Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sony Vaio VPC-Z21Q9E/B Subnotebook Review

Sounds almost like a fairy tale when it comes to what Sony has created a new model Z: ultra-thin 13.1-inch subnotebook weighs just 1.2 pounds, which offers performance as much as a large notebook, and also shines in A1 screen, good battery life, and a little 'heat and noise. How is this possible? Through the Dock Power and Light Peak of Intel.

Many have tried and failed so far to date: an external graphics solution which is supposed to help moving books to improve their performance at will. The biggest problem so far: A high performance relevant external interface to exchange data to and from the laptop was gone, which is able to function as integrated with the display performance. This problem has been resolved now, apparently by Sony because the new Intel Light Peak - an external screen makes much more sense.

Specifications Sony Vaio VPC-Z21Q9E :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 2620M 2.7 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel ID0104
  • Memory : 8192 MB, DDR3 1333 MHz
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6650M - 1024 MB, Core: 725 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, 8.830.7.0
  • Display : 13.1 inch , 1600x900 pixel, SNY06FA, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : Samsung MZRPA128HMCD-000SO, 128GB RAID 0 - 128 MB
  • Soundcard : HD Audio
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Headphones, Card Reader: Memory Stick(Duo)-, SD card slot, 1 Fingerprint Reader
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 (abgn), 2.1+EDR Bluetooth, Huawei Gobi 3000 HSUPA-Modul (up to 14.4 / 5.76 Mbit/s)
  • Optical drive : Optiarc DVD RW AD-7690H
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 17 x 330 x 210
  • Weight : 1.15 kg Power Supply: 0.29 kg
  • Battery : 45 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 11.1V 4000 mAh
  • Price : 2400 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: "Exmor" HD Digitalkamera (1,31 Mio. Pixel), Power Media Dock, 24 Months Warranty
When it comes to Sony's high-end models, have been for many years a favorite of the "black" variety. This choice is obviously not entirely arbitrary, since this is supposed to represent the material value of the laptop. Online configuration tool from the Sony site, but also three other models: blue, gold and coal Premium.

Carbon is the material used by Sony to get the best performance on the weight. The Japanese manufacturer said a thickness of 1.7 centimeters official, and a total weight of only 1.2 kg, which is below the values ​​Netbook in its documentation. We measured to ensure: 1.15 kg, and 17 mm, excluding the two rubber feet millimeter, which is correct.

Optically the case can certainly make a good impression: Sleek, simple, excellent, even, would be an understatement appropriate. When it comes to handling the device, it quickly becomes clear, however, it is a plastic housing in the sub-class of 1000 euros.

Satin surfaces are good at hiding fingerprints and dust particles, and, indeed, quality feel. Without knowing it would be possible to think of 08/15 plastic, in detail Vaio Z21 can still turn all doubts, however. Problems with paint, uneven gaps, or even a faltering battery? - Our system shows no consideration of these weaknesses.

About Battery: Sony has been known to not always take the precision of the size of the battery too seriously in the past. This deficiency is, however, apparently on purpose to avoid these high-end models. Compared to his colleague, 13-inch segment, such as the MacBook Air or Samsung 900X3A, which can be either the battery can not be removed, or only after a separate case (warranty?), Sony's battery is connected at the bottom of the base opposite the zone 8 (!) screws.

This change is therefore possible, but just a lot of trouble. The remaining parts can not, however, with the exception of removing the entire case. Why, however, the RAM is soldered in place - to prevent others in future updates. And Solid State Drive has a special shape that prevents easy to replace. Those who want to take a look inside the homes Vaio Z21 VPC, we can make watching this video.

Before continuing, just another small comment on the case: the aesthetic and feel of high optical quality is not quite matched by the stability of matter. The database can be easily dented somewhat by a slight pressure in the area around the palm rest area and keyboard (wireless switch).

This becomes most obvious when it comes to the screen. Coverage of only 5 millimeters thin component can not let any pressure due to the sensitive display, but it can be folded easily. Just two fingers are enough to create a lot of bending.

