Sony Laptop?

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jwells
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 3:55 pm

Sony Laptop?

Postby jwells » Thu May 27, 2010 3:16 pm

I'm leaning towards purchasing a Sony Vaio for law school and was just wondering if anyone has any feedback or info on them. My budget is $1000 and I'm trying to figure out the major differences between the Y, E, and CW models. Any info or advice?

Also, how much RAM and Storage Space would be ideal for law school?
2, 3, 4, or 6GB of RAM?
320, 500, or 640 for Hard Drive?
Should I go for the i3 processor instead of Core 2 Duo?

Thanks!

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CmonSD
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby CmonSD » Thu May 27, 2010 3:20 pm

jwells wrote:I'm leaning towards purchasing a Sony Vaio for law school and was just wondering if anyone has any feedback or info on them. My budget is $1000 and I'm trying to figure out the major differences between the Y, E, and CW models. Any info or advice?

Also, how much RAM and Storage Space would be ideal for law school?
2, 3, 4, or 6GB of RAM?
320, 500, or 640 for Hard Drive?
Should I go for the i3 processor instead of Core 2 Duo?

Thanks!


I have one. HATE IT. The keys on the keyboard just fall off. Seriously. (not even a year old yet)

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SAE
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby SAE » Thu May 27, 2010 3:20 pm

You can likely store ALL your law school related files on 1 GB of space. Same concept applies to other parameters you mentioned. The question becomes what it is that you want, not need.

hopingtogo
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby hopingtogo » Thu May 27, 2010 3:44 pm

I would strongly advise you not to get a Sony. They are awful computers! I bought one for law school last October (Sony Vaio VGN-SR) and it crashed on me four times last semester (the last time the day before my Civ Pro exam!). Although things are better now with Windows 7, the computer is still very slow, the mouse sometimes stops working, and on occasion it freezes up for no apparent reason. Also, they are very poorly designed/manufactured. The plastic surrounding the keyboard is cheap and weak. The border around the screen is also very weak and it doesn't provide any protection, so the screen already has several places where the LCD (or whatever the stuff is in the screen) is squished. Although I am careful with my computer, there are already several signs of wear and tear already, and I have only had it for 8 months. I spent so much money on this laptop, and I truly wish I had bought something else instead. Don't be fooled by how nice they look online. If you are thinking about buying one, go to a Sony store and check it out before ordering it online.

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby ArthurEdens » Thu May 27, 2010 3:50 pm

For your budget, I would expect an i5 and 4gb RAM. Storage is less of an issue.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Thu May 27, 2010 3:52 pm

Sony makes shitty electronics, never mind laptops.

jwells
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby jwells » Sun May 30, 2010 12:50 pm

Thanks for the advice! Wow, I had no idea there were so many negative reviews - I'll be looking at other manufacturers now. Anyone have any favorites? I don't want an apple (too expensive), but have heard decent things about HP. Or maybe Dell?

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StrictlyLiable
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby StrictlyLiable » Sun May 30, 2010 1:00 pm

You could get the baseline Macbook for 1k. Apple is the only thing I would recommend personally. If youre going to buy a computer, you might as well get a macbook and applecare so you know it will last you all three years IMHO.

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macattaq
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby macattaq » Sun May 30, 2010 1:02 pm

HP is not good. My girlfriend has one, and a lot of the features on it simply do not work. I don't know much about Dell, but I'm a little skeptical of those as well.

You should use the search function to find the thread(s) where various models of laptops are debated.

Last, above posters are right. You will be able to carry everything you need for law school on a small flash drive. Ask yourself what else you plan to be doing with your computer. Are you making music? Graphic design? Watching movies/tv? Once you figure this out, then you will know what kind of parameters you need to consider.

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Georgiana
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby Georgiana » Sun May 30, 2010 1:08 pm

I hated my HP, I like (but don't love) my Sony (VGN-CR). I'll probably be buying a netbook for next year so I have less to carry and can just use a desktop or my Sony at home.

1000bmr
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby 1000bmr » Sun May 30, 2010 1:18 pm

i have a vaio vgn-fw590 which i love [don't know what the deal is with keys falling off, mine seems very solidly built] with one exception. i bought one with tons of power and it can definitely handle everything you throw at it in a capable manner, but after maybe 3 months it started having what i'm guessing are 0.5-1.5 second cpu spikes related to overheating. it could be gpu or i suppose even ram. i haven't really looked into it because it doesn't bother me much day-to-day, but it's bad enough in really intense applications to where i'm planning on sending it in shortly before my default warranty expires to have them look at it. if i didn't have the warranty, i'm guessing this is a problem that i could research and fix on my own without issue. on the scale of minor to major i'd put it about here: |---x--------|

i wouldn't pay more for an i3/i5/i7 if you're not going to be running cpu-intensive programs that support multiple threads [your word processor does not fall into this category]. 4gb ram is a nice spot to hit. my advice to most people is that if you don't know how much ram you need you certainly don't need more than 4gb.

