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Author Topic: Miles Hecker's Sony review  (Read 4719 times)
andyptak
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« on: March 25, 2013, 07:15:46 AM »
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I read this with great interest because I too am a Windows guy who had searched for the perfect location laptop.

A year and a half ago I chose a little Fujitsu convertible tablet (12.5" screen) which had one major thing against it, but two major things going for it. I made a mistake.

Against: it's only an i3 and a faster processor wasn't an option. I replaced the mechanical drive with a fast SSD thinking that might mitigate the CPU's relative sluggishness. No it doesn't.

For: It has an Express Card slot so I can pop in a card and soot tethered via Firewire to my Phase back. Big, big plus. The CD/DVD drive is a cartridge that pops out and can be replaced by an extra battery (also a cartridge) which gives me hours of shooting and it literally takes only seconds to swap them out.

The i3 has been an absolute bummer as I feel myself growing old when importing or rendering thumbs in LR. Other than this it's been perfect. So close, yet so far.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 10:41:14 AM »
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http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/377581/sony-vaio-duo-11
By way of a second opinion here's the UK publication PC Pro's review of this product (generally positive). I've always found PC Pro to be an intelligent and objective reviewer.

Roy
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 10:57:37 AM »
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Roy, thanks for the link. If you scroll down to some of the user's comments, I find these more helpful than the review.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 01:01:34 PM »
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I was including the content of the link in it's entirety. That's my excuse anyway. Luckily I can't really afford one of these...
Roy
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 05:06:11 PM »
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For about 1kg more weight I much would prefer a MacBook Pro retina 15" or even the regular 15" with non-glare screen. The 15" quad core can even serve as an office computer as well with an external screen.
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mhecker*
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 09:24:04 PM »
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Hans your choice makes perfect sense for someone who wants one computer to do it all.

I want a tablet/laptop replacement that's easy to travel with.
Have you ever tried using a 15" Macbook Pro in an economy airline seat?
It's also IMO a bit heavy to put on my lap and surf the web while sitting on the couch.

On the other hand I won't replace my 30" HP IPS panel with a 15" Retina display.
I like to preview 16"x24" prints at 100% size.
It would also be hard to put 3 - 1TB data drives and a 256GB OS drive in a Macbook Pro.

I have modified the original article with these images.

    A Macbook Air at various viewing angles.

   A Sony Duo 11 at various viewing angles.

The Sony Duo obviously is worlds above the Macbook Air viewing angle wise. This is IMO important in a highly portable device.
The Macbook Retina would be similarly excellent in this respect.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:26:06 PM by mhecker* » Logged
Hans Kruse
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 02:24:44 AM »
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Yes, any laptop in an economy seat does not work well. I agree on that but for me that's not important since having a good screen and a fast computer while traveling is more important. I do bring my iPad with me also. I use a 30" HP screen in my office attached to the MBP and have 1TB SSD in it. An external 3TB USB3 drive holds the older pictures while the last shoots are on the SSD's (2x512GB SSD in the MBP). I agree on the MacBook Air not being very attractive with a screen that is small and not very good.

I have no doubt from the review and pictures that the Sony is a nice little machine, if it suits you and a separate office machine is needed.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 03:20:57 AM by Hans Kruse » Logged

tived
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 03:14:18 AM »
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Hi Miles,

Thanks for the review, i saw it last night and went and bought it today with the i7, haven't unpacked it. I also have a Sony Z-series laptop which is relatively small but still to big to sit with in monkey class we are being offered at work. I just can't see my screen when I sit down, so this sounds like a great alternative.

Here in Australia, you get the extra battery when you buy the i7 which is nice but its also a lot more expensive here then in the states, but another six hundred dollars. I asked if they could offer me any upgrades and it was a plain NO. Can't increase the ram nor the SSD size, which is also the case with my Z-series....