Let's start with the interfaces are provided directly to the laptop. The left side is primarily used for large cooling fan. VGA port on the back of the area to show how close to the case, has its limits when it comes to thickness.

Sony includes a front end to mandatory two card reader, which reads his staff of these cards (Magic Gate), and others may accept the classic SD cards (SDHC, SDXC, CPRM).

The right side contains a LAN port that is possible in the case of a thin folding mechanism. As a result, it is HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and a combination of a tie. At first glance, the interface to the power base is not visible to the USB port of a conventional, would not allow the concept to work well.

When you take a closer look, two small optical elements, as well as the suitable partner can be seen in the USB 3.0. Therefore it is one of the first laptops with the technology of mass production of integrated optical interface, which is based on Intel Ray (former peak of light), although it is an adaptation from Sony one proprietary solution. The current Apple laptops can also use this technology, but still uses a copper circuit data transfer route can be implemented much more expensive.

Currently, Intel prefers the Mini DisplayPort as standard accessories, and so the future is probably not compatible with the users of the Sony Z21 Thunderbolt interface.

An important press release VPC-Z21 is a possible multi-monitor use, up to 4 also shows the monitor of the laptop itself. The first thing we did was to test the VGA port directly into your laptop Dell 2408WFP monitor's maximum resolution (1920x1200). The result is not really a convincing impression.

Visible images can still be a sufficient, but when you look closely in writing, in particular, is a bit 'fuzzy. In addition, we also noticed a slight flicker on the screen. We compared the HDMI port for an external monitor is the same: the image is sharp as expected and the flicker is gone.

We repeated the test two power ports Dock with the same result: the image through the VGA is just as imprecise, when the HDMI is brilliant, sharp as expected. Overall, the HDMI ports are so much better. With a total of three displays the maximum configuration, at least a VGA port is used, however. But the situation is likely to be the exception rather than the usual.

We also tested the data transfer speed available in USB port provided. The docking port 3.0 can easily be used for external hard drive with Samsung HM500JI NA201U Ineo, with transfer rates of between 44 and 89 Mb / s. Using the USB 2.0 port, we measured significantly lower values ​​between 27 and 30 Mb / s, which are within the normal range for these specifications, however.

Despite the extremely thin Sony has included a standard RJ45 port, which would be incorporated as part of a folding mechanism to enable it to fit into the case. Behind the port is a Gigabit Realtek. Wireless communication is provided by a module from Intel (Centrino Advance N-6230).

Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR is as much as the technology standard VAIO everywair 3GWWAN, or in other words, a module HSUPA (Huawei Gobi 3000) with a maximum of 14.4/5.76 Mbit / s data transfer rate (according to Sony).

Locate the SIM card slot over, taking some 'time, this would have been faster in the digital user manual - Reading Learning Aids! - Those who are in the Tools icon in the Dock at the top of the Vaio desktop. However, the SIM-card slot was not available, and the current pre-installed Vodafone card has not been possible because of the eject mechanism of the SIM card was apparently on strike. In principle, the SIM card of any service provider should be able to use the device, although at least the Sony confirmed to us.

The software and hardware used by Sony to offer a range of security features. Included with these are like a fingerprint reader that can exist between the buttons on the touchpad. The TPM and integrated Kensington lock on the left side of the question, also give the user protection against (data) stolen.

ThinkVantage tools as familiar as Lenovo ThinkPad, an extra button above the keyboard with "assist" the tile provides access to the health center Vaio. This is a software tool that bundles the various options (upgrades, diagnostics, food, etc.) and makes them easily accessible.

The box contains our revised Vaio PCV-Z21Q9E was also an AC adapter, a variety of printed materials, cloth, and Media Dock with power above product code VGP-PRZ20C, equipped with its own little big AC.

