Your Questions About Sony Vaio Z Series

Joseph asks…

How can I make my Sony Laptop VAIO Z-series read Sony Blu-ray Disks?

I bought a laptop from Bic Camera in Tokyo and I was assured these Sony BD-R blank disks (Ver. 1.3) would work on the Matshita BD-MLT UJ232AS drive that comes with it. Well, that claim is false: my windows vista ultimate is saying it cannot write to these disks. I tried to return them, and surprise surprise, they forgot the English with which they convinced me the disks would work – one of those common overnight bugs that seems to strike whenever one of us white people walks back into a shop holding recently purchased merchandise. I have searched the internet for some drivers or anything to make them work (I paid over 100 bucks for them, and don’t want to just throw them out) and found nothing. Is there any software I can install, perhaps a driver or an application to make them work?

steve answers:

Writeable media depends on your drive recognizing them. Try updating the drive, using the newest firmware.

Charles asks…

Which one should I get, Sony Vaio Laptop Series X or Z?

I can’t decide. And it would be a huge waste to spend like, $1,500 on a bad computer.

steve answers:

It depends on what you want to do. The X is fine, but if you need the extra power then the Z would be a good choice. $1500 isn’t too bad, but you should check out newegg.com first.

John asks…

Apple macbook Vs. Sony VAIO ” Z” series?

My birthday is coming up and i would like to get myself a great present, so i need advice please on wich one to get, and i have to ask also how much trouble would it be to transition from VISTA to Windows 7 next year… If i decide to go for the sony?
I know Mac wont have that problem but they are so fragile and may break easily… HELP Please……Thanks a bunch.

steve answers:

That depends on the use you need for the computer. Even though windows will be upgraded, there is still backwards compatibility and the fact that alot more software is supported under windows than Mac OS, so even when Windows 7 comes out, it will still have more software than Mac. If you are into graphic design, or music creation, definately go with the Macbook, as the Mac OS is one of the best in this area. If all you want to do is use a word processor, browse the internet, and buy stuff online, go with whatever is cheaper – both are excellent machines.

In closing:
Mac – not alot of software compatibility
Windows – alot of updates, and it takes time for the bugs to be worked out

Lizzie asks…

Vaio z series or fw series

I am a college student and I am trying to figure out which laptop I should consider buying. The two laptops on my mind are the sony vaio z and the vaio fw. Z serie is small and light and you can like carry it around. On the other hand, the fw serie is large and heavy. I have always wanted to get a laptop which has a blu-ray drive. And both laptops has that as an option. Money is not a problem. I just want to have a laptop which I can do homework on and also enjoy blu-ray movie on. I am surely in hope for suggestion and advice. Does anyone own a Z serie (I know it hasn’t come out yet) or a FW serie. Any pros and cons for each laptop? Thank you.

steve answers:

Right now I am thinking about to buy one or the other, so I am in a very similar situation with you.

I will explain the differences between each laptop and then comment on the pros and cons of each difference, if there is any.

1) First off, since you indicated in your post that you want to enjoy Blu-ray, you may wanna know that, in FW series you can add a mere Blu-ray reader drive for $150 OR, by paying an additional $150, a Blu-ray reader/writer (burner) drive. As for the Z series, you are not allowed to opt out the writer– you can either add a Blu-ray writer and reader or will have to opt out for not any Blu-ray at all. Besides, I guess due to the fact that it will be harder to put a Blu-ray drive in such a small form-factor, the price tag is higher for the Z series. You have to pay $500 to add the afore-mentioned Blu-ray writer&reader drive, whereas such drive totals to $300 for FW series.

2) Second, the screen quality is different. FW accommodates either Xbrite-ECO or X-brite Hicolor, the latter of which is a better quality screen, whereas the former is said to be by some people crappy. You may wanna see the below link:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=18632

The thing is that, among the current pre-customized models that Sony offers, only the top-of-the-line model includes Hicolor, which retails, as of today, for $2150 and on sale on amazon.com for $2000. (Of course you can customize your own laptop if you don’t wanna buy this model.) The link is below:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VGN-FW198U-Processor-Blu-Ray-Ultimate/dp/B001A1QCGE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1218508066&sr=8-3

I am assuming Sony will soon offer this Hicolor type screen in some new and not-yet-announced pre-configurations in near future. Also, there was a link that I cannot find now in which a notebook reseller mentions that he is corresponding with Sony and Sony will offer new configurations soon. In fact he was specifically referring to graphics card, but I guess Hicolor would be an option that Sony will also add to its future pre-configured FW laptops. BTW, you may wanna wait for that better graphics card, which is ATI HD 3650, if you like playing video games. The last thing that I will say about the screen quality is that one of the notable reviewers criticizes the quality of Hicolor. If I were you I would not care about what he says, because Sony is very famous with its vivid screens. I am not saying that he is telling a lie or something, but perhaps he is over-meticulous. Nonetheless, the link for his remarks, along with his review, is below:

