Windows 7 Upgrade Information For Sony VAIO Computers

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Select Sony VAIO computer models that ship with Windows Vista Home Edition, Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate, purchased on or after June 26th 2009, and until January 31st 2010, qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Certain models that ship with Windows XP Professional and include a Windows Vista Business Certificate of Authenticity (“COA”) also qualify for a free upgrade. The upgrade order will ship after October 22, 2009 and may take 7-10 business days for delivery. Orders will be processed in the order received and the End User will be notified of their order’s status after this date.

To learn if your model is eligible for this upgrade, please visit the Sony eSupport Windows 7 page (Americas), or the Windows 7 VAIO Webshop (Europe).

If you a starving student, and find yourself ineligible for this program but need to get Windows 7 for cheap, and have an .edu email address you can visit this site by Microsoft and get the software for only $29. Great deal!

To learn more about Windows 7, please check out some excellent coverage at engadget and Gizmodo.

22
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Software, Vaio

DISCUSSION 75 Comments

Hands-on With The Champagne Sony VAIO X Series Notebook

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We recently had the opportunity to visit the SonyStyle store in Atlanta, Georgia to preview the champagne Sony VAIO X Series Notebook. Sony shocked everyone back at IFA 2009 with the introduction of the X series VAIO notebook, which is the direct successor to the TT series in the USA. It appeared super slim at the time and in its delicious teaser video courtesy of Sony Europe some people got extremely curious about its arrival. Sony revealed the full details on the new VAIO X series and has called it the world’s lightest notebook – 1.6 pounds with standard battery. To further whet our appetites, Sony Europe also revealed a series of videos behind the design of the VAIO X, which explore just about every detail of its design. I just had to know what this laptop was all about.

Aside from our nine minute hands on video (above), we also have some great pictures to share with you that really show off this gorgeous notebook. The quality and amount of pictures in this post is exhaustive, to say the least – click to enlarge. Sony Corporate Communications sweetened the deal by offering a A900 DSLR and HDR-XR520V HD camcorder for us to use during our experience in which we are sharing here with exclusively with you. There are also some comparison pictures farther down in the post, which are provided to help those understand how truly thin the X series is. Be sure to check out the VAIO X Series at SonyStyle stores on October 22nd, or at SonyStyle.com.

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The build quality was very good for the VAIO X series – I’m not sure why people say the notebook is overly flexible and so forth. I tried to flex it and you’d have to be intentionally trying to bend it to really do so. Holding it with one hand was simple and it didn’t bend from holding it unevenly.

Here is a close-up of the Champagne Sony VAIO X Series keyboard:

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A general overhead picture of the notebook open:

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Left side of the VAIO X:
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Right side of the VAIO X:
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VAIO X front:
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VAIO X rear:
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The number of processes and general Task Manager view on a factory fresh VAIO X were high. As a technically savvy individual who can control a Windows installation down to every last service, I feel that 52 running processes is a bit much for a notebook. However, with a large amount of RAM and a SSD this may be a moot point. I just feel that Sony should have aimed for somewhere around 30-40. We also noticed some stuttering with HD video, but I was unable to honestly tell if that was because of shared WiFi connection we were using. I cannot make any conclusions at this point, but for most general activities this laptop will see it should be more than sufficient. Browsing the Internet was very fast. I’m sure it would handle Photoshop and other usual tasks quite easily. I feel that people who demand extreme performance out of an ultraportable laptop like this are missing the entire point of the device itself. To read more concrete words on the performance of the VAIO X, please read this incredible overview courtesy of Laptop Magazine.

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The Windows Experience Index score that was already loaded on the machine:

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Comparison photos of the VAIO X and the VAIO P:

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Back to back – VAIO X (left), VAIO P (right):

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Side by side – VAIO P (left), VAIO X (right):

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Amusingly enough, the image on the VAIO P’s screen is a reflection from the television nearby showing off a LittleBigPlanet demo:

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VAIO X compared to a Playstation 3 controller:

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Thanks, Ana.

21
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Opinion, Vaio

DISCUSSION 14 Comments

Sony VAIO X Series Designer Interview (Video)

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So, I am pretty psyched about the new upcoming VAIO X series and like many of you guys who are in the market for a new toy, I am always interested to learn and know more about it before I get my hands on it. So I like to check out online forums, Google around and read the manual beforehand when it becomes available. It is just something about when you get a new toy, you wanna know all about it! I guess it sort of fuels your interest even more and of course helps one cope since the physical presence of whatever it is you want is not available. I am sure some readers are digging me here.