Media Dock is available in three different versions, the only difference is the kind of optical drives in them. Available are the usual DVD combo drive, a Blu-ray player or a Blu-ray (additional cost 50 euros or 100 above the base price of 369 euros Power Dock).

After this, there are also additional equipment available for an additional period as an extension of the battery (battery slice) VGP-BPSC27 MSRP of 150 euros, a spare battery (BPS27) for 120 euros on retail price, and bag leather laptop different.

The basic warranty for Sony Z21 is a 24-month Carry-In Warranty, more precisely, to be returned by the client. Sony also offers an optional additional extension to 3 years (€ 149.90) or an extension to 4 years on "full coverage" (€ 349.90).

It also contains a special telephone service, alternative service products for the first 3 months and a full warranty, including protection against accidents. Especially for users protection against accidents should know exactly what accidents are included in the coverage, and it is not. A shame about the location service is not cheap. In this case, users will have to settle for collection 5 days and the period of repair.

Input Devices

The design of a Chiclet keyboard completely flat with a size of 15x14 mm with a relatively generous gap between them about 4 millimeters. The backlight of the keypad was almost missed by us, as disabled under normal lighting.

Only when the ambient light level does the keypad backlight automatically provide readable selections in these conditions. We could not find an option to manually switch the backlight on or off in the VAIO Control Center.

The typing feel of the keys is characterized by a particularly short key travel, combined with a drive to feel the pressure point and a hard shutdown. Like or dislike is a matter of personal taste, in this case. Fast typing is easily possible with the keyboard included, although the flat keys also guide the fingers a little more difficult. Familiar with the keyboard will no doubt play a role in this case.

The audio volume control must be accessible through the Fn key and F key combination for. The hardware option for deactivation and activation of the wireless module is provided to the flip of a switch above the keyboard, which also has three additional keys (Vaio Care Assist-browser - standard browser, and Vaio - Vaio Control Center).

The touchpad without buttons (Synaptics ClickPad V8.0) is supposed to "do the work even more comfortable," at least as far as Sony is pretending. We do not agree entirely, and it has several practical reasons.

For example, the sensitive surface of the touchpad measures only 7.3x4.1 cm, which is relatively small. Especially in the multi-touch to suffer. Surface more or less completely flat touch pad is covered with a web structure, so good sliding properties, even if your fingers are not completely dry. In practice, this only worked for a small size, however.

The touchpad does not provide separate buttons, but rather a Clickbed through the bottom. Haptic feedback when you click on the property is common, and also offers a very short trip. Things get particularly nasty when the touchpad is not exactly clicking on the Clickbed area, and the pressure required is much greater, or the click is not recognized.

Things get interesting: What made Sony one of the leading candidates in the struggle for success all round laptop? Key data looks promising: 13.1 inch, anti-glare surface, 1600x900 pixels, the basic version.

Our measurements confirm the good results expected: Maximum 307 candelas per square meter, 285 cd / m² on average, about 82 percent of the light - ideal for a portable phone, such as the Sony Vaio Z21 aspires to be.

Professional requirements for higher resolution (multi-tasking, tools, etc.), and other fans of high definition, Sony offers a 1080p display to update the network configuration. Price: only 40 euros in addition. Light of the basic price of 2,000 euros, this is probably negligible. How good brightness and color of the exhibition space is still uncertain so far though. Full HD would impress the previous model, however.

To confirm whether the screen is really very good (SNY06FA), we need to complete two steps: the contrast and color. We measured the black level of the center of the screen has a maximum brightness: 0.26 cd / m - exceptional. This screen HD + points can be outstanding with a contrast ratio up to 1146:1.

No less impressive is the representable color space. sRGB is more than covered only during the filling of gaps wider Adobe RGB color space begin to emerge. The color space is not completely covered, and the elite screen-Z13 Sony Vaio PCV with a Full HD screen, the VPC-HD + with Z21 is delayed. A comparison with the Full HD screen would also be an interesting alternative in this case.

