Trying out the new Sony Vaio Z

Sony Vaio Z VPCZ1I have to say, with all these comments about online purchasing being the future, having local retail stores that has physical goods in stock is certainly very nice… and considering that they do have a refund policy, it is the perfect opportunity to try out in depth the default version of a new device before ordering the customized one online / in store. I’ve had my eye on the Vaio Z model (VPCZ1) that Sony pre-announced at CES 2010 in January for a while, but had quite a few open questions – battery life, noise of the fan, is it getting burning hot on your lap, …

Well, the laptop is now available in its standard form (the custom built ones will be available in about a week) and I decided to go on a field trip to the nearest Sony store to have a look at it. And after playing with the device in the store, I “borrowed” one for a few days before ordering the custom one (I was upfront about that with the sales guy at the store)… and I have to say, this is one impressive little high-end laptop.

Continue reading Trying out the new Sony Vaio Z

Having fun with air… and being really happy with it

MacBook AirIve been thinking about a sub-notebook for quite a while. The one I was looking at last summer was the Toshiba Portégé R500, a great little device (at least according to the specs) with a long battery life and an option to get an SSD hard drive for snappy reaction times and no moving parts. The reason for my interest for a sub-notebook is that when I travel, I always carry around my work laptop, which is a Lenovo T61, a 15.4” wide-screen device with a battery life of about 3 hours (I do have the extended battery), and that I also carry my private computer for my photos, my music and my own stuff.

When Apple announced the MacBook Air, I looked at it with an intrigued eye, but didn’t place the order immediately (I know, really amazing) as I was still quite happy with my original 15” MacBook Pro (the Core Duo version). But then, walking into an Apple Store in Montréal, I saw the Air and by the time I left the mall, I had one of the SSD based model in a small bag specifically designed for it, looking forward to experience it fully during a three weeks trip to Australia and Taiwan. In Summary: I love it!

Continue reading Having fun with air… and being really happy with it

MacBook Air Multi-touch trackpad + airplane power = Interferences?

Comfortably sitting on a 15+ hours Air Canada flight between Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia, I was looking forward to experiencing my MacBook Air for a longer period of time. Good news, I got plenty of battery time (above 5 hours) with normal usage and with all wireless disabled.

But after 5+ hours of usage, I needed to recharge the battery. Good news, there was a 110V power plug in the seat, so I connect my power adapter. And then, I get a huge surprise… the multi-touch trackpad starts behaving in a very strange way… the cursor starts jumping across the screen, when in the finder, the desktop icons change sizes… and as soon as I disconnect the power, everything is back to normal. I was therefore able to watch a movie on the Air, but every time I needed to move the cursor, I had to disconnect the power cord first???

I will try this again on my flight back, and if the problem is still there, I will report the details to Apple. It sounds really strange that a sub-notebook designed for road-warriors could have problems when used in a typical scenario for the target audience.