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Anytime a new VAIO laptop is released, we pay attention, and typically with good reason. The company is well-known for creating high-end laptops that are typically well-designed and especially pleasing to the eye. Does their newest line, the VAIO Z, live up to the VAIO name? Will it afford itself a spot in our best ultrabook list?
Here’s our full VAIO Z Flip review.
Price: $2,379 on Amazon
Model: VAIO Z Flip/VJZ13BX0111B
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
When it comes to business class laptops, one of the most important elements when owning one is its design. After all, what’s the point of having a high-end laptop if it doesn’t present the aura associated with it?
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Luckily, the VAIO Z flip oozes style with its sleek design. It’s certainly an impressive laptop to behold, especially when it’s opened and the keys are illuminated. The back of the screen sports a minimalist design that has a small logo on the bottom (which, I’ll also note that the VAIO brand has a well-designed logo). It has a slim design, and as an entire package, the VAIO is an impressive-looking business laptop.
While exterior design is important, it’s also important to have a great operating system and software to help you get the job done.
With the VAIO Z, there isn’t any bloatware or annoying pre-installed programs that you’re forced to use. Instead, you’re given a clean install of the Windows 10 64-bit OS.
With all of the software that makes, you’d fully expect them to prepackage their programs to force feed them to you. Luckily, that’s not the case with the VAIO Z, and you’re given a blank canvas to create your own masterful suite of software.
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As far as what’s under-the-hood, the VAIO Z does sport impressive specs, including a best-in-class 6th generation Intel Core i7-6567U (4MB Cache, 3.30GHz out of the box). It also comes with 16GB LPDDR3 1866MHz RAM, and a zippy 512GB PCIe SSD. The laptop also comes with a stylus that’s perfect for note-taking and other applications.
The keyboard has a great feel to it, and it has a smudge-free design. It’s also impressive-looking as I mentioned above, especially when illuminated. Even with the laptop’s small size, the keyboard never feels cramped, and typing is comfortable.
Its trackpad doesn’t feel grainy like some trackpads sometimes can, and it has a pretty decent size to it, taking up about 1/3 of the space at the bottom of the ultrabook.
As far as connectivity is concerned, it comes with one SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with charge port, another SuperSpeed USB 3.0 without charge, an HDMI port, and a port for headphone and microphone.
Possibly its most disappointing aspect, however, is the awfully-designed AC plug that is used with it. Instead of a reliable connection that moves with you, the laptop’s plug frequently moves out of place and disconnects at the slightest movement. It’s not a snug fit as AC plugs should be, and you can literally wiggle the plug in its port rather easily.
It’d be hard to knock on the VAIO Z’s performance, as it’s surprisingly powerful for its size.
In our Geekbench 3 tests, it scored 3,549 for single-core and 7,513 for multi-core, both of which are impressive numbers.
In our CrystalDiskMark tests, the internal SSD was able to achieve a read/write speed of 2,199MBs/1,592MBs, respectively. This means your applications are going to install incredibly quickly, your files are going to be easily movable, and your programs are going to work faster.
The PCMARK 8 test came out with a score of 2,973, placing it about 1,000 points below a modern gaming PC and 500 points above most notebooks. Obviously, it’s not intended for gaming, but it can handle the majority of casual games thrown at it with roughly 53 FPS.
The VAIO Z’s battery life is impressive for the specs that you’re getting. The battery lasted 9 hours and 30 minutes on a full charge and moderate use, and 11 hours when completely idle.
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That means that the VAIO Z is perfect for business trips and to bring with you to work, as you won’t need to worry about lugging around its plug along with it.
The VAIO Z has an impressively sharp display, thanks to WQHD technology that enhances visual experience with sharper lines, vivid colors and rich detail. Videos were crisp and popped off of the screen nicely.
Of course, it also has a touch screen, and you’ll quickly find yourself using the screen to simply browse the web and scroll instead of clicking with a mouse. Thanks to our frequent use of smartphones, using the screen to navigate feels natural, and it’s a feature that would be missed if you were to ever downgrade to a non-touchscreen laptop.
There’s no denying that the Vaio Z is drop dead sexy, and that it emits a high-end business feel. And, it’s absolutely a powerhouse ultrabook that can get the job done.
It’s incredibly light, and it has a beautiful design right down to its screen. The fact that it has a well-lit keyboard also earns it some bonus points.
However, being beautiful will only get you so far, and it is its price tag that makes me take a step back from the VAIO Z. You’d be paying a premium for the design, which admittedly has impressive craftsmanship, and although its look is unmatched, it doesn’t warrant the significant hike in price. Especially when you factor in some of its minor flaws, like the fact that the fan cycles too frequently (and it’s louder than it should be) and it has a poorly designed AC plug, it’s ultimately not worth the price, which would suggest that it’s flawless.