The screen surface can be described as a combination of a panel with a matte screen brightness. Reflections may occur in some scenarios lighting and viewing angle, but the lines are poorly defined, so much less annoying.

In combination with the high illumination level of the use of outdoor advertising Sony VPC-Z21 is possible without problems in almost all circumstances. Even the sunlight on the screen does not negate the images, and it is always possible to precisely navigate the screen.

Points are completely convincing, unfortunately, the least pleasant viewing angle stability. Typically, the display is blessed with relatively tolerable horizontal viewing angles, but not at the level of images can quickly become less than ideal.

Even a few degrees of deviation from an ideal location is clearly insufficient to change colors. This, unfortunately, can lead to restrictions especially during mobile use. In this case, we experienced is often necessary to adjust angle to correct the international movement on the screen.

The "Z" in the description of the product was an indication of the reservations made especially for the Sony cameras for some time. In the case of Vaio Z21 review, Sony has opted for the dual-core processors from Intel on the bridge of the palette of sand.

What is interesting is the fact that - contrary to expectations for the adoption of processors ULV - 35W TDP processors used standard. Sony is ready in three different online settings: i5-2410M as the entry level model, i5-2524M, with an extended and VT-x and VT-d functionality, and the Core i7 finally 2620m, in other words, the fastest currently available dual-core processor with a clock speed of 2.7 GHz of bandwidth and up to base Turbo 3.4 GHz, a single core is used and the cooling is adequate. In light of the height of the basic unit of only 12 millimeters, which may be more complicated than previously thought good. More on this later.

Integrated into the laptop, or more precisely: directly into the CPU is Intel Graphics HD 3000 graphics solution, designed for desktop use and can therefore perform less demanding tasks while consuming less energy. When it comes to specific tasks Professional, Intel offers a solution to significantly lag behind other independent graphics solutions themselves.

For this reason, Sony has equipped with a Dock Media Power AMD HD 6650M graphics chip with 1GB of dedicated DDR3 graphics memory. To dock the laptop graphics-intensive programs should be closed, and the image is interrupted briefly. After that, after a few seconds the system is again ready for use well.

The Radeon HD 6650M graphics card is a family 6xxxM midrange AMD. The chip supports DirectX 11 capable of decoding high definition content with UVD3 decoder, supports 7.1 surround sound output through HDMI, and can theoretically five screens simultaneously with the AMD Eyefinity. In addition to concerns of the graphics, so there are many reasons that are supposed to use this attractive GPU.

When it comes to RAM, it is possible for 4 or 8 GB of DDR3 1333 MHz varieties is soldered on the motherboard, and therefore can not be upgraded. The right choice should also be made when selecting the main storage memory, which is inevitable in the form of a Solid State Drive (SSD) in case of Vaio Z21.

The possibilities are either flash SSD with a capacity of 128 to 512 GB or SSD in the configuration line "third generation", which should have a little extra performance. Or revised unit contained 128 GB standard entry level solution.

CPU Performance & OpenGL FAIL
Let's start with the analysis of the CPU. During the Cinebench R10 rendering test, a single processor's clock frequency is observed in the 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz short peaks, which has become less and less as the experiment progresses. 5444 points was one of the best compared to other devices with the same CPU.

When testing multi CPU rendering Cinebench R10, remained constant clock frequency of 3.2 GHz chip. The fan runs much higher, but the CPU temperature does not exceed 80 ° C according to HWMonitor. Score: 11444 points. This also makes the Sony Vaio Z21 one of the fastest 2620m-i7-systems we have discussed so far.

The surprise came during the Cinebench OpenGL test. After the first landmark judders crushed Cinebench. We started again with 64-bit mode, and reaches an abnormally low 300 points after a painful benchmark vibrant. A typical result would be between 5000 and 6000 points. Why? We continued testing.

During the same CPU Cinebench R11.5 picture emerges in terms of clock speed and temperature. The chip is kept constant from 3.2 GHz and 80 ° C. The fan, or fans, are operating at full capacity, though. 3.05 points also put the CPU in the 2620m in the target area in this case.