I am sure pretty soon we will see a Sony Design website featuring a story told by the team who stood behind the VAIO X series development. Meantime, I came across a number of HD YouTube videos that already popped up (Big Thanks to Sony Europe for posting those), telling us a story about this super thin notebook. Personally, I cannot wait to compare my current VAIO X series X505SP that pretty much beat all notebook form factors and shocked the world with its beautiful carbon fiber body (top and bottom). With a new SSD inside of it, it gave a new life to this 4 year old beauty.

So, if you are like me and want to learn more about this new VAIO, coming out at the end of the month, check out these really cool videos and see what designers had to tell about it (English subtitles are provided) :

VAIO X Series Interview with Quality Assurance Engineer

VAIO X Series Interview with Product Planner

VAIO X Series Interview with LCD Screen Engineer

VAIO X Series Interview with Chief Product Manager

VAIO X Series Interview with Battery Engineeer

VAIO X Series Interview with Mechanical Engineering Leader

VAIO X Series Interview with Project Leader

17
Oct 2009
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 1 Comment

Sony’s Attractively Priced CW Series Has Smart Features, Colors, And Windows 7

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Sony has launched the new CW Series VAIO laptop with Windows 7 due on October 22nd, which is very similar to its existing CS series in terms of price and specifications. There are a few key differences though and I think that this offering will be a strong play for what is Sony’s largest PC lineup in years. The VAIO CW series boasts a lustrous, high-gloss exterior and opens up to a subtle gradient of matching color on the palm rests.

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The pricing schemes vary on what model you are looking at, but for the USA here is the plan according to SonyStyle:

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As you can see standard specifications start at an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 (2.2GHz) on a Mobile Intel PM45 Express Chipset (there will be options for a 2.80GHz T9600), 4GB RAM (8GB maximum; PC3-8500), 320GB SATA HDD (500GB available, both at 5400rpm), and HDMI out (1920×1080). There’s also a built in Motion-eye camera and microphone. Pony up a little more and you can get a Blu-ray player/burner and more graphics power.

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Three USB ports are included, along with a VGA output (2048×1536), and firewire. Estimated Battery Life with Standard Battery (included) – Productivity: Up to 4 hours, DVD Playback: Up to 2.5 hours. Estimated Battery Life with Extended Battery (sold separately) – Productivity: Up to 6 hours, Max. Brightness: Up to 12 hours.

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The 14.1 inch display is a LED backlit LCD (16×9, 1366×768) powered by a NVIDIA GeForce GT230M GPU with 512MB VRAM or if you prefer to spend a little less a GT210M with 256MB VRAM. The GT230M is a pretty solid graphics card, with is a 40nm chip, DirectX 10.1 and has PhysX, CUDA support amongst other things.

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Connectivity is a breeze with 802.11a/b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth (2.1, stereo A2DP), up to Gigabit Ethernet, and a HDMI output. There’s also support for Memory Stick DUO, ExpressCard/34, and a SD memory card. Here are some specifications courtesy of SonyStyle:

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Sony has also included one-touch access to the web without the need for the operating system to be on, a feature first found in the VAIO NW series. I’m glad to see Sony extending this feature to more of their laptops, and I think it will be a strong selling point for them.  Touch another button and the LCD display is turned off, reducing power drain while you’re listening to music or watching movies on your connected HD TV.

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A third button, the “VAIO” button, launches Media Gallery, letting you browse and enjoy your digital photos, videos and music tracks. Media Gallery effortless organizes your personal media collection by date or events, making it easy to track down that picture or clip from a wedding, party or special occasion. It even learns what you like, suggesting other files and links to related content on the web based on your browsing history and preferences.

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08
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 10 Comments

Sony Wants You To Touch Its New VAIO L Series PC

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A beautiful match for any living space, VAIO L Series delivers all the power of a premium entertainment PC in a slim, stylish all-in-one design that saves on cables. Center stage is a big, beautiful 24” widescreen X-black LCD with Multiple Lamp Technology for a sumptuous view of your photos, camcorder clips, movies on Blu-ray Disc and more in Full HD. In a VAIO first, the stunning display is also an ultra-high resolution touchscreen that makes the most of touchpanel support that’s featured in Windows 7.

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The hardware specs for the new L series varies in the USA, with these configurations ranging from $1,299 all the way to $1,999 (from SonyStyle):

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Some of the various hardware difference include Single, Dual and Quad Core Intel processors, 4-6GB RAM, 320GB to 1TB hard drives, Blu-ray Player and Burners, improved graphics and HDMI/TV Tuner options. We were hoping to see Sony push forward and adopt Core i7 processors, but unfortunately they aren’t. This is still one fully loaded all in one desktop though with options that totally blow away the HP Touchsmart.

