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Advice needed on choosing either Sony VAIO or MacBook?

ele-font Avatar
6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
Hi guys,

As title, need some advice to decide which one choose (.LINKS BELOW)?

Looking at either the Sony VAIO 18.4" VGN-AW41ZF/B
Or
Macbook pro 17" MC226BA

Favoured towards the Vaio at the moment, as I can't justify spending extra £500-600 premium on the Macbook.

Any advice on this please? Thanks.
ele-font Avatar
6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
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#2
What are you going to be using it for? Just as a general laptop, or something more specific/specialist?
#3
Crazy Jamie
What are you going to be using it for? Just as a general laptop, or something more specific/specialist?


nothing specific just web, office, movies, (mostly entertainment). Already have a 17" and wanted to upgrade.
banned#4
ele-font
nothing specific just web, office, movies, (mostly entertainment). Already have a 17" and wanted to upgrade.


hey man. I'm on the lookout for a 17" specs of your old one? does it have hdmi and bluray?
#5
I strongly suspect that this will turn into a PC vs Mac thread then. I will leave it to others to recycle the same old arguments, but for what it's worth I was faced with a very similar choice in June 2007. I took the plunge and bought a MacBook Pro (first time I'd bought a Mac), and two and a half years on I can't see myself buying anything other than a Mac in future. It has more than justified its higher price from my perspective.
1 Like #6
What do you like about the 17in laptop size, is it just to have a larger screen? Neither machine offers anything special for the size (at least to me) although my choice even at the same price would be the Vaio. Sony machines are generally well built and the Macbook is underspecced, it's surprising that even their top of the line machines lack features such as blu-ray drives (which even budget machines offer) never mind more exotic technologies such as RGBLED backlit screens such as other premium rivals have.

John
#7
The only reason to go with a Mac is that you like the design and OS X to a significant extent that it justifies the expense.

If that sounds like you then get the mac, If not then get the Sony.
#8
bykergrove
hey man. I'm on the lookout for a 17" specs of your old one? does it have hdmi and bluray?

hi, yes the model is AR61M (for you to check online); has hdmi and blu ray etc. I currently have to wait 7 days before I list it FS here, so if interested we can take our business elsewhere :)

Johnmcl7
What do you like about the 17in laptop size, is it just to have a larger screen? Neither machine offers anything special for the size (at least to me) although my choice even at the same price would be the Vaio. Sony machines are generally well built and the Macbook is underspecced, it's surprising that even their top of the line machines lack features such as blu-ray drives (which even budget machines offer) never mind more exotic technologies such as RGBLED backlit screens such as other premium rivals have.

John

Yes I noticed that MacBook does have a 'weaker' spec as compared to the vaio; hence another reason I'm leaning towards Sony, aswell as size.
1 Like #9
ele-font
hi, yes the model is AR61M (for you to check online); has hdmi and blu ray etc. I currently have to wait 7 days before I list it FS here, so if interested we can take our business elsewhere :)


Yes I noticed that MacBook does have a 'weaker' spec as compared to the vaio; hence another reason I'm leaning towards Sony, aswell as size.


OP do you like OS X?
If not or you are not willing to put a £600 gamble on liking it, then get the Sony.

alternatively head down you local Apple store, check out OS X and see if you think it is worth the £600, if not get the Sony.
1 Like #10
wow you must be rich, you looking at these types of laptops for general use and movies lol

these laptops will crunch most things you send at them so in terms of spec for what you want it should be fine.

Just your preference on style and whether you want to spend 2 grand or 1.4k

Cant comment on the MAC but the Vaio will not have the best battery life as the AW series is seen as a more desktop replacement, so you might get around 2/2.5 hours out of it, so if you dont mind it sitting on a desk most of the time then I would recommend it.
#11
ele-font
hi, yes the model is AR61M (for you to check online); has hdmi and blu ray etc. I currently have to wait 7 days before I list it FS here, so if interested we can take our business elsewhere :)


Yes I noticed that MacBook does have a 'weaker' spec as compared to the vaio; hence another reason I'm leaning towards Sony, aswell as size.


