Remember that whole fiasco with Nvidia graphics-based notebooks giving up the ghost because of a "weak die/packaging material set?" That manufacturing defect ended up costing Nvidia millions of dollars in warranty repairs. It also led to extended warranties by some OEMs, the latest of which is Sony.
"Sony, in cooperation with Nvidia, has been looking into any possible effect to Vaio notebooks with Nvidia graphic processors. Until recently we had not identified any Vaio models that were affected by this issue," Sony said in an eSupport USA notice.
The statement went on to disclose that a "very small percentage" of Nvidia-based Vaio PCs may exhibit "distorted video, duplicate images, or a blank screen" because of the faulty GPU.
According to Sony, affected models include the Vaio VGN-AR1xx, VGN-AR2xx, VGN-AR3xx, VGN-FZ1xx, VGN-FZ2xx, VGN-FZ3xx, VGN-FZ4xx, VGC-LT1xx, and and VGC-LT2xx series. For those who need repair service because of a failing GPU, Sony said it will provide a three year warranty extension.
For those of you that are looking to get a Windows 7 Vaio from Sony, don’t plan on using the Windows XP mode to run applications, because it won’t be included with the systems.
According to Sony’s Xavier Lauwaert Windows 7’s XP mode will be disabled due to security reasons. According to one of Sony’s engineers, they’re “very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.”
Apparently Sony still plans to enable XP mode on some machines, but as to which models they choose or when it’ll be available, nobody knows.
According to a recent interview with Sony’s Senior Vice President of Information Technology Products Mike Abary, there has been a recent push towards bringing touchscreen Vaios to consumers, as well as integrating them with a plethora of goodies.
The touchscreen Vaio, which will be known as the Vaio W, is reported to integrate the PlayStation Network to deliver movies and TV shows (possibly games) and come with eBook functionality. They’ll also be based off of Windows 7.
No official word yet on pricing, but you can expect them in time for the holidays.
With their latest introduction to the Vaio line Sony is looking to bring their newest netbook, the Vaio W, to the states.
The 10.1-inch netbook will feature some pretty common specs: a 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 160GB HDD, 1GB RAM, Windows XP, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n, VGA out, two USB ports, Ethernet, a webcam, and MemoryStick/SD card readers. It’ll also come with a three-cell battery stock, and feature an 86 percent size keyboard.
It’s reported to cost about $500, and is set to release about mid-August. And best of all, it’ll come in three flavors: berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown.
Sony has reached an agreement with Corel to use the latter’s InstantON technology in future Vaio P-series netbooks. Vaio Ps with Corel’s instant-on OS will begin appearing on American store shelves later this month. A lot of PC manufacturers are incorporating instant-on solutions in their netbooks.
The technology allows users to perform tasks like web browsing without having to wait for the main OS to boot. Though both the companies waxed eloquent about the inclusion of Corel’s Instant On technology in the world’s lightest 8 inch notebook, it still doesn’t seem enough to justify the netbook’s $900 price tag.
In our recent roundup of netbooks, we dubbed these little PCs to be a “great second computer” but a “pathetic first one.” At CES 2009, Sony’s introduction of the new Vaio P has turned some heads about the full potential of this so-called netbook-in-disguise. Weighing in at only 1.4 pounds and measuring in at just under an inch thick, this little guy packs an 8-inch widescreen with a 2.08:1 aspect ratio and a supported resolution of up to 1600x768.
Inside the Vaio P you will find a 1.33GHz Atom processor, 2GB of ram and a SSD drive ranging from 64GB to 128GB of storage space. Built-in is wireless WAN 3G (Verizon Only), 802.11 Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The P’s instant-on OS allows for quick access to the Sony’s Xross Media bar interface making access to photos, music, videos, and the web seemingly fast. Included also is an integrated real-time GPS functionality with turn-by-turn directions. An internet connection is not required in the United States or Canada.
Expect a starting price of around $900 and shipments beginning in February.
We still don't know what exactly Sony has up its sleeve, only that "On the 9th of January you will change the way you look at laptops. Forever." Or at least that's what the mysterious tagline read on Sony's pre-launch website before the company inexplicably took it down.
But while the countdown has been whisked away, Sony continues to tease one picture at a time. The latest shots to make it to the web show a full size keyboard like the one on the Vaio TZ, along with a track stick. Not much else is visible from the cryptic pics.
It looks like we'll have to wait for CES for the full skinny. In the meantime, we're left with speculation and leaked specs. According to preliminary reports, the notebook that will apparently knock everyone's socks off will be the smallest in Sony's lineup, likely a netbook running an Intel Atom processor. The presumed netbook will come with an 8-inch LED backlit screen with a 1600x768 resolution, and either a 60GB HDD or 128GB SDD, if reports hold true.
Well, it’s not completely a mystery, but with a tagline like “On the 9th of January you will change the way you look at laptops. Forever,” you can’t help but be a little titillated.
It looks like Sony couldn’t let Dell be the only laptop vendor that had a secret (but not so secret) launch on the horizon. Their latest in the Vaio series was packing its very own launch site with a counter, but it would appear that at time of press they’ve taken it down. Still, the secret lingers.
We’re not sure if the pressure was just too much, or that they’ve mixed up on the release counter somewhere, but it is still expected that at CES 2009 they will announce the new notebook (or netbook?).
If anyone else out there would care to keep the rumor mill going with your own secret launch, do so now. It appears to be the thing to do!
Most times when you read about a notebook recall the problem typically stems from a defective battery. But that's not the case with Sony's voluntary recall of 440,000 Vaio TZ notebooks. Sony says "irregularly placed wires near the hinge, or a dislodged screw inside the hinge, may create a short circuit, causing localized overheating." Affected models include:
The issue potentially affects all modes sold between July 2007 and August 2008. If you own one of the above models, Sony advises visiting http://esupport.sony.com/fixmypc where you'll be prompted to input your product code and serial number to see if your unit is affected. Alternately, you can call 1-888-526-6219, and if your model qualifies, Sony will provide a free inspection and on-site repair.
From the Air to the Pro, Apple’s MacBooks are winning the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere—including PC enthusiasts. Maximum PC investigates whether the hoopla is warranted.
What do you really get for the money when you throw down for a MacBook, and how do these Apple computers compare to their PC counterparts in terms of performance, features, overall usability, and price? Maximum PC tests and reviews the MacBook Air, the standard MacBook, and the MacBook Pro against five PC models sporting similar price points and formfactors. It’s time we set the record straight.