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This desktop has 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth (2.1 and A2DP stereo), Motion-eye camera and microphone for all of your connectivity needs. The VAIO L Series also delivers a premium audio experience to enhance enjoyment of movies, videos, games and music. Integrated 5.5W + 5.5W speakers and S Master Digital Amplifier technology deliver a richly-detailed soundstage without the clutter of additional cables.

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Analog video and HDMI inputs let you enjoy games on your PS3 and other consoles on the big, bright, high resolution 24” screen. You don’t even need to boot up the computer for a dazzling, detail-packed HD gaming experience.

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The big, photo-realistic touchpanel is also a brilliant showcase for Media Gallery, an easy-to-use new VAIO application that puts incredible HD entertainment experiences at your fingertips. This immersive graphical interface adds a new dimension to your digital life, offering exciting new ways to explore your media collection. With Media Gallery it’s a pleasure to browse through digital images, videos and music tracks with effortless touch, flick, drag and rotate gestures on the LCD touchscreen.

It’s easy to find your favourite memories in an instant without hunting through confusing folders. Photos and videos can be viewed on a timeline, or as Events that cluster together all your images and clips from the same day – like a birthday or wedding.  Media Gallery even learns about your preferences, suggesting other images, videos and music based on your browsing history and content metadata.

VAIO Movie Story automatically selects and splices together highlights from your HD camcorder footage, ready for burning to Blu-ray Disc or DVD for sharing with friends and family. A brand-new Music Player offers a friendly environment for enjoying your favourite sounds, with SensMe technology that automatically analyses your music collection, sorting tracks into channels to suit any mood. Media Gallery can be accessed by VAIO Gate, an intuitive new on-screen launcher that’s your entry point to all your favourite Sony and third-party applications.

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08
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 5 Comments

Sony Touts Its New VAIO X Series As “World’s Lightest Notebook”

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Sony shocked everyone back at IFA 2009 with the introduction of the X series VAIO notebook, which is the direct successor to the TT series in the USA. It appeared super slim at the time and in its delicious teaser video courtesy of Sony Europe some people got extremely curious about its arrival. Well, in a special event (we were invited, but couldn’t make it) at Guastavino’s in NYC, Sony revealed the full details on the new VAIO X series and has called it the world’s lightest notebook – at 1.6 pounds with standard battery, measurements at its narrowest point: 10.95″ (W) x 0.55″ (H – about half an inch thin aka 13.9mm) x 7.29″ (D). Check out the VAIO X pre-order at SonyStyle.

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The VAIO X, due October 22nd, in black and champagne features a durable carbon fiber casing, seamless aluminum keyboard panel and a touch pad with multi-touch functionality. This allows you to easily zoom in and out, flip through pictures, rotate items and scroll vertically and horizontally without ever touching your mouse. There’s also a Motioneye web camera built-in.

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To compliment Windows 7 Home Premium, Sony has went with an Intel Atom Z550 2.0ghz with 2GB of DDR2/533Mhz RAM. That is pretty strong considering how tiny this laptop is, but some early critics wanted more power for the price. Some have pegged it simply as a bigger VAIO P, since the hardware specs are similar. Well let me say that this is definitely much more sleek. Men are from VAIO X, women are from VAIO P. Although, I could see a hot chick wielding this thing and winning my heart forever. If I ever run into you oh woman of my destiny with a VAIO X and a warm smile, be easy on me.

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What’s really nice is that it comes with a 64gb SSD standard. That’s the kind of power play that makes a person who is evaluating this compared to a Macbook Air say “Hey, wait a minute.” For a little more, the Signature Collection VAIO X (in Black or Champagne) comes with a 128gb SSD and is priced $200 more.

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The LED backlit 11.1 inch widescreen (1366×768) is powered by a Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500. I believe Sony went with the GMA500 because it is low power consumption and fits accordingly with their overall implementation and design. Audio is covered with Intel HD Audio, which I have always found to be satisfactory.

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Wireless capabilities are abundant with 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth (2.1, Stereo A2DP), GPS, and Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband Built-in (for the USA, other territories will have similiar WWAN offerings). An ethernet jack is also included, supporting up to Gigabit ethernet. Other I/O include Headphone, Microphone, and 2 USB ports.