The mac may look as though it has a 'weaker' spec, but it's all relative as less is needed to run OSX at a high level, so while it may appear to have a slower processor etc, it will most likely run faster.

Another option for you could be to buy a 15" macbook pro, then buy a nice big screen to hook it up to- dell do some nice screen at decent prices
#12
If you decide you want a Mac then i suggest holding off for about a month, an update to the Macbook Pro is imminent.
#13
will_0407;7709014
The mac may look as though it has a 'weaker' spec, but it's all relative as less is needed to run OSX at a high level, so while it may appear to have a slower processor etc, it will most likely run faster.

They have the same processor/ram (or similar enough) however the Macbook lacks a blu-ray drive and only has a single hard drive which cannot be changed in software to bring them up to the Vaio's spec.

John
#14
Johnmcl7
They have the same processor/ram (or similar enough) however the Macbook lacks a blu-ray drive and only has a single hard drive which cannot be changed in software to bring them up to the Vaio's spec.

John
To be fair, this is a valid point. I certainly favour Macs over PCs, mostly due to OSX, and the point about lower specs being needed by OSX is true, but if the OP needs a Blu Ray drive that's a massive tick in the Vaio column.
#15
will_0407
The mac may look as though it has a 'weaker' spec, but it's all relative as less is needed to run OSX at a high level, so while it may appear to have a slower processor etc, it will most likely run faster.


That'll irrelevant, we're talking about brand new PCs that'll both run their operating systems smoothly and a faster processor will mean better performance on other programs.

I'd ignore the 17" Macbook Pro entirely if you're going to be using it at home, as if you don't need it's 7 hour battery life it's very poor value for money and for £2000 you could get a quad-core processor and SSD which would be much, much faster. (you can get a quad-core at the price of the sony, buy I had a quick check and they were all blu-ray readers, not writers).

The main thing I'd be concerned about with the Sony is the high resolution as it will make everything look rather small.
#16
Yeah, what everyone else is saying here is all true. If I were you though, I'd seriously think about getting a 15" laptop and a big screen to hook it up to when you're watching movies. If you want the bluray, then surely they're going to look better on a good 24" monitor than any laptop? And then you also have the portability- 17"+ doesn't really seem that practical to me. butt hat's just my opinion.
banned#17
EndlessWaves
That'll irrelevant, we're talking about brand new PCs that'll both run their operating systems smoothly and a faster processor will mean better performance on other programs.

I'd ignore the 17" Macbook Pro entirely if you're going to be using it at home, as if you don't need it's 7 hour battery life it's very poor value for money and for £2000 you could get a quad-core processor and SSD which would be much, much faster. (you can get a quad-core at the price of the sony, buy I had a quick check and they were all blu-ray readers, not writers).

The main thing I'd be concerned about with the Sony is the high resolution as it will make everything look rather small.


you dont need the resolution on max though if that is a problem
#18
EndlessWaves
That'll irrelevant, we're talking about brand new PCs that'll both run their operating systems smoothly and a faster processor will mean better performance on other programs.
Of course both operating systems will run smoothly. At first. But people don't buy expensive computers for the first week; they buy them for the next few years. And we all know that not too far into those few years Windows will begin to slow down, whereas OSX will not. So in the long run those specs may well begin to look mighty hollow. Unless of course you have the know how and time to mess around properly securing Windows and maintaining it. It's up to the OP whether or not he does. But personally I've found that dealing with the insecurity, bugs, crashes, glitches and degrading of Windows is an aspect of owning a computer that disappeared once I bought a Mac, and I can't say I miss it.
banned#19
Crazy Jamie
Of course both operating systems will run smoothly. At first. But people don't buy expensive computers for the first week; they buy them for the next few years. And we all know that not too far into those few years Windows will begin to slow down, whereas OSX will not. So in the long run those specs may well begin to look mighty hollow. Unless of course you have the know how and time to mess around properly securing Windows and maintaining it. It's up to the OP whether or not he does.


