amazing battery life,
2. Very light and user friendly weight and dimensions
3. Very good speakers
4. Very reliable, after initial hiccups not a single problem
5. Absolutely excellent keyboard
6. And above all, three months of rough use and not a single scratch on magnesium body
An absolute must buy for its price specially if you want an optical drive.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
I'm in love with Windows 8 and this laptop! I would not be feeling the same if it weren't for my son's help. Everything went smoothly during setup, except I was having a frustrating time getting connected to the internet. Internet showed I was connected, all looked perfect, just could not get a good connection. I was feeling like I had the slowest laptop ever made, my Sony Vaio netbook was faster! I was not very happy. Disappointed, I even had another model laptop picked out after reading the reviews here.
Thankfully my son, who's been singing the praises of Windows 8 since his beta version, informed me that I probably needed my drivers updated. He told me to use my other laptop to access Sony's website to get to the software/drivers needed for this model. I simply downloaded the update for the Wireless LAN, moved the file to a usb flash drive so I could install it on this laptop. After the update was installed, I restarted just to be sure everything was set, and like magic I had speedy internet service.
My husband and daughter have different models of the S Series, only with Windows 7. I knew what to expect concerning the larger mouse pad, as it takes some getting used to, and can get in the way a little while typing. I like the lighted keyboard, and how thin this laptop is. I also chose this model because I'm not ready to give up my CD/DVD drive yet. This laptop has everything I wanted, except I plan to add more memory. I think it is at a reasonable price too.
Anyway, everything is working great. Now I have only to learn my way around Windows 8.
Wanted to add: Don't make the mistake I did an order 2x8 GB memory kit. My fault that I didn't notice that the 4 GB was fixed. I should have ordered just the one 8 GB of notebook memory to get the maximum 12 GB.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
I disagree with other buyers who have said it is a bad product. Not true! I'm testing it and I can say that all the specifications are correct. It's a fast laptop, very convenient to work, as far as appearance is great, nothing to envy to other similar, but has a superior finish to many! It is elegant, has very good resolution, pleasant to the touch, probably with more RAM will be perfect. I will buy more, remember that you can add up to 12GB. I love this laptop! I recommend it!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Very fast laptop with a good price! It's great to work, good appearance and light!
Fantastic Keyboard and Touch Pad.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a very small, 13 inch screen computer and very thin when you look at the side. I plugged it in and started the setup. I did a basic personalization since I am not that computer savvy. I basically selected whatever was quick and got me out of that mess fast.
I tried to connect to my wireless internet but had to hunt a little to find where I enter the password to access the internet. But I didn't have any connection issues. I did have to download about 12 automatic updates and 2 manual updates. This did take a while because the computer kept going into a sleep mode and I have to keep waking it up to keep downloading.
I admit that I will have to get a separate mouse to use because I was having a heck of a time trying to work the mouse pad. During downloading updates, you constantly have to select your country. This meant that I had to click and drag to the United States all the time. That was a pain but I slowly get the idea for what needed to be done.
This does have Windows 8 on it. There are a bunch of pins to the computer so you can just jump to one place or another. I have never worked with that before so I admit that I was very confused. I got the basics of it but I have to say that I would rather stick with Windows 7, at least I can understand that.
Finally, I just surf the internet or such. I don't do gaming or watching videos so I don't know how this performed in those areas. But I will say that it seemed to take a little bit to load some of the pages that I was browsing. Not horrible slow but more of a nuisance. Also, because the computer is smaller, there is no keypad off the side of the keyboard. I can't seem to find the keys that I need so it will take a while for me to get used to that.
Beyond that, this is a nice little computer. You are spending $700 (as of 3/18/13). I think that if you have all ready been using Windows 8 you will get along with it easier than I have. There are some minor irritations but once I use it more I think this will be a good little computer. I wouldn't want to get rid of my Toshiba but as a back up computer, I would have one of these.
Author and Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
I never wanted an older laptop before but something about this laptop made me beg my parents to get it for me...
I loved how the screen had a pink border and that's something you can't find in most laptops,
although I do think that the pink color interferes when I'm watching something.
The keyboard is nice and has a soft touch to it when typing however there are some keys that I thought I pressed but I didn't hard enough to show up.
I absolutely hated the auto-brightness sensor that kept dimming and brightening the screen,
I disabled it in Vaio settings but it would still do it when the power cord wasn't plugged in.
Later on I figured I needed to install all the updates including updating the entire laptop to Windows 8.1 to get the problem fixed.
The audio is decent, I discovered there are actually 2 different audio settings and that one is significantly louder if that fits your fancy.
The webcam is utter crap, it has a huge lag and the quality of the video is all pixely which I actually don't mind as I don't do video calls and am not the 'Selfie' type of person :')
I never thought I'd say this, but I actually like Windows 8, the lack of a start button was frustrating at first
but I learned to keep going back to the start screen and selecting apps from there.
plus I owned a windows phone for a good 2 years, so I've had practice. :D
The only thing that annoys me the most is the viewing angles. No matter how much I adjust the screen, it feel like it's
not facing directly at me and hence forth distorting the colors.
Although the only moments when that really bothers me is when the websites I'm viewing have a white background (like amazon)
Other than that I really love this laptop. I love the long battery life and the feature to charge your phone from it
despite it being off. Also the battery is really quick to charge when plugged in.
