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Interviews with the Sony VAIO Z Notebook Designers

by Gina 02/11/2010

Last month we announced an entirely new, reinvented VAIO Z series notebook. Combining the strengths of the previous models with new materials and technologies, the Sony designers set out to create the next thing in mobile computing. 

With its release, we’ve seen tremendous feedback and today, a favorable review of one of the Z models by techie blogger, Engadget. A series of videos were created to provide a little more insight into the overall project, design, usability and general engineering of the new VAIO Z.These videos are a fun, quick, thing to watch. Take a look and let me know what detail surprised you the most. For me, I think I thought it was cool that they recessed the ports. I am one of those people who bang things up constantly and having that extra l little port protection completely makes sense to me. I’m curious on what details you found most fascinating.

The VAIO Z notebooks are available now on SonyStyle.com and at your local Sony Style store. There is also a Glossy Carbon  and Metal Mosaic Z series notebooks available as part of the Signature Collection, a limited edition production only available at Sony Style.

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  1. guest_user wrote: February 12, 2010 11:22pm

    I read the engadget review a few days ago and they had some nice things to say about this laptop. This is now my favorite Vaio and I am considering to purchase it or not.

    Reply
  2. Gina wrote: February 14, 2010 2:18pm

    Hi Guest, I’m glad you like :-) Thanks for coming here and posting. Appreciate it! – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: February 20, 2010 5:02am

    I am very excited about the new Z coming out and can’t wait to replace my dell with one. Do you have a time frame when we be able to pre-order the non signature version? Also when will Sony start shipping these?
    Thanks,
    Oyami

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: February 20, 2010 5:20am

    Will the new Series Z ship with USB 3.0?

    Reply
  5. Gina wrote: February 22, 2010 12:19pm

    Hi Guest, all the Z series (customized versions, ready to ship and Signature) are available on Sony Style and shipping week of 3/7. If you pick one up, let me know how you like it. Thanks for coming by the blog. -Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  6. guest_user wrote: February 23, 2010 7:36pm

    Are all the options available for the pre-order? I am not seeing the ability to add 13.1″ (1920×1080) Full HD LED backlit widescreen display.
    Thanks

    Reply
  7. Gina wrote: February 24, 2010 12:22pm

    Hi Guest. That feature is a Signature Collection Exclusive available with the Signature Collection Model (VPCZ11FHX/XQ). Hope this info helps. Thanks! Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  8. Gina wrote: February 24, 2010 1:08pm

    Hi Guest (2/20) – The Z will not ship with USB 3.0. Thanks – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  9. JPTori wrote: February 24, 2010 9:49pm

    Am interested in this, but also other new models. Will the VAIO SR series be replaced? When will this happen? What happens to the old model? Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Tim wrote: February 25, 2010 7:28am

    I just pre-ordered the Signature Z VPCZ11DGX/SJ. On the ordering page SonyStyle indicates it won’t ship until on or around 3/19. In one of your replies, Gina, you indicated that the new Z’s will start shipping “the week of 3/7.” I know it’s only a week difference, but which is it?

    Reply
  11. guest_user wrote: February 26, 2010 4:18pm

    Could you please let me know if the the new Z has at last a multi-touch trackpad?

    Reply
  12. guest_user wrote: March 2, 2010 1:31pm

    Great machine, finest engineering! could you please make the 1920×1080 display available in the “configure to order” version? I’d like to use the extra pixels for spreadsheets and don’t need the goodies that make the “signature collection” version unjustifiably expensive for a business notebook.
    And remember to make it available at SonyStyle.ca too.