i had a dell which was much less solidly built externally, though internally i was able to manage the heat pretty well. it seemed like the ventilation system was designed better. though in defense of my vaio, there are a lot more high-end components taking up this very small space.

oh, one more weird thing about the vaio is that the keyboard is a little iffy. when i first got it i noticed that gerunds were tough to get right... my sentences would end up like "the dog was runnin gfast" a lot. still happens occasionally, but it's inconsequential to the point that i forgot about it through this whole wall of text until just now.

summary: if you're anal and expect something to "just work perfectly" and don't need a lot of performance vaio is probably not a good fit. if you're willing to work with something to have a product of superior quality, i think vaio is a good choice. in terms of value, vaio costs about 10% more than dell inspiron/studio for the same components at the medium-high end where i shop ($1200-1400), but i think it's worth it.

i like macs from a user-friendliness-for-the-total-novice perspective, but the cost is hugely disjointed from component quality on all macs. it's like an LV purse. yeah, you could get a purse at the gap that would hold all your stuff, and sure the LV is higher quality to some extent, but what you're really paying for are the little LV's printed all over it.

ChewbaccaDefense
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby ChewbaccaDefense » Sun May 30, 2010 1:23 pm

Check out the Asus ul30. I got the chance to play with one this weekend and I'm a fan. Barring some new model coming out, I think it'll be my laptop for school in the fall.

The MacBook looks pretty awesome, but I can't find a way to justify the price.

dslslave
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby dslslave » Sun May 30, 2010 1:30 pm

Hey man. I'll chime in with my law school laptop experience.

I purchased an HP Dv4t 14.1" screen, 500gb, 4gb RAM, blu ray, etc. I wanted a powerful computer for law school. I have personally had amazing experience with the HP so far. REgardless of the laptop maker, someone is going to tell you they suck. Your best best is to read up on the reviews on the laptop. You can check around CNET.

Also, while most of your files are word documents and such, I've found that the law school audio files (if you use them) also take up a bit of space when added up for multiple classes. If you're into downloading and all that, I wouldnt take less than 500gb. Get 4gb ram if possible, the more the merrier with RAM.

Other than that, most laptops will do. The school-issued Dells have failed on many of my friends, while HP's seem to have a good rep at my school. Choose wisely, shop around, and you will be fine. Holla

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youpiiz
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby youpiiz » Sun May 30, 2010 2:46 pm

im a big fan of sony and panasonic laptops (i think theyre pretty), but unless youve got some money to throw around, theyre do too poorly in the bang for the buck field that i wont bother with them.

RickyMack
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby RickyMack » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:16 am

jwells wrote:I'm leaning towards purchasing a Sony Vaio for law school and was just wondering if anyone has any feedback or info on them. My budget is $1000 and I'm trying to figure out the major differences between the Y, E, and CW models. Any info or advice?

Also, how much RAM and Storage Space would be ideal for law school?
2, 3, 4, or 6GB of RAM?
320, 500, or 640 for Hard Drive?
Should I go for the i3 processor instead of Core 2 Duo?

Thanks!


Haha I test Sony notebooks at the repair center here in San Diego so I'll chime in. the C series, CS and CW, I absolutely hate they are cheap pos I think it was this series that had the really crappy keys that fell off easily. The CS in particular has a known issue with faulty fans as well. We don't get many CWs in for fan repairs though.

The E series is nearly 6lbs and has 15.5 screen with a decent ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 and bluray making it a mid sized desktop replacement. Frankly I dislike lugging anything of that weight. While the paint on the cover looks nice and has a gloss that doesn't smear as easy as the C series, the interior looks crappy and doesn't even have the neat backlit keys sony and a lot of other manufactures seem to be putting in (yeah not really important but all the other desktop replacements seem to be putting them in).

The Y series is what I purchased, bad news though, you can't buy it off the website anymore. However, if you can find it it's about 3.8lbs with a standard battery and has a 13.3 screen. It has a full sized keyboard that is a lot more sturdier than the keyboard I had on my Vaio SZ. It uses intel's Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) platform so it has a 1.3 Ghz U7300 core 2 duo in order to extend battery life as well as lacking an optical disc drive for the same purpose. The video is a crappy intel integrated GPU that from my understanding needs to borrow from the actual ram of which it has 4 GB DDR3, however it runs HD video, 720p rips though, pretty well. The website says approx 8 hour battery life, but 3rd party reviewers tested the standard battery at around 6 and a half hours. Other CULV competitors like the Asus UL30A and the HP dm3 report 12 hours of battery life but test around 10 hours. Personally the machine isn't built for gaming, but it's light weight, the top and bottom chassis are constructed with magnesium making it very sturdy unlike the cheapo C series, it runs at a VERY cool temperature, the screen isn't too small, and practicing Mavis Beacon on it I'm typing at around 65-70 WPM, haven't typed in awhile though. However, another negative is that it uses a glossy screen that is pretty bad for outdoors use because it reflects. I tried to ensure i wouldn't purchase a gaming machine so it wouldn't distract me from studying, but I sadly can run Starcraft II on the lowest settings with good frame rates and little lag unless i stack a bunch of pylons together.