Just not looking forward to have to look at large spreadsheets on this little puppy ;-)

thanks for sharing

Henrik

And NO, its not replacing my 24core Xeon 4.3Ghz and 96gb of ram machine with 20 SSD's :-)
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Piboy
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 09:48:51 PM »
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Miles,
Thanks for the review as I am in the market for a more transportable Windows computing option. I currently have an HP envy that performs well but is quite hefty lugging on trips. i7 with 512 SSD/8 gb RAM seems like the fastest Windows based ultraportable option yet. I expect this segment should continue to grow giving us more choices.

Hans, old friend, you will never convert me to Mac unless I can use your mileage upgrades to sit with you in business class to better fit the 15" Mac !

Sam
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Sam W.
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 10:27:26 PM »
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Sam,

I have just unpacked mine and running updates on it before flying out tomorrow, which will be the big test for me going to very remote parts of Australia

It feels really snappy, and the screen is very responsive, I will calibrate it as best as possible with iOne Pro, I hope I can calibrate it to 100-110 but we will see

Only little nack is where the heck to keep the pen, and why isn't it as nice as my Wacom :-) minor, but would have been a nice little detail, like there is a little hole when you add the extra battery, it would have been really clever if you could slide it in there

Anyway, i'll keep you guys inform over the next coming weeks...

Henrik
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Piboy
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 07:18:48 AM »
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Henrik,
Look forward to your impressions.  I will be in Mongolia and China late April into May so may pull the trigger myself before leaving.
Safe Journey.
Sam
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Sam W.
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 09:41:01 AM »
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http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/377581/sony-vaio-duo-11
By way of a second opinion here's the UK publication PC Pro's review of this product (generally positive). I've always found PC Pro to be an intelligent and objective reviewer.

That review is somewhat less glowing than Miles'. I was at the CDW showroom and looked at the duo-11 which was on display. The screen is simply stunning. I closed the system and on attempting to reopen it, I feared that I would damage the unit, since it seemed somewhat flimsy, and had to ask for help. Comments following the British review also questioned the durability of the unit, and I question if it would hold up under field use, although it would probably be fine for use in the hotel room on an an airplane. While it is probably the only such device that fulfills Miles' well chosen criteria, I would wait to see what develops. However, if you need a computer fulfilling Miles' criteria now, the Sony would apparently be the only choice.

Off topic, they also had the Sony XBR-84X900 (84 inch diagonal TV with 4K resolution) on display and the quality of the image was breathtaking.

Bill
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tived
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 12:50:13 PM »
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Hi Bill,

to open it you lift in the top corners there are little indents in the frame, I had a Sony rep show me as I had read about the issue.

Sam,

So far very happy (had it a whole day  Grin) I am installing PS CS6 on it just to try it out and have MS Office 2013 on it as well. flying out in a few hours
bringing my other laptop as a back up Sony Z series, which is a little more powerful but not much i7 8Gb 256GB SSD in RAID-0 13in 1920x1200.

All the best

Henrik
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neile
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 08:10:35 PM »
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Another alternative to the Viao (and a cheaper one at that) is the Lenovo Yoga 13" laptop. I'm typing on one now. It's awesome. For $999 you can get the i5 version with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB drive, and then upgrade it yourself to 8GB of RAM and a second internal 256GB SSD drive for a total price of $1300. It has an IPS display and touchscreen too, and can flip backwards into a tablet shape for casual browsing.

I got mine just before going to Moab on a workshop and love it.

Neil
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Neil Enns
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 03:16:10 AM »
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Hi, I just ordered one of these, and can't wait for it to arrive. Can someone who's used the Duo 11 whether pressure sensitivity is currently supported in both/either Photoshop and Lightroom 4? I noticed this area was not touched upon in Mile's review.

Thanks!
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mhecker*
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2013, 08:21:18 PM »
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Unfortunately Photoshop & Lightroom do not use the generic Windows API for digitizers.
They only support the Wacom interface directly.

The Duo digitizer is an N-Trig device and not a Wacom device.
Therefore they do not support pressure sensitivity on the Sony Duo 11.
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