After this came the test with the OpenGL error surprising.? "The graphics card does not meet the minimum requirements Can Cinebench OpenGL 2.0 requires as a minimum requirement of the analysis of Everest confirms. Adopting Intel HD 3000 Graphics OpenGL only supports version 1.1.0 - development in 1997 to HD 3000 Graphics should be able to support version 3.0, by definition!.

The reason for this was found after a more detailed analysis: an external video card form of the Sony Streaming Media Dock is controlled by AMD XGP technology, so the same technology that was already used in the example FSC Amilo Sa3650 with the description of "special effects graphics drivers are needed for this, which includes Intel and AMD components.

This seems to be a very old Intel driver, however, that only supports OpenGL 1.1. But because of special drivers are needed XGP features, Sony seems to be linked hands in this case, and the ball is in AMD's court update the driver. the most up to date drivers, which are not delivered, was not available at the time again.

What this means in practice, though? Each application that requires a higher version of OpenGL 1.1.0 for the presentation of animations will be unlikely in any case. This can affect several specialized programs and trivia games. Help is provided by the spring of energy: The AMD HD 6650M in it have no problem, but does not work in a state battery powered and will only be practical for mobile use.

System Performance
What strikes you on the other hand, PCMark Vantage (64-bit) results in docking station connected to the GPU: 11 107 points, which offers the best of all notebooks we review. Acer 8951G with the Ethos 2630QM quad-core CPUs and graphics GT555M is the same level.

Alienwares M14x with the same configuration also results Ethos Acer approximately 14 302 points. They are far from this laptop with a traditional hard drive: the Sony Vaio as SB2 (2310M/HD 6470M) with 4857 points, and the Sony Vaio Z13B (460M/GT330M) with 5855 points.

Another surprise was the result of repeated testing without external graphics solution: 12 points 612. Instead, despite a less graphics performance? Specifically, the Vaio Z21 is a significant delay in the memory score and the score of the game, with the GPU. In all other subscales of the laptop can catch up if the score is hard, although somewhat less, more or less the same.

7 in PCMark the results with the energy supply base is no less impressive: with 3246 points in the overall score, the laptop is the level of the current set of power Toshiba Qosmio X770 (2630QM/GTX560M). Ahead of him as the new MacBook Air 13 in 2011 (3561), and the 13-inch Sony Vaio SA2Z talented and 3448 points (2620M/HD 6630M) multiple.

In this case, we have also stood the test without the Power Dock seal: 3978 points, again a significant improvement in results. What has most significantly improved productivity were a score, and calculating the score.

Despite the results of the configuration actually higher, the result was improved again, but was delayed a bit. Other concerns relating to the implementation of the drivers traveling apparent.

Windows Experience Index graphics solutions clearly recognized as a weakness (6.3 points), without the spring attached GPU. Interesting also for the use of Bay Media Power, the main area of ​​concern is the GPU and the score remains at 6.3 points. The highest score is given to hard disk: 7.8 points.

3D Performance
AMD HD 6650M graphics card into the Power Dock is not known. Introduced in early 2011, the chip can still be found in a variety of mid-range multimedia notebooks. Following the popular ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 480 processors steam process is mainly still current games with medium to high detail smoothly.

We first tested the chip included in the Dock with the power 3DMark familiar. In 3DMark 2006 (1280x1024) reference Vaio PCV-Z21 managed to score 7877 points, which keeps much better than the laptops as compared Packard Bell LS11 (2410M/HD6650M) to score 7250 points. More devices with similar performance can be found with his counterpart from Nvidia, GeForce GT 540 million.

The Z21 also manages to position itself well in the 3DMark Vantage test in progress. With 4087 points is still in front of Packard Bell LS11, and Acer Aspire 7551G Intel N970 CPU. Notebooks with the GT 540 graphics is able to slide a little ahead of Sony VPC-Z21 in this case.