    Reply
  13. Gina wrote: March 2, 2010 1:36pm

    Hi Tim, thanks for your patience in my reply. That was a great question so I wanted to double check for ya :-) Some Z’s start shipping the week of the 7th (many of the customized models, etc.). The Signature specifically looks like it’s going to get shipped out by the 19th but I just checked and it could be sooner (around the 15th).
    Pre-orders get filled in the order they were received. Hope this is helpful and thanks for asking – fantastic question :-) – Gina(Blog Editor)

    Reply
  14. Gina wrote: March 2, 2010 3:54pm

    Hi JPTori, Hmm – was there something you specifically liked about the SR? We don’t have a direct replacement but if you’re looking for something like & portable, perhaps the Y series? (good price w/a good battery life; although no optical drive).For super-performance I’d say the Z or if you’re open to go up a tad in screen size, then the CW would be a good alternative. But if there is something specific you liked, I can pass along the request and also try to find a model that fits what you’re looking to do.
    Hope this info helps – Gina (blog editor)

    Reply
  15. Gina wrote: March 2, 2010 3:59pm

    Hi Guest, The Z doesn’t have a multi-touch trackpad but I think the CW, X and F have it :-) Thanks -Gina (Blog Editor).

    Reply
  16. guest_user wrote: March 4, 2010 9:54pm

    I am trying to decide between getting a TT or a Z. Do you know if a new version of the TT will still be sold in Japan or will it be discontinued like in the US? If there are plans to update it, I’d definitely prefer to wait and get the TT, otherwise the Z is very nice for my needs too. It seems like the X might be the TT’s replacement, but the Atom processor is just not enough for me.

    Reply
  17. magicknow wrote: March 6, 2010 2:37pm

    Great machine, finest engineering! could you please make the 1920×1080 display available in the “configure to order” version? I’d like to use the extra pixels for spreadsheets and don’t need the goodies that make the “signature collection” version unjustifiably expensive for a business noteboo
    I totally agree with this comment.
    Once the 1920 x 1080 is available on the custom config I will order immediatly but not before
    Cheers
    magicknow

    Reply
  18. Ronola wrote: March 8, 2010 11:42am

    Could you tell me who makes the Solid State Drives (SSD) for the Z Series?

    I pre-ordered my Z Signature VPCZ11FHX/XQ laptop. I am looking forward for its arrival. Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Gina wrote: March 8, 2010 6:21pm

    hi magicknow, thank for the feedback – I passed along your request to the VAIO Team. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to reach out to our Sony Style Blog readers :-) Thanks again! – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  20. magicknow wrote: March 10, 2010 10:52am

    HI

    I understand that the Z does not support the TRIM command in Windows 7. Apparently the reason for this is that the use of the RAID controller with the Samsung 64GB SSDs prevents the use of TRIM. This means that over time the write speed can slow down significantly.
    The only way to fix this is to completely wipe the drive (not format) using a tool like HDD Erase and then reinstall the image.

    I don’t have an issue doing that every couple of months but I would like a Sony documented procedure to do this.
    Is this something that Sony is willing to do?
    I have ordered the machine but if I don’t feel comfortable with a way to fix this issue I will have to return it within the 30 days.

    magicknow

    Reply
  21. dantheman626 wrote: March 10, 2010 9:17pm

    Gina, i recently ordered the signature collection z series VPCZ11FHX/XQ. I noticed though that the european and asian versions advertise a 96% adobe color saturation, while the US version doesnt. Im curious, does the US version still have the same color saturation (but doesnt advertise it)? If not, im curious to know why — when the US is Sony’s major market — doesn’t the US version equate to overseas versions in the notebook’s display quality. Moreover, if the adobe color saturation isn’t 96% on the US Vaio Z, what is it?
    Please let me know ASAP, as im becoming uneasy about my purchase (and may very well cancel my order and pony up to a better European version).
    -Danny

    Reply
  22. Gina wrote: March 11, 2010 7:42pm

    Hi dantheman626 – VPCZ11FHX/XQ does have the 96% adobe color saturation :-)
    Let me know if that’s helpful – Thanks Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  23. magicknow wrote: March 12, 2010 12:46pm

    Gina

    I sent a question the other day about TRIM command support on the Z series. It has not been posted. Why? Do you censor posts like the one I sent? If not are you still checking for information on my question?

