Further Update on The Vaio Z2: Linux, Weight, and Video Playback

One thing that is interesting for me is getting used to the weight. The laptop is at least 1lbs lighter than my previous ones and the lightness is affecting how I’m used to holding and balancing the laptop. But in any case, I’d loaded up a usb drive with Ubuntu 11.04 (latest as of this post) and tried to boot a live image using the laptop without the PMD. After the initial selection screen in the bootloader, it proceeded to load Ubuntu, but the LCD remained bank. I know it successfully booted into Ubuntu because I heard the usual chime/whatever played once the OS is up. Next was trying it out with the PMD. This time, it didn’t boot at all. I’ll try again with Ubuntu 10.04 and BackTrack5.

So, the LCD resolution has been a tricky issue. There have been arguments back and forth. Some argue the Full HD panel (1920 x 1080) is best. Others go for the 1600×900 panel claiming it is brighter and results in increased battery life, not to mention better readibility. So you can imagine I was a bit worried about my choice – the 1600×900 version. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with my decision – though it is not without hiccups. Anything at standard definition or lower definitely looks “low res” now. But the upside – the sweet sweet upside – HD resolution videos look amazing on this panel. And it’s got the hardware to decode things for incredibly smooth playback. I used to think that media shot in lower than HD resolution would still be with us for many years to come. But after this experience, you can bet that I will utilize every opportunity I have to watch things in HD.

Oh and yes, the mic in the noise canceling earphones bundled with the laptop can be used as a microphone source.

    • darius
    • September 6th, 2011

    Interesting read, did you get the Ubuntu running? custom kernel build?

    As for the resolution, I’m mostly interested in the ability to fit more on the screen. For example when you need to compare to files in Eclipse. With my Vaio X and its 1366×768 it gets quite cramped. Most sites require a lot of scrolling or more then I’m used to from my 24″ desktop displays. I’m drooling after the 1920 x 1080 version. Although such high res on 13.1″ screen could be hard on the eyes at times.

    Funny you speak about the 1lb less then you previous one. I’m on the Vaio X now so looking at 1lb more if I switch to the Z 🙂

    • John Hughes
    • September 22nd, 2011

    So, Linux?

    • So I no longer have this machine. I swapped it for an Asus Ep121. I never got linux to boot quite properly on it – though if I had it longer, I’m sure I would have overcome that problem.

        • John Hughes
        • May 11th, 2012

        I got mine mostly working – haven’t had time to play with the docking station yet.

        See //http://perso.calvaedi.com/~john/Vaio_Z2.html

  1. I know there is no display port on this laptop (such a shame), but I would like to know if it supports 2560 x 1440 resolution. I do video editing on my XPs 15z hooked to my 27″. That was one of the main reasons I bought a Dell.

    The Z seems nice, but if 1920×1080 is the max output rez, that sucks. 24″ native resolution is 1920×1200. I am guessing HDMI could do that, as my previous Vaio did it.

    It would love to know what the max resolution would be.


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