For the loyal fans, you know my feelings about Sony Vaios. For the newcomers, suffice it to say I went from loving them (even being quoted in Business 2.0 magazine about it) to loathing in a short 8 weeks last summer (you can read this summary to catch up). It’s become a bit of a running gag for me to mention it every few posts, but the truth is I am outraged at the fact that my $2500 is being used for exactly these purposes:
- Print serving
- Enabling my Drobo to be network-accessible
- Playing some Call of Duty 2
- Beta testing the TuneUp Media software (can’t wait to talk more about this one, and for continued disclosure’s sake, they are a client)
That’s it. That’s my less-than-a-year-old formerly top-of-the-line Vaio. And by the way, I’ve “upgraded” it to run Windows XP in order to perform the above tasks in a satisfactory manner.
When Ed Bott commented a few days offering to inspect the Vaio, I was instantly intrigued. My wife had been trying to put it up on eBay on our behalf (she’s the eBay/craigslister of the family), all we got was interest from a likely scammer (this person, who very cleverly has built some feedback by buying cheap items, then accidentally spilling the beans with us by sending two different emails asking for the same item, with two different addresses – one in the UK, the other in Nigeria – and offering two different prices. oops!). So we’ve taken down the listing, I’m finishing up the scrub on the Vaio today to make sure I didn’t leave any work-sensitive docs there, and I’m shipping it to Ed tomorrow.
Why, you may ask? Well, Ed wants to see it firsthand, see if there’s any saving grace to the “hunk o junk” (as I like to call it). Ed’s going to spend 30 days with the Vaio, during which I’ve told him he’s free to reinstall Vista (as many times as it might take) and try to see if there’s anything to be done with it. In the meantime, he’s going to send me a Dell laptop that he feels performs quite well. In all fairness, my only other Vista experiences are over the shoulders of others, including my mother who has a low-end Dell that I believe is class-action lawsuitable, considering how terrible it performs.
I have an open mind, and frankly I’d love to become impressed by Vista. I’d love to discover my two big experiences were random isolated occurrences, and it’s actually a really stable, fast operating system. Odds aren’t bad I’ll be buying a new notebook 30 days from now. But odds are pretty good right now that it’ll be a MacBook Pro. We’ll see what happens!
Anyone interested in a good deal on a low-end Dell?
So, i’ve decided to go macbook pro, not being able to handle the glossy of the macbook (which I LOVED and recommended to YOU) but no idea what it was – even though #1 1K GF thinks it is what caused the Bells Palsy!
But, my plan is the go MBP, and since I need windows so much for my consulting work, I’m going to run another virtual environment but doing it in a full bi-polar way. I have to connect do corporate exchange servers, corporate client network drives, INSIDE corporate networks, being able to share PPT, MPT, DOC, XLS, and other wintel version documents, i will be interested to see how it is going to all work. I’m run the virtualization for more than a year now on my home imac, but only for a couple things and usually for limited scope. (move over hear, use quicken and do something, update, close program, close virtual environment, move back) We’ll say, heck, mabybe I’ll do a 30 days in the life of a schizo mbpro
I run Vista on a dual core HP nw8440 business class notebook with 2GB RAM, and it rocks. Especially with Vista SP1.
I’ve also run it on a three+ year old HP nc6000 notebook, which doesn’t even fully support Vista, and, while it didn’t rock, it worked plenty well enough to be usable. I’ve even tried it on a really old laptop with a 700MHz processor and less than 512MB of RAM. That wasn’t pleasant, but really no worse than XP on that system, and it could be used, provided one had patience while launching programs.
Sony does suck!
I was about to buy a Vaio, but, my experience (personal and vicarious) with Vista is that it is JUNK!!!
I am convinced that MicroSoft has decided to ruin/rule the world and they do not really care about the end users. NEITHER DOES SONY!
i contacted sony about drivers for XP for their new systems. No go! they not only will ship their new systems, but they refuse to make XP drivers available to the public and they will not give a component list to customers who wish to hunt down drivers on their own.
I figure that it will be 5 years until the whole of computerdom is even Vista compatible, and then another 3 until a switch will be needed. Until then, no Vista and definitely no Sony Vaio for me!!!
You have the situation farily well encapsulated. I bought a Vaio back in 2002, preinstalled with XP Home. Could I upgrade it to XP Pro?
Not on your life as the drivers were tuned/restricted to work exclusively with Home. An upgrade to Pro meant the modem (which was crucial to me at the time) just didn’t work. Roll on two and a half years and the thing refuses to boot. Me being forgiving thinks it is a crashed hard drive. If only it were true but the reality was the hard disk controller on the motherboard had developed a fault and no end of coercion was bringing it back to life.
I also had a Sony camera that at about the same time developed epilepsy and refused to take photos.
So I swore of Sony cameras and laptops at the same time. I went out and bought a Toshiba laptop that does great service. Recently a neighbour gave me an ‘old’ Toshiba laptop of about the same vintage as my former Vaio. I was able to get all the drivers for this Toshiba for XP (any variant) Windows 2000 and Windows NT. I replaced the camera with one from a camera company and the laptop from a computing company.