    In case you didn’t see it. I was stating that my understanding is that the new Z does not support Windows 7 TRIM and therefore over time the write performance will degrade. My understanding is that to address this issue a person periodically needs to totally wipe the SSDs and reimage the drive. The way I know of to totally wipe an SSD is by using HDDERASE 4.0. The problem is that I do not know if this will work on the Z series given that it uses RAID.
    What I am after is a tested method to be able to perform this task.

    Is Sony willing to help?

    Thanks

    magicknow

    Reply
  24. Gina wrote: March 12, 2010 7:27pm

    Hey magicknow – no, that’s totally my bad. We do moderate comments so we don’t get spam but I completely missed your original which should have gotten posted. My hugest apologies on that. Clearly I need to either increase my sugar or caffeine intake :-). Now in reading your two questions, I’m stumped so I am going to reach out to some folks in the VAIO team on this one to make sure I get you the info you’re looking for. Hang tight! Thanks – Gina (blog editor)

    Reply
  25. Ronola wrote: March 13, 2010 9:25pm

    Gina,
    I think you missed my earlier post. Could you tell me who makes the Solid State Drives (SSD) for the Z Series? Is it made by Sony? And will they provide a TRIM?
    I pre-ordered my Z Signature VPCZ11FHX/XQ laptop. I am looking forward for its arrival. Thanks!

    Reply
  26. Gina wrote: March 14, 2010 2:59pm

    Hi Ronola, I feel like a double lamo. First b/c I missed your comment and now b/c we don’t have that info available so I’m not able help here. I am sorry for both :-( I Congrats on your Z. That is a beautiful machine. I’m jeleous! Thanks for checking in with me & for posting (both times!) If you have other questions, let me know.- Gina (blog editor)

    Reply
  27. guest_user wrote: March 14, 2010 4:07pm

    I love the machine. Hope come up with 1080 Full HD on your customize/ configure order soon. The old 1600X900 is old version they had past 2years and do not allow the slightest drop of venom into their subconsciousness. It would be such a pity on the machine.

    Reply
  28. guest_user wrote: March 15, 2010 9:13am

    Hi, I would also like to know about the support for the TRIM command as a)it is not supported in RAID arrays so performance would drop significantly and consistently and become too poor to be used, and b) erasing the SSD and reinstalling Windows would just cause further degradation.
    It’s really important to resolve this issue as otherwise Sony could have alot of product support issues with thier top of the line product becoming a door stop :-)
    Please could you find this out as it will be the deciding factor in choosing this product?
    Jeff

    Reply
  29. guest_user wrote: March 15, 2010 11:01am

    I decided to not order this beautiful machine, since Sony refuses to answer my question about Trim support. The first answer they gave was that Trim is in Windows and that was it.
    Maybe if we all push a little Sony may give more info.
    Jozef

    Reply
  30. Gina wrote: March 15, 2010 11:54am

    Hi Guest, Thanks for posting and for mentioning your request :-) An earlier commenter also made the same request so I will pass this one on too. I appreciate you also asking. I’ll keep you posted.
    Thanks again! – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  31. Gina wrote: March 15, 2010 11:57am

    Hi JozefI understand. I am definitely working on getting you some additional info. We’ve reached to some folks to help. I am sorry you feel like we’re not answering your question – please know we are :-) Thanks for your patience. Once I’ll hear I’ll be sure to reach out via comment but also reach out to you. Thanks for coming here again to post. Thanks – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  32. guest_user wrote: March 17, 2010 6:54am

    Thanks Gina, that would be marvellous. I’d also like to add that this is beautiful looking machine and fits the bill on every count for what I am looking for and assuming the TRIM issue is resolved, will definitely be purchasing one.
    Jeff