OSX will start slowing after time, trust me!
banned#20
Crazy Jamie
Of course both operating systems will run smoothly. At first. But people don't buy expensive computers for the first week; they buy them for the next few years. And we all know that not too far into those few years Windows will begin to slow down, whereas OSX will not. So in the long run those specs may well begin to look mighty hollow. Unless of course you have the know how and time to mess around properly securing Windows and maintaining it. It's up to the OP whether or not he does. But personally I've found that dealing with the insecurity, bugs, crashes, glitches and degrading of Windows is an aspect of owning a computer that disappeared once I bought a Mac, and I can't say I miss it.


i take it you havent used windows 7 then :)
#21
master_chief
OSX will start slowing after time, trust me!

When? Because after two and a half years I can't say I've noticed a change.

At any rate, the gulf between the rate at which Windows degrades and the rate (if any) at which OSX degrades must be absolutely massive.
#22
Don't pay Apple Tax unless external appearance really matters that much to you.
#23
bykergrove
i take it you havent used windows 7 then :)

I have not. Though to be fair Windows 7 has only been out for three months. If it was degrading at any noticeable rate within that time I would be seriously worried.
banned#24
Crazy Jamie
When? Because after two and a half years I can't say I've noticed a change.

At any rate, the gulf between the rate at which Windows degrades and the rate (if any) at which OSX degrades must be absolutely massive.


Would you notice a gradual change over two and a half years?

I'd recommend the original poster stick with what they know at these sorts of prices, hell of a risk if you don't like the Mac.
#25
Crazy Jamie
When? Because after two and a half years I can't say I've noticed a change.

At any rate, the gulf between the rate at which Windows degrades and the rate (if any) at which OSX degrades must be absolutely massive.


Oh really? I've had a Windows XP Professional x64 installation running for around 2 and a half years with no slowdown thus far. It is used pretty much constantly too.
#26
master_chief
Would you notice a gradual change over two and a half years?
Yes, because my parents have recently purchased a new iMac, which I find myself using when I go round to their house. And unless Macs are getting universally slower year on year I can't see a difference in general performance within OSX. They both range from the very fast to the pretty much instant, as OSX tends to. On the other hand, my girlfriend's laptop with Windows XP (which I actually rate as an operating system, for the record) which was bought at the same time as my MacBook Pro (well, three months after) is going through the usual Windows cycle of quickly becoming more trouble than its worth.

Though by all means answer my original question, because I am genuinely curious about how Mac OSX degrades, and whether this is from your experience or not.

master_chief

I'd recommend the original poster stick with what they know at these sorts of prices, hell of a risk if you don't like the Mac.
Sound advice, though there's nothing to stop the OP trying OSX out. To be fair it took a good couple of months of research and randomly popping into Apple stores to play with OSX before I actually took the plunge, and I wasn't entirely certain when I did do it. My only regret now is that I didn't do it sooner, but irrespective it doesn't change the fact that switching to OSX from Windows is a huge step.

JustExtreme
Oh really? I've had a Windows XP Professional x64 installation running for around 2 and a half years with no slowdown thus far. It is used pretty much constantly too.
Welcome to the niche group known as 'the exception to the rule'. Unless you're actually claiming that Windows XP doesn't degrade without a pretty decent level of know how and maintenance?
banned#27
Yeah I have a lot of experience with Macs slowing down over time. I still like them though, definitely less hassle than Windows for the inexperienced.
1 Like #28
bykergrove
you dont need the resolution on max though if that is a problem


How well do laptop's typically scale lower resolutions though? Cheap desktop monitors are abysmal at it, although at least there you can pass it to the graphics card which is much better.

the porter
why do people bang on about portability ? 80% of the time people buy laptops to replace desktops a 17 inch laptop is hardly back breaking its either on your lap on a table :)


Because anyone looking for value for money wouldn't go for the hassle and expense of a laptop if you weren't moving it around, at least to the extent of putting it behind you desk when not in use. While they're nowhere near as expensive as they used to be they're still slower and more limited than desktops, as well as more expensive and tricky to repair.