In assessing what notebook I wanted I thought about a few parameters:

Weight
Purpose
Ability to type
Screen Size
Battery Life

Weight - I wanted something light weight because I hear lugging around books is killer, my dad is missing his intervertabral discs (the fluid between the spines) because of his work in the Navy and my old room mate has sciatica (pinched spinal nerves) so I really want to protect my back.

Purpose - Do you intend on gaming with the notebook? I personally don't (and hope not to) so requiring a heavy graphics processor as well as a super fast cpu wasn't a necessity to me. These also factor into the weight. However, having a lot of ram will allow you to multitask programs a lot easier as well as helping them load quicker in general.

Ability to type - I assume you'll be taking your exams on this notebook as well. If that's the case you'll want a full sized keyboard and you want to make sure you'll be comfortable typing. When looking in the store definitely take more than 2 minutes, open up the word processor and type a LOT to see how comfortable it'll be.

Screen size - This is another debatable issue. For a good amount of people, having a large amount of screen real estate will allow you to have multiple windows up so you can have both your outline and your exam window open during tests. you will also be able to have a separate lecture note window as well as your outline open in class. My screen is a 13.3 wide screen, and with win 7's snapping feature I can also have two simultaneous windows open however I am limited by my 1366 x 768 screen resolution.

Battery Life - It certainly does help not needing to be attached to the AC adapter like an umbilical cord, so I wanted something that would have a long battery life. Luckily my school will have personal DC jacks per seat. General tips on battery: two things diminish battery longevity, heat as well as charge percentage. Contrary to what one would think, it's ideal to store a battery at 40% charge rather than 100%, and if you do have a dedicated DC jack it would be best to remove the battery as heat also diminishes battery life, however you run the risk of losing unsaved data during a black out. Generally around 2-3 years batteries will lose their ability to hold charges, this degeneration happens as soon as they leave the factory so having a backup battery that you never use will not be a good solution.

big ass wall of text. definitely to reiterate other people's thoughts, assess what you want and then find a store that will have the unit out on display so you can test it out yourself.

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goblue1646
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Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby goblue1646 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:34 am

I'm not really an Apple groupie, I promise--but I do think the Macbook is the way to go. With the educational discount, you can get one WITH a three year protection plan for not much more than $1100.

Macbooks are just really solid and well built machines--mine's 4.5 years old and still runs fine though a little slow. I'll be upgrading to a Macbook Pro for law school :)

RickyMack
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:26 am

Re: Sony Laptop?

Postby RickyMack » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:37 am

1000bmr wrote:i have a vaio vgn-fw590 which i love [don't know what the deal is with keys falling off, mine seems very solidly built] with one exception. i bought one with tons of power and it can definitely handle everything you throw at it in a capable manner, but after maybe 3 months it started having what i'm guessing are 0.5-1.5 second cpu spikes related to overheating. it could be gpu or i suppose even ram. i haven't really looked into it because it doesn't bother me much day-to-day, but it's bad enough in really intense applications to where i'm planning on sending it in shortly before my default warranty expires to have them look at it. if i didn't have the warranty, i'm guessing this is a problem that i could research and fix on my own without issue. on the scale of minor to major i'd put it about here: |---x--------|


Before sending it in I'd recommend you back up your data. If it isn't a hardware defect I'm 99% sure the tech will suggest a reimage (reformat) of your hard drive. Typically cpu spikes are caused by software installed on the user end. As for overheating I would probably rule that out, while I don't know what it is many companies have "acceptable" levels of operating temperature. My SZ got hot around the gpu/hd area where it was uncomfortable to me but it was found to be within "acceptable" temperatures. After testing a bunch of notebooks I found out what unacceptable is, and it is really hot like you will burn yourself it's usually when a fan is dead. If your fan is still spinning and is blowing hot air then it's fine, it's job is to blow the heat away from the computer.

From what I recall, Sony chargers a diagnostics fee which is around $100. Personally, really think their solution will be to reimage. If they won't look at it for free, download a free memory test software like memtest or memcheck make sure it's not the ram. Backup your data, and do a reformat yourself and see if that doesn't fix it. VAIO control center should have an option to create recovery discs, or when you're booting to windows hold F10 and that should let your access the internal recovery partition (reiterate back up your data before you do this!)

If they offer you an onsite technician decline this! those onsite techs fuck shit up bad, really bad.




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