Never again will Sony get my money.
I bought a vaio in 2005. 1 year later (just past the warranty perriod) the backlight on the monitor broke. It cost about ZAR2000 (+- $650) to replace, luckilly the insuarance paid out but it took sony about a month to get a replacement part. The next laptop I buy will deffinately NOT be a sony.
I caught this article a while back but have been too busy to respond to it until now. I have a VIAO VGN-FS745P/H. That has been used pretty much to play EVE Online, I’m hardcore with that game and run a corp there. I will share my experience with the Viao. Within the first year the hard drive and the ram went. Both times Sony sent a service rep to my home to fix my Viao, both times to my surprise within two days free of any charge. Two months ago the well worn keyboard and when I say well worn, you could not even see some of the letters anymore.. Since the Viao was under extended warranty at this point I had to mail my precious Eve viao in, and that really sucked! Two weeks till I got it back.
Now I have a brand new keyboard now. I really don’t know how this little Vaio thats starting to look a lot fatter these days like a chunky dell has put up with all the abuse. It burns red hot under my right wrist while playing. The heat coming out the exhaust fan might as well be a torch and I often wonder when that video card will catch fire..
My desktop Viao is another story, I lose the hard drive at least once a year and I have traced it to a motherboard issue that can never be corrected. I have tried the Mac the OS is way to foreign for me im one of those guys that created a BBS back in the 80’s and ran Fidonet networks as well as other pioneered work.
I’m pretty sick of buying over priced junk that I cant fix myself. In that past I have been able to repaire my own cell phones and other assorted crap however I am now seeing a trend to sealed systems and I really don’t like it.
My hp dv6800 series notebook absolutely rocks with vista. I remember two days ago, it was recording a tv show in the backround while watching another on a second display, I was burning a dvd, and recoding recorded television, all while I was running music production software Sonar in the background to play virtual instruments from a firewire interface.
And that’s with a dual-core 2.0ghz amd with 3gb ram, a budget computer at $599
I would be REALLY TICKED if I paid what you did for that VAIO and got such sucky performance.
Good luck man
My experience with VAIO computers certainly runs counter to yours. That being said, I have avoided using VISTA like the plague. I have two Sony computers and if you count my SE 990i – three. The VAIO media center is thoroughly put thru vigourous use by my children, my daughter is an aspiring film maker and uses the MC to cut and edit short films with ease, again I repeat “NO VISTA”. My laptop is an overeclocked 2 yr old single core workhorse that I have used worldwide and as a plug for Sony 3 friends have the same worry free machine.
I too will look at another laptop near term and like the MAC book pro , however I will be using my current XP set up on it.
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The Vaio is an okay machine, but Sony’s support is a serious disappointment, particularly compared to how Dell support was on my previous laptop.
I purchased onsite support, expecting them to send parts and repair the laptop…onsite.
Of three incidents in the last two years–one physical damage by a car crash, one a bad mouse, and most recently overheating (probably a broken fan), for two of them they’ve told me “you have to send the laptop in to our depot”, and that onsite support won’t cover it.
I read the contract (vague enough to give them the ability to do what they want to, but no different from the other vendors), and my only conclusion is that they don’t really want to offer onsite support. Otherwise, they wouldn’t tell me that a likely bad fan is a “safety issue”, until after they replaced it onsite.
–It took them two times, and my diagnosis, to replace the motherboard when the video controller was flaking out; we lost the laptop for more than a month in repair time, plus the time that was spent getting and configuring a temporary system…not quite sure why they couldn’t diagnose it over the phone though.
–Their drivers/software to control the lan/wan/bluetooth power are flakey. Uninstalling them increased my system’s stability.
The system is pretty, but for the lousy and frustrating support alone, I won’t buy another Sony. I’m sorry to say that, I was excited to get it originally
I bought a Vaio for about $2000 eight months ago and I hate it. I loved it when I first got it, but the more I got to know the computer, the more I realized that a $300 computer from Walmart would work better than this piece of crap. It won’t even run Oblivion which is part of the reason I wanted the darn thing. That and all of my work is on it. Needless to say I was expecting a computer that would be up to at least those 2 simple tasks, but noooo. It lags constantly and the battery dies if I unplug it AT ALL. The only thing this computer has going for it is the fact that it looks nice. But really I’ve seen better looking Toshibas than this piece of crap.
1) Their so called “smart software” is annoying and demanding too much system resource.
2) Their drivers for clean installtion are nearly NOT approachable.
3) Their installtion programs for drivers have some issue related to dependency. They should automatically check and install any neccessary components for users.
4) Their laptops using SydeH2O BIOS which is lamb BIOS, get a full functional BIOS, godsh…
e.g., ACPI problems
5) The famous battery problem -> “vaio battery is not connected or not compatible error message”
I have tried to setup the SVE1116FW for 3 days. This is my most horrible experience for setup a clean OS in my life.
I just want to say SONY, “DO NOT TREAT USERS AS DUMMIES, THEY DO KNOW YOUR PROBLEMS”, crap machines.