It's a pretty nifty little laptop and I'm happy I choose it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have had ASUS, Toshiba, Gateway and HP computers. I've used Windows XP and Windows 7. This was my first Sony, my first Windows 8, and my first laptop that is this small.
As far as the quality of Sony, I found it to be top notch. The keys on the keyboard operate flawlessly. I was not fond of the touchpad because I was used to only having to use one finger to scroll but I've gotten used to it. The screen resolution is good enough for me. The weight and thinness is amazing to me. I've only had the 15 inch and up sized laptops in the past.
I despise Windows 8 and unless this new update to this operating system coming out later this year performs miracles, I will never purchase a laptop with this unless it has a touch screen. If you have never used Windows 8, I recommend you do a little internet research and go to your local brick and mortar store and see for yourself how different it is. On a side note, my 7 year old son has no problems navigating on the Sony with Windows 8 or our older laptop with Windows 7.
For the price and quality, it would be hard to beat this computer. I wouldn't recommend anyone going any smaller in size for a computer. This one allows you to increase the RAM which seems to be one of the first things that makes a computer slow up as better technology evolves. The processor is fast. Unlike other reviews, I had no issue in getting my laptop to connect wirelessly. I have had it freeze up twice. After a hard reset both times, it worked again.
I would recommend the additional warranty from one of those third parties. I do that with every major purchase I make.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I put the Touch Screen comment in my headline not because it's a secret by Sony by any means, but just to reinforce this.
It's not a gimme that a touch screen is needed with Windows 8, although most will advise it. I have four Windows 8 computers and this is the only one that doesn't have it. Cleaning the screen, though, is easier without a touch screen. (I haven't come up with many other benefits).
I do like that this computer has a DVD drive for installing software. In this case, trading the touch capability for the DVD drive was worth it to me because I'm using this computer in a training room. I may want to show DVDs but mostly having this to load all my software has been helpful.
I have a similar VAIO with a touch screen and the weight is surprisingly the same, even though that one doesn't have a DVD drive. The computer is lightweight and small.
One thing to consider is that you could reimage this computer with Windows 7 if Windows 8 wasn't your thing. That is the benefit of the optical drive, but your drivers may not work for the sound. I'd research that before pulling the trigger but as a Windows 7 laptop, in my view, this would be excellent.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2013
I have been a customer of Vaio for 20 years. A very happy customer. Up to now, whatever problem I had was fixed by customer services. This laptop however is the worst product I have ever seen, and unfortunately, owned.
1) Window 8 is not working properly. If you have a computer running with window 7, believe me, you don't want to change.
2) The mouse pad is a disaster. If you click one milimeter next to the area where you are supposed to, it won't work.
4) The mouse pad also stops working regularly. Had to by an actual mouse. After calling customer services, downoaded some programme, still not working, this 2 months after purchase.
5) When moving inside your apartment, the laptop doen't reconnect to the broadband. We have an apple in the apartment which always works, so this isn't an issue with the broadband. It is the laptop which can't reconnect everythime there is a spasm in the broadband. This has multiple, catastrophic effects in daily life, such as: emails aren't sent, orders not processed, skype conversations interrupted and so on.
I will never buy Sony again. The customer services were so poor, I was shocked. If this is how a faithful customer is being treated, then my next laptop is an Apple.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review could've gone pretty badly had I not had access to a second PC and a review posted here at Amazon, and lots of Google-ing and Yahoo-ing message boards. Because when I first opened up the VAIO, it was like opening frustration in a box.
I'm not a techie, and don't pretend to be. The solution I spell out below probably makes no sense to someone who understands PC's, and I probably took the long route in solving my problem, but this is what worked for me.
(*I will say that most of these tech kinks usually work themselves out rather quickly with a patch you can download)
The issue I had seems to be a fairly common problem posted by other reviewers here (as well as Yahoo answers and a couple other forums I visited searching for a solution), and that is that the VAIO would not connect wirelessly to the internet. I won't bore you with the details, but what it boiled down to was that the VAIO saw my Network, but when I went to connect it either wouldn't connect at all or I would get a "Limited" connection, which means I couldn't get online.
The solution I found was 2-fold. First go online to Sony, and go to "download drivers and software". (I forgot to say that you can either go online by connecting the VAIO with a wire, or you will have to go online on another PC and download the driver upgrade to one of those USB drives, which you can then plug into the VAIO and download). Here you will plug in the serial number of your VAIO, and Sony will list any/all drivers currently available for your model. Click on the "Wireless Lan" drivers and download the upgrade posted just last month. Once you've gotten the upgrade loaded shut down the VAIO. And here was the part that took me a couple of frustrating nights to figure out, reset your modem & router, or simply turn them off to reboot. Turn your the modem and router back on and then fire up the VAIO. This solved my problem, and I haven't had trouble getting online since.
Now onto the VAIO itself. I love the design and layout! First it's a beautiful little machine, sleek and lightweight. This is the first laptop I've owned with a backlit keyboard, and I can't imagine not having one now! Makes working in a dim room or at night so easy! The screen looks great, the colors pop, and pictures jump off the screen. It's fast, the speed at which programs open and files open is amazing! I've had laptops before that start to run "hot" after continuous use, and they can actually grow a little too uncomfortable to hold on your lap. The VAIO didn't even get warm.
With the frustration I felt at the beginning of my VAIO experience, I couldn't imagine being as happy with this product as I am now. I do highly recommend the VAIO, it's a great little unit....once you get over those initial kinks.