Finally 3DMark 11 about the end the tide is changing, and the Radeon HD 6650M graphics solution is capable of driving 540M Geforce GT models. At this point, although the performance of the GT Nvidia 555m is reached. Other laptops with 6650M HD graphics in some cases identical to lag significantly behind the Sony Vaio PCV-Z21, in this case.

Based on OpenGL performance in miserable Cinebench tests, also tried 3DMark 2006 with the HD 3000 integrated graphics. With 4506 points, the HD 3000 graphics is also placed in the box at the trial.

Main Storage Performance
All previous evaluation tests have consistently thrown attention on one element: the main storage memory closed. Sony has chosen a solution SSD for Vaio PCV-Z21, just as with his other top series laptops. The details of our revised unit is equipped with two 64 GB SSD (Samsung MZRPA128HMCD-000SO) in a RAID-0 array of Sony, which is equivalent to a total data capacity of 128 GB.

With SSD RAID 0 times used in parallel, allowing for performance to be significantly improved compared to a SSD solution unique. This principle is already established with the highest scores in Vaio SSD quad-Z13.

SSD also our comparative tests are made with impressive performance of the RAID. ASSSD certify that RAID is an excellent sequential read and write rates of 449 and 321 Mb / s, respectively. A dip in the transfer rate is 4K test, resulting in 12 and 30 Mb / s, respectively. However the performance of configuration always has solutions with the fastest current Intel (Series 510 Elmcrest) and OCZ (Vertex 3).

The system exceptionally fast, not only stand out because of the results good reference, but also in daily use as a start of only about 10 seconds, and particularly fast startup time of the application, the speed advantage Solid State Drives are visible.

Gaming Performance
AMD Radeon HD 6650M is a mid-range graphics chip in the Dock Media Power, which should certainly be able to deal with the current set of pleasing graphics in detail. We tested performance by using multiple sets. In the process, the integrated display for use with different resolutions and detail levels, in collaboration with Media Power Dock.

Since the first test with the dirt racing game 2 reveals some mysteries. With 20.7 fps with high settings (1360x768, 2xAA, automatic top) of the HD 6650 provides only the performance of a GT 520M. The devices with the same graphics solution make it to 30 fps in this case. We started again without the dock of the GPU, ie using the HD 3000 integrated graphics. The result: on average, 17.1 fps FRAPS gives. Only an advantage due to the external GPU?

We conducted: with Mafia 2, the graph next challenge is on the agenda. With 33.9 to 16.0 fps fps with great graphic detail (1366x768, 16xAF, high) of HD 6650M is clearly an advantage, and is more or less at the level of expected performance. Packard Bell LS11 with the same graphics, for example, came to 34.2 fps.

Battlefield Bad Company 2, achieved 26.4 FPS with high detail (1366x768) on average - which is also too little. LS11 Packard Bell to get 32.7 FPS with the 6650M in this case. The same picture emerges from the details of using the medium: 33.6 fps 49.4 fps vs LS11. We tested the clock and the temperature of the CPU and GPU in parallel - nothing stands out

This is followed by CoD Black Ops. With a 26.6 FPS with high detail HD 6650 is left behind in features. The same graphics card, Packard Bell proud of achieving 46.9 fps LS11.

We tested the BFBC2 again, this time, however, the external display connected to the dock power. With a 36.7 FPS with medium detail, not in this case consists in March. The same figure for himself Dirt 3 22 fps when using a high detail, Z21 races 6650M HD graphics performance with the same HD, 3000, regardless of whether the internal display and external display through the Dock power is used.

Catalyst Control Center offers opportunities "Allow additional screens" and "speed up laptop screens" in the station XGP Whatever the option chosen:. Our gaming benchmarks simply do not want to achieve the desired results.

Verdict: The benchmarks of games partially achieve the expected performance, but also partly still well below the expected level of performance. Whether internal or external monitor is chosen is irrelevant. Overall impression of not quite matured graphics driver occurs that prevents the use of a lot of potential.