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Sony has blown me away with the news that this notebook will have a standard battery and an extended battery (picture courtesy of engadget) included in the price. This is great news and really puts them ahead of anything else on the market. Who else offers you two batteries? If your trying to keep it nice and light with the Standard Capacity Battery the VAIO X can be used for 3 hours, or if you prefer pop on the Large Capacity Battery for a stunning 12 hours of run time. Great move Sony.

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I think that when you purchase a PC like this it will find most of its use in ultraportable situations. A business person would love to have something like this for a myriad of situations – plane, office, meeting, lunch. A college student could pull this off. The nice thing is that it doesn’t have an explosive price like the VAIO TT did. I think Sony will do well with the X Series because it’s $1,300 – not $2,000 – 3,000 like the TT. This is a direct competitor to the Macbook Air in my eyes and wins in several segments. Don’t try and tell me Snow Leopard is better than Windows 7, either. I’ve used both and they are both excellent operating systems.

Sources: Engadget – Sony VAIO X announced, starts at $1,299, VAIO X spotted in champagne, propped up by extended battery, ripped apart; Sony USA – X Marks The Spot: Sony Delivers World’s Light Notebook; Sony Japan – Vaio X Announcement; VAIO Community Blog – VAIO Breaking News: New X and CW Series Notebooks Announced in NYC. Thanks to the Girls at @SonyElectronics, too.

Oh yeah, we’ll be doing a hands-on with this beast soon at SonyStyle.

08
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 8 Comments

Essence Of Sony VAIO Wallpaper Collection

VAIO is a sub-brand for many of Sony’s computer products. It was originally an acronym for Video Audio Integrated Operation, but since 2008 amended to Visual Audio Intelligence Organizer to celebrate the brand’s 10th year anniversary. The branding was created by Timothy Hanley to distinguish items that encompassed the use of consumer audio and video, as well as being conventional computing products. VAIO, while aiming to create new value is always close to people, easy to use, and designed as a functional product that is beautiful. The VAIO logo also represents the integration of analog and digital technology. The ‘VA’ represents an analog wave and the ‘IO’ represents digital binary code.

I often visit Japanese Sony websites for interesting content, and upon looking at Sony Japan’s MyVAIO website I noticed an interesting wallpaper collection dubbed “Essence Of VAIO Design.” I thought that some of you would enjoy this – they will update it once each month and I shall do so as well. Photos are by Yukio Shimizu, who does photos for Sony Design.

Here are some fresh new Vaio wallpapers for your computer:

Vol. 3 – Green LED:

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Vol. 2 – Isolation Keyboard:

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Vol. 1 – VAIO Logo:

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05
Oct 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 6 Comments

Win a VAIO and Tickets to the Tonight Show

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VAIO and Intel are teaming up to offer some exciting prizes for sharing your story. Prizes include VAIO mini-notebooks autographed by Conan O’Brien and tickets to The Tonight Show in L.A. as well as other items.

To enter visit Intel’s site and submit a story on how you use your intel-powered PC.  Hurry the contest expires on September, 30th.

22
Sep 2009
POSTED BY Allen Tyson
POSTED IN

Corporate, Hardware, Media, Vaio

DISCUSSION 1 Comment

VGP-BMS10/S Replacement Program

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Sony Japan has recently issued a replacement program for the mouse we have reviewed (VGP-BMS10/S) and Sony USA has followed up as well.

Sony has identified a quality issue with the VGP-BMS10/S Bluetooth Mouse. When inserting batteries into the mouse, a battery terminal of the mouse can break which may cause the mouse to stop working, and under limited circumstances, cause the mouse to overheat. We are contacting customers to request that they stop using the mouse and remove the batteries.

Sony will send a return shipping container along with shipping label to return the VGP-BMS10/S. Once your mouse is received, an improved VGP-BMS10/S will be shipped when available (expected early October). The replacement product will be provided at no charge.

We apologize for this inconvenience and are always working to improve our quality. If you have any questions, or to arrange for a replacement mouse, please call Sony Customer Support at 1-888-476-6972.

15
Sep 2009
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 11 Comments

Sony VAIO X Gets a Hot Promo Video

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Sony Europe just had to tease us more with a video that so compliments  the ultra thin and sexy VAIO X series. Check it out for yourself. By the way kudos to whoever created it! I believe Sony Europe marketing who also created VAIO TZ promo and Bravia ZX1 should share some experience with Sony USA and run those on national TV to really Make.us.Believe If you watch all three videos you will see some similarities and elegance of Sony design.

VAIO X Promo:

Sony ZX1 Promo:

And you gotta watch this VAIO TZ promo:

Link

05
Sep 2009
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 4 Comments