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4524

As to the screen quality of Z series, they come either in so-called scratch-resistant Xbrite Duraview. No one knows whether it is better than Hicolor in terms of visual experience. But chances are Hicolor is vivider, and duraview is more durable, hence its -dura prefix I guess. Also, as far as I see from a video posted on the Internet and according to what the guy says in the video, the Z’s screen glares. The link is below:

http://blog.laptopmag.com/hands-on-video-sony-vaio-z-series

3) Screen resolution:

Please read another answer I gave to someone’s question:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiiruFCmQ3MPweP5StfKhZbsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080810052444AA31QQ5&show=7#profile-info-BIXtbtasaa

If I were you I would not sacrifice from this 1900 x 1600 resolution. It makes FW series truly a movie-centric PC, and, for the first time, makes a 13 inch laptop’s small screen usable (at least for me that is the case)

This resolution comes in all FW laptops. As for the Z series however, as of today among the 5 pre-configured models this resolution is available only for the top-of-the-line model, which retails for $4000! (Of course you can customize your own laptop if you don’t wanna buy this model)

4) You mention that you will attend college so you will intensively use the keyboard. You must consider that the keys of the keyboards of FW and Z series are quite different than most other laptops you will see in the market. Each key has a space between each other. Such space is even greater in Z series. Check the photos of two laptops from top angle;

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4524

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644570897

You may either hate or love this style. So this is an important factor you need to consider.

5) Also you will need to take your laptop with you often to your classes. There is a considerable dimension difference as well as HUGE weight difference between FW and Z series laptops.

6) As to the graphics card, as I indicated above, FW will easily handle Blu-ray movies but will not be enough for gaming. It seems Z series can also handle gaming, unless you care about playing on a small screen. Also, Z series is using hybrid graphic cards—one for stamina and one for power. This is not a new development for Sony. The new thing is that, now you can switch between stamina and speed modes without booting the computer.

7) Huge price difference between FW and Z series. But I think Z series pays off its price tag b/c as I said, at last its high resolution makes that little screen usable. Besides, it is feather weight with plethora of features.

8) There is an optional, somewhat dual drive option of Z series, costing $1300, which I am sure of you would not need it.

MY OPINION: Now I will explain what I require in each computer, because I cannot speak on your behalf, and I have a PS3 and thus a Blu-ray already.

If I decide to buy FW series, then I want a) Blu-ray (reader only), despite I have a PS3, b) Hicolor screen, b/c FW series is created for movies. For me, if a FW does not include these features, then it will always be missing something.

If I decide to buy Z series, then, considering the high price tag as well as the absurdity that Blu-ray drive is only offered as a reader/writer combo and that I have a PS3, I can easily sacrifice Blu-ray drive. What I would not sacrifice on that computer is the high resolution.

The only thing that I can advise you is, I know the school is going to start soon, but wait for Z as well as new pre-configured models of FW. In the meantime, also the prices will also fall. Second advice: Do not buy any of them without going to a store and experiencing each form-factor. Remember what I said about the keyboards especially.

PS. If you wanna read the round up of the notable reviews of FW, check the below link:

http://laptopcom.blogspot.com/2008/08/sony-vaio-fw-reviews-round-up.html

Here are two good videos (not available on youtube) that you can see, respetively, FW and Z series:

http://blog.laptopmag.com/hands-on-video-sonys-vaio-fw-series

http://dfj-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=1226

Donna asks…

Why does shockwave Flash keep crashing in Chrome (Sony Vaio)?

Shockwave keeps crashing I have a brand new Sony Vaio Z series and Chrome (latest version)

steve answers:

* Run Reginout scan for active-x, file associations and other registry erros largely behind such crashes.

Http://www.filetransit.com/download.php?id=79029

* Try to uninstall the current flash player version. Read this official guide to uninstall flash plugin:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

* Use official uninstaller tool to remove all flash elements from your computer.

* After completing the above task download flash player 9 instead of the latest version. Sometimes there are intricate browser flash conflicts and changing the versions is often helpful.

* Update your sound drivers if possible since the videos may simply crash because of the corrupted or missing drivers.

1) Open Device Manager

2) Find the sound-card device

3) Remember the name of the device

4) Uninstall it.

5) After doing this restart your system.

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