Product Type: Sony laptops
Newest Review: ... operating systems go. I've since upgraded mine to Windows 2000 - not supported by Sony, but the drivers are on the website - and it wor... more
Looks flash, but doesn't perform
Sony Vaio PCG Z600RE
Member Name: jamescridland
Sony Vaio PCG Z600RE
Date: 29/05/01, updated on 29/05/01 (372 review reads)
Advantages: Fast processor, Good extra features
Disadvantages: Abysmal battery life, Shody distorted speakers
Right. Let me tell you why I bought this little purple beast.
1. It has 128 meg of RAM as standard. This is still quite a lot for a laptop, and I was determined to get a laptop which wouldn't go out of date too quickly.
2. It has a little slot on the left hand side for a memory stick. This is useful for people like me who have a Sony digital camera. No fiddling with serial ports - just whack the memory stick into the laptop and you're sorted.
3. An integral network connection means no nasty network cards.
So, that's why I bought it. Any good? Well.
It comes (came, since you can't buy this model any more) with Windows 98. Which is quite nice, really, as operating systems go. I've since upgraded mine to Windows 2000 - not supported by Sony, but the drivers are on the website - and it works nice and fast.
The fact that it hasn't got a CD-ROM in it (it's a plug-in via a PCMCIA card), or a floppy drive (a USB one comes included) isn't a problem... I didn't really use those much, and tend to only need a CD-ROM rarely. The USB floppy drive appears to work on my desktop system, so I didn't need to buy a new floppy drive for it when I built it, and therefore saved myself, oooh, at least a fiver.
But, but, but. The battery life, even under pre-installed Windows 98, is abysmal. Less than one hour running something as basic as Microsoft Word? Yeuch. No thanks.
The jog dial thing, letting you scroll up and down in most applications, doesn't work in Windows 2000 and isn't too wonderful anyway. I don't miss it. Maybe I was never using it right.
And the speakers - my goodness, the speakers are truly, truly dreadful. They distort. They're tinny. Is this the same Sony that makes decent hifi units and my telly? Honestly. You'd have thought they'd have known better.
The hard disc seems to have failed - the D: drive seems unusable, com
plaining about dodgy errors - and the technical support seems non-existent. Sending an e-mail to Sony results in a pigeon-English response saying something along the lines of "We don't support this via e-mail any more. Use our website." Their website is a bit nasty. Actually, rather nasty, and certainly fairly unhelpful.
So, this laptop is consigned to the network - and the mains adaptor - in my living room. It looks too posh to use on the train. Its battery life is too limited to use for what was intended. And while it's an able little beast, though superseded by an identical model with a faster processor, I've not really got the use out of it that I thought I would.
Shame. It's got a nice purple colour, though.