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Sony Vaio

Jim Carter, 2014-04-09

My previous laptop died. I tried to replace it with a tablet plus dock (keyboard) running Android, but the window manager was not able to deal with the many windows that I use; it is designed to show one window at a time, full screen. Therefore I returned to a conventional laptop, the Sony Vaio SVS1512ACXS, a pre-owned one about 2.5 years old. The display has 1920x1080px, 39.4cm (15.5in) diagonal. The CPU is an Intel i7-3612QM @2.2GHz (4 cores, 25W idle, 59W maxed out. Battery life is about 2 hours, so I normally use it on line power.

On the laptop I am running Linux (OpenSuSE 13.1, kernel 3.11.10). It is completely normal for this software in almost all areas. But I needed to do some extra work to housebreak the touch panel, and the wireless network also needed some hacking, not all of it to be blamed on the laptop.

A number of reviewers complained that the Vaio feels fragile compared to competitors. I think I understand the issue: prior laptops had a cold cathode fluorescent lamp and a light management cover to evenly illuminate the display: very nice engineering. The dome shape and the extra thickness made the display portion fairly rigid. The Vaio is edge-lit with LEDs, so the lid is just a sheet of polycarbonate with a frame around it, much less rigid. While I respect the strength of polycarbonate, even so I lift both corners to open the display.

It looks like the Vaio is a success as my new laptop.


Photo credit for the head and foot image.

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