Before going into the main review of Sony's latest S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B, let me delve into the history, technology and the drawbacks of the Vaio series laptops. The reason why I have not mentioned the advantages is obvious.
Matter of Attitude:
Nobody can deny the fact that the invention of transistors revolutionized the whole world, but it is to be noted that most of the American companies were busy researching the transistor for military and logistic application but in the beginning of the 1950s Sony, in fact Morita and Ibuka insisted and convinced Bell Labs' to let them license the technology to the Japanese Company and they used it to revolutionize the communication system. It's true that (Regency) and Texas Instruments was the first to build the transistors but it was Ibuka's company who made it commercially successful.
ARRIVAL OF THE VAIOS':
Video Audio Integrated Operation was the original acronym for VAIO but later on since 2008 there came the alteration and VAIO got the new acronym Visual Audio Intelligence Organizer when already in its 10th year. To my mind this acronym is more appropriate than the previous one, since Timoth Hanley created the branding to differentiate items that grouped the use of consumer audio and video and being a conventional computing device as well.
If you look into the Sony Vaio W series PCs, it functions both as conventional or a regular computer and a more or less miniature entertainment hub. It is widely known that Sony manufactured computers in 1980s for the national market only but withdrew from the computer scene around the end of 1990 only to comeback with global exposure under the VAIO branding with the PCV series of DTs in 1996. The logo of VAIO is the integration of analog and digital technology which the VAIO series of computers aptly demonstrate, 'VA'-for analog wave and 'IO'-for digital binary code that makes up the now famous 'VAIO'.
Now let us have a look at the latest Sony S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B, it emphasizes the fact that simplicity represents beauty and as the Sony slogan goes make.believe the user is made to believe this fact. It's plain but extremely stylish in its smooth glossy black finish.
Apart from the top or the lid which seems to give away under pressure but at 2kg, which is definitely light considering the fact that the VPCS12V9E/B has a built-in DVD writer. Again it doesn't breathe that much heat from underneath as most laptop does either from the sides or the bottom, more often than not it does become a source of discomfort.
The first impressive part of the latest S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B that striked me, is its large and very responsive keyboard. It really feels easy to type in. I will take it as massive 'plus' for the cute machine as unless you can type in at a comfortable speed the point of a laptop being fast looses its impact and on top of that under dark conditions the backlit keys automatically illuminate. But then most people will point a finger and start saying does that only "plus" justify a price of £1,148? Well, I shall take up that part as we proceed further with this review.
I have found that the S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B comfortably gives a battery support of around 6 hr plus. A Kolkata-London flight with a break at New Delhi is around 13 hrs 48 mnt which means the machine needs to be charged just once, that is fantastic. The cryptic will say "lesser priced machines gives much higher battery life", yes agreed but again they do not come any where the processing speed of the VPCS12V9E/B.
Although it's boring and can be taken from any website yet I will dig into certain parts of it's technical specs:
TECHNICAL SPECS-BITS & PIECES:
* Dimensions (WxDxH) 31.5 cm x 22.9 cm x 3.2 cm
* Weight 2 kg
* Built-in Devices Stereo speakers, wireless LAN aerial, Bluetooth aerial, cellular aerial
* Embedded Security Fingerprint reader
* Processor Intel Core i5 520M / 2.4 GHz ( 2.93 GHz ) ( Dual-Core )
* RAM 6 GB (installed) / 8 GB (max) - DDR3 SDRAM - 1066 MHz - PC3-8500
* Card Reader Yes
* Hard Drive 500 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
* Optical Storage DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - integrated
* Display 13.3" TFT 1366 x 768 ( WXGA )
* Graphics Controller NVIDIA GeForce 310M
* Video Memory 512 MB
* Audio Output Sound card
* Telecom Wireless cellular modem - 7.2 Mbps
* Wireless Broadband (WWAN) 3G Mobile Broadband
* Networking Network adapter - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
* Notebook Camera Integrated - 0.3 Megapixel
* Input Device Touchpad, backlit keyboard
* Battery Lithium Ion
* Run Time (Up To) 4.5 hour(s)
* Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition
* Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.
* Manufacturer Warranty 2 years warranty
I really wonder at the necessity of a 6GB RAM but then it does guarantee its excellence in all applications. It must be great news for those who use CS3 extended or CS4 and not forgetting those using extensively Adobe Premier Pro. The NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphics chip wouldn't eat into the RAM since it has its own memory.
A WORD FOR SECURITY FREAKS
The finger print reader works fine, it can be used to lock the computer instead of using login pass word. In case you land up with injured fingers the VPCS12V9E/B has BIOS option to clear stored finger prints (of course open to risk from those who are really computer savvy but then which laptop is secure from those computer freaks!). Sony's software can be used to create encrypted files and can be used to lock and unlock with finger prints rather than passwords.
INTRIGUING SURFING SPEED:
I was wondering why I had much less problems while surfing on the net especially with those sites which were heavy with images and videos. You may have known about it but I had faint idea that some how the processor speed and the configuration of a computer is related in getting the best out of you internet service provider and I'm was fortunate enough to come across a short but wonderful article written by Blaise Lucey (the URL is given below if you are interested in the whole article) and I can't but agree.
Processor speed is essentially the speed at which your computer processes information. Here are the major ways in which processor speed can affect surfing the Internet:
Visiting new web sites is more dependent on connection speed, but sites you have already visited will load faster with faster processor speed. Processor speed also affects how quickly you can go back and forth between different Internet browsers or tabs. When you are surfing the Internet, processor speed also determines how fast certain videos or songs load and online games and animations are also software, your processor speed affects how fast these load, respond, and react. Flash media is affected by the processor speed, as are MMPORGs or other online video games.
SOME POINTS TO PONDER:
I wish the keyboard backlit could be manually adjusted as is possible in Apple MacBook Pro laptops. Also the ExpressCard is a fabulous extra but I really can not agree with its location.
The warranty issue is very disappointing considering the price tag. Sony has shown too much of professionalism in a sense that a three year extended warranty plan is available at a very high £207 that gives onsite service.
As to the justification of the price, well it's debatable but does everybody need such a sophisticated machine? If you do and the brand name matters, then price should not be a factor. For me, I really don't need such a machine and even if I do I can not afford it.