Two days ago, I received an email stating that my new Sony Vaio Z2 laptop had been shipped. According to the fedex tracking info, I could expect delivery Friday, August 12, by 10:20am in the morning. So, you can imagine that this morning, while taking an extended nap, I was quite annoyed to be jarred awake by the sound of my doorbell ringing. Anyway, I hopped out of bed and headed to the front door ready to give whomever decided to disturb my rest a piece of my mind and open the door to a Fedex delivery man.
Huh. Before I could say anything, and still in my pajamas, he says “Hey, sorry to wake you up, but you probably want this”. And indeed I did in fact want this. Because this could only be one thing, my much awaited (well, barely two weeks) laptop! I signed for the package, and took it into my living room for an assessment. Now, pictures of the unboxing are here. I apologize for the quality of those. My camera was ensconced in my desk at school and all I had available was my cell phone which doesn’t take the best of pictures and is apparently foiled even more by the lighting inside my living room. Anyway, the album can be accessed here: http://picasaweb.google.com/kamakula/SonyVaioZ2
So, the first thing I’d noticed was that my order was bundled with sony’s noise cancelling earphones which seem to be specific to the recent vaio lineup. It would appear the active noise cancelling is handled by the laptop itself. The earphones are just earphones with a mic (and actually a pretty decent set of earbuds on their own). Hmm, I wonder if the mic can be used as an actual mic. . . will need to test that out later. Aside from that, and the space-age wrapping of the power media dock, the biggest thing for me was the laptop itself. Cobalt-blue. At the moment, I only have a couple pictures that really capture the color accurately but it is much nicer in person than I expected based on the pictures/renders available. In fact, it is only a few minutes ago while taking pictures with my camera that I noticed the power media dock is colored to match the laptop as well. Pretty nice and subtle touch.
Since the first start, I’ve had several opportunities to restart and reboot the system (upgrading to Windows 7 ultimate – the perks of being a college student), playing around with graphics settings, etc – and I’m pretty blown away by the boot speed. And I’ve not yet even enabled fast boot. It is incredibly fast on it’s own with those raid 0 ssds. I’m also very pleased with the build quality. The laptop feels very strong and sturdy. I didn’t have the screen wobble or flex issue seen by the engadget reviewer. Now, that’s not to say that the screen can’t be induced to flex, but it requires application of not inconsiderable force (compared to what you’d normally use with any device with an LCD screen except perhaps a stubborn microwave). The lightness is awesome. Oh, the lightness. This Z2 is replacing a thinkpad x series tablet. Which was sorta a crisis point for me, because in getting this, I was choosing between getting another tablet or an ultraportable. But the big thing for me was lightness combined with power. Unfortunately, the tablet I’d initially ordered ended up being backordered for another month (for my given screen configuration) and given that I could not hold out for too much longer without a primary computer, I needed to find a suitable replacement. When I looked at what was out there, frankly, there was no competition for the Sony Vaio Z2.
So, one thing I’m noticing in the process of typing up these set of impressions is the location of the home end keys. They are located on the arrow keys through use of the Fn key. That is annoying. I tend to make good use of home/end while typing up long posts or pretty much anything. We’ll see over time whether this is a deal breaker. But this paragraph was to talk about the keyboard. Another issue brought up by early reviewers was the keyboard. I’m starting to think one person just had an issue and everyone else who did a review decided to jump on the bandwagon. Or like with the screen flex issue, perhaps it’s due to non-production models sent out to reviewers. In any case, the keyboard seems to adapt well to my hands. My typing speed seems to be about the same, errors the same (ie when my train of thought too far outpaces my ability to type and I end up with words or sentences where I realize I need to slow down and figure out what it was I meant to say at that moment in time). It feels really nice to me. In fact, contrary to some reviews, I’m finding that I’m using less force when typing, not more.
Another complaint was inadvertent triggering of the fingerprint sensor. I’ve not had that issue but I will say that the trackpad actually seems not to be as sensitive as I’m used to. I’ve not played with its settings yet or done too much with it. The most common thing so far is it missing the start of a single finger scrolling swipe. Usually doing it again with a bit more force gets the job done. I’d gotten my laptop with the 1600×900 display. I was a bit worried that I would regret not going for the full HD, but based on what I’ve read about it and my experience so far, I don’t think it will be an issue for me. I will say though (after watching some hulu videos), 480p isn’t all that great anymore. I’m definitely being spoiled already.
I’ve read that some have had compatibility issues with the wireless card. I’ve not had that yet. Currently, I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate. I also run linux distros from time to time and later this afternoon will be testing backtrack 5 to get an idea of compatibility, primarily on the wireless card level. I’ll also pop-in Ubuntu and see how it plays with the power media dock. All in all, I’m currently pretty pleased with my purchase. Heh, I just realized something. . . this screen resolution will make composing posts a bit tricky. I’ll need to pay more attention to image resolution than I did before where I could gauge things by how they showed up in the editor.