Battery Life
Without Power Dock Sony VPC-Z21 is a relatively frugal, at least for as long as necessary to stay within the limits of performance. 6.4 W - 10.9 watts in sleep mode, which belongs to a modest notebook we've tested so far in terms of energy consumption. Load, the notebook is between 45 W and 56 W plug, depending on the task. In standby mode, we measured 0.3 W.

Based on the measured values ​​for energy, the first signs of battery life, you can probably begin to emerge. On the device itself is not a particular good in two-polymer battery with a capacity of 45 Wh. Sony also offers an optional extra battery with the edge of principle, ie a thin plate, attached to the bottom of the notebook.

With a capacity of 48 WHr this should be able to double the battery life measured by us. With additional weight of 520 grams, which also increases the total weight of the laptop by 50% however. The additional battery (VGP-BPSC27) is available from 125 euros resellers.

With the built-in battery 45 W, which measures a maximum range of 546 minutes, which equates to about 9, with proof readers BatteryEater (brightness, at least, wireless modules, the profile of energy saving ) as expected. Using the conventional test (load, the maximum brightness, wireless modules, the maximum performance profile) things have ended after 70 minutes if the battery is empty.

For practical WLAN surfing (balanced profile, wireless modules, adjust the brightness: -1) we achieved a battery life of 6 hours when you browse a mixture of Web sites. The mobile user without power is certainly still comfortably possible, even without the extra battery.

It all started so well: the technical characteristics and additional press releases, indicating a wish list for the perfect laptop: Small, light, first-class materials, high quality screen, good performance, low emissions, and battery, that allows you to forget that electricity is also necessary for its operation. The reality is, unfortunately, so often a little different. The devil is in the details.

The case is striking, timeless design and high quality feel. Do not forget, is particularly thin build, and the total weight is less than 1200 grams. What is the carbon fiber frame can not be done, however, is to provide a convincing form of rigidity. If you only get the pressure and limited flexion.

If the interfaces are good, and taking into account the build system can also provide a satisfactory range. Dock power solution, that uses Intel's Light Peak, the device has been extended to the GPU and other interfaces during desktop use.

Integrated UMTS / HSUPA, develop, although expensive accessories and service updates (unfortunately, no on-site service) to make the device more attractive. The keyboard takes some getting used to regarding the type of feeling, and the touchpad, which we could not really develop a taste for.

When it comes to the screen, the Sony does (almost) everything right: good resolution (1600x900, FHD optional), high brightness (300 cd / m²), and sufficient contrast, even leaving Sony VPC -Z21 looks good for outdoor use. A shame thin viewing angle stability along the vertical plane, which is especially harmful for mobile use.

Things get interesting again when it comes to performance. Thank you to the extremely fast SSD Intel Core i7 CPU and Sandy Bridge, the Z21 catapults to the top of the rankings in terms of application performance. The external HD 6650M AMD is able to deliver the expected results with some good references, but unfortunately falls significantly below expectations with some game testing.

The former driver for OpenGL graphics HD 3000 could also be a disadvantage in some cases, this can potentially lead to problems with some programs. In fact, we generally expect a problem with the driver (AMD XGP special drivers required for the station), because they are already outdated when the laptop is delivered, and there are no updates available at the time of writing this review.

As for the derivation of the laptop is concerned, it is mainly the result of the performance required, if users can be met with a silent, or having to put up with a fan and a remarkably high case hot. This means staying within limits, even when the notebook is fast discrete according to the requirements of increased performance. So when it comes to battery life, use all day without power cord is possible, until the connector is connected again for an hour, after which everything is possible again.

Sony VAIO-Z21 is very attractive from a subnotebook range. Together with the extension of Dock power of the media may be possible, but there are also some problems with this, which is probably applied to trace the driver. "Subnotebook" The project is described as a success, the "external graphics solution" still leaves a question mark at the moment though.

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