Review: Sony Vaio Z ultraportable notebook

Overall Rating

By danwarne, November 16 2010
Sony Vaio Z ultraportable notebook
The Good
  • Most powerful ultraportable notebook on the market
  • Full HD display
  • Full-speed Intel Core i7 chip
The Bad
  • The price tag, of course!
  • Not very thin.
  • Amazingly fast SSD storage


If money is no object, the Sony Vaio Z offers the ultimate speed in an ultraportable notebook.


The Vaio Z series is slim, light, powerful and ... expensive.

There's no question that Sony's Vaio Z provides the best performance to size/weight ratio on the market. If only its official name were not such a mouthful -- VPCZ138GGXQ -- it'd be a household name among business travellers.

Despite weighing only 1.41KG, it has an extremely fast processor in it -- the top-shelf dual-core Intel Core i7 running at 2.8GHz (capable of boosting up to 3.46GHz if both cores are not being fully utilised at once).

However, the real magic in this notebook is the ultra-fast storage. Sony has put four SSD drives in it, for a combined capacity of 256GB, but reads and writes to all four of them simultaneously, for radically fast saving and loading of files. This has a huge impact on overall system performance.

It also comes with an abnormally large amount of memory -- 8GB -- which is overkill for most people, but will certainly give you ample headroom for any software you want to run.

The 13.1" screen (housed underneath a carbon-fibre lid) is full HD resolution at 1920x1080, which, again, is distinct overkill for the screen size, but it means if you have good vision, you can fit a lot on the screen at once (otherwise, just scale up Windows' default zoom factor a bit and enjoy the super-crisp text).

Other convenience features include an HDMI socket for connection to hotel TVs, a webcam with microphone for Skype chats, and an SD camera memory card reader. It also has a mini-VGA port for connection to meeting-room projectors, but you'll just need to remember to bring the mini-VGA to VGA adapter with you to connect to projector cables.

Sony says the battery that comes with it will give you five hours of use, or you can buy the accessory battery which will give you eight hours' use all up.

It's not super-slim, at 3.3cm at its thickest point, though it tapers down to 2.4cm at its thinnest.

Online: Sony

Price: $4099

22 Nov 2010

Total posts 1

It does have a built-in VGA port and weight with standard battery is 1.41 kg. Something nice for business travellers is the backlit keyboard.


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 177

Thanks for the correction Vikasd! Greatly appreciated. Will update the story now.

27 Jan 2012

Total posts 117

What about the cooling fans? Do they get annoying too quickly?

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Sony Vaio Z ultraportable notebook