    Reply
  33. Gina wrote: March 18, 2010 7:16pm

    @Jeff & @magicknow -
    Thanks for your patience on more info on TRIM . I’m glad you are both Z fans :-)
    Based on your posts, we conducted an in-depth analysis of TRIM and RAID support. We found that unfortunately TRIM and RAID are contradictory to each other – so you can’t have both. We chose RAID b/c we feel that it’s the best combination of writing speed over time and as you know we are committed to deploying RAID on our multiple SSD configured models. But because of your feedback, we’re going to continue to monitor the development of TRIM technology & will continue to investigate how we can deploy TRIM on RAIDd systems (if/when a combo becomes available). The VAIO team was excited to get your feedback and now is aware of this specific request. I appreciate you taking the time to voice this and know we’re listening :-)
    Thanks again -Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply
  34. guest_user wrote: March 19, 2010 4:53am

    Thanks for your reply Gina and spending the time to find out an answer to our questions, it is much appreciated :-)
    If I may, there is one other thing to ask based on the response which is has any testing been performed on longer timescales to see if any performance degradation does occur.
    On another note, do you know if we can see any good quality pictures of each of the finishes of the laptop, eg, metallic mosaic, carbon fibre etc to get a better idea of the look of the different models please?
    The ones on the website do not really give a good idea of this as they are relatively small image sizes and have been ‘brushed up’ so it is difficult to get an idea of what they actually look like.
    Again, many thanks for your patience and time.
    Kind Regards
    Jeff

    Reply
  35. guest_user wrote: March 20, 2010 4:16am

    Is VPCZ11FHX/XQ quad ssd = 128 x 4?
    Does this sIGNATURE cLLECTION MODEL COME WITH A PREMIUM SCREEN WITH 96% aDOBE rbg?

    Reply
  36. guest_user wrote: March 26, 2010 8:19am

    Greetings,

    Can you comment on TRIM support with Intel’s newest RST drivers? Version 9.6 apparently supports TRIM commands with RAID.

    I have conducted some research on SSD performance over at NotebookReview. Please read here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpost.php?p=6045053&postcount=31

    Reply
  37. guest_user wrote: March 26, 2010 8:28am

    I just wanted to comment that TRIM support for a RAID0 configuration is something that Intel seem to have been toying with for a long time but have never been pushed to release. I have a new Z11 and would really love Sony to push this and try and find/make a proper solution. There is a strong demand for this, from most everybody who has and/or wants the Z11 with the SSD configuration. On forums I see a lot of people flip-flopping on purchasing the Z because of this.

    Also, find whoever specified the speakers in the Z11 and give them a kick in the backside on my behalf, please; they’re really terrible :(

    Other than those points, I love my Z11 and I’m very happy with it.

    Reply
  38. guest_user wrote: April 3, 2010 6:25am

    Hi Gina,
    Every piece of advertisement and marketing had shown that the new Z comes with the fingerprint sensor + TPM as an option.
    However it appears the USA models only come with the fingerprint sensor and no TPM support whereas non-USA models have both these features. For a flagship product this seems to be the most common feature and having it absent leaves me pondering. Without it disk encryption becomes cumbersome.
    Can you shed some light on this?

    Reply
  39. guest_user wrote: April 4, 2010 9:43pm

    The new Z looks very good. I have been looking at several CTO configurations. The only concern holding me back is the uncertainity regarding the SSD drives, TRIM etc. I have 2 questions regarding these
    1: Is 128 gb SSD drive a raid configuration (2X64) or a single non-raid drive ?
    2: Are the SSD standard format connection and can be later changed or use a proprietry sony format connectors?
    Many thanks for any info you can provide,
    Musa

    Reply
  40. Gina wrote: April 6, 2010 6:00pm

    Hi Guest – VPCZ11FHX/XQ does have the 96% adobe color saturation :-) Let me know if that’s helpful – thanks for posting – Gina (Blog Editor)

    Reply

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