Crazy Jamie
Of course both operating systems will run smoothly. At first. But people don't buy expensive computers for the first week; they buy them for the next few years. And we all know that not too far into those few years Windows will begin to slow down, whereas OSX will not. So in the long run those specs may well begin to look mighty hollow. Unless of course you have the know how and time to mess around properly securing Windows and maintaining it. It's up to the OP whether or not he does. But personally I've found that dealing with the insecurity, bugs, crashes, glitches and degrading of Windows is an aspect of owning a computer that disappeared once I bought a Mac, and I can't say I miss it.


For £600 you could pay someone to reinstall windows, give the case a polish up and de-crumb the keyboard every year so it wouldn't make sense.

Microsoft seems to have largely solved that with Vista though, it's far better than 2000/XP was.
#29
Crazy Jamie
Welcome to the niche group known as 'the exception to the rule'. Unless you're actually claiming that Windows XP doesn't degrade without a pretty decent level of know how and maintenance?


I guess I have kept it pretty well maintained since I am computer literate. But really, not clicking on some things requires no common sense, its so obvious.
1 Like #30
Tough one, very tough. Depends if you like the way Mac runs, i.e if your willing to adjust to it. I've had a Vaio Entertainment laptop, similar style to the one you linked, for over a year, and I can honestly say I've had enough of Windows. Even with the introduction of Windows 7, running on 2.2GhZ core 2 duo, I've had more problems than my colleagues who use Macbooks. So I'm going to invest in a Mac as my next machine, but thats still in a few years, so I can observe the market in that time. Macs are just more streamlined, especially in terms of performance, are very efficient so require slightly lower specs, but nevertheless are grossly overpriced.
But the bottom line is, what do you prefer? Have a play with a Mac, and see if it suits you. Go to the apple store, let them sell it to you. Do the same in the Sony Centre, or John Lewis and have a play with the Vaio. Look at the figures, if you can justify spending that bit more on the Mac, and your happy go for it. If the Vaio is your preferred option, pick that one.
Hope that helps :)
1 Like #31
hdizzle
Tough one, very tough. Depends if you like the way Mac runs, i.e if your willing to adjust to it. I've had a Vaio Entertainment laptop, similar style to the one you linked, for over a year, and I can honestly say I've had enough of Windows. Even with the introduction of Windows 7, running on 2.2GhZ core 2 duo, I've had more problems than my colleagues who use Macbooks. So I'm going to invest in a Mac as my next machine, but thats still in a few years, so I can observe the market in that time. Macs are just more streamlined, especially in terms of performance, are very efficient so require slightly lower specs, but nevertheless are grossly overpriced.
But the bottom line is, what do you prefer? Have a play with a Mac, and see if it suits you. Go to the apple store, let them sell it to you. Do the same in the Sony Centre, or John Lewis and have a play with the Vaio. Look at the figures, if you can justify spending that bit more on the Mac, and your happy go for it. If the Vaio is your preferred option, pick that one.
Hope that helps :)


Good advice- I wouldn't spend that much on anything without going to see it in person- you'll be able to use both laptops/operating systems and then see which you prefer.
#32
Save your money and pay off your car loan!
1 Like #33
hdizzle
Have a play with a Mac, and see if it suits you. Go to the apple store, let them sell it to you.
This is actually a good point. I did the same thing before buying mine. Go into an Apple store, have a play with a Mac for as long as you want, and ask any and every question you have. If you don't want one at the end of all that, don't buy one.
#34
Thanks for all the advice so far guys, and after having absorbed all of this, I believe I now have a better understanding of what I'm actually after.

Firstly, I'm heading apple store to have a play with their technology (since it's my 1st mac). However I don't think MacBook is what I will settle on. The reason is:
a) price (ofcourse).
b) The idea is to use it as desktop means, so portability is not essential.
c) if portability is not essential, why don't I instead go for an iMac?
d) if I go for an iMac, I can acquire the 27" display which eliminates the need to 'plug-in the laptop into another display' ...

On the other hand, should I dislike my visit at apple store - this would leave me with the 18" vaio. However, as some of you have stated, it has poor battery life, HD editing 'stuff' I probably won't ever use; it's another windows system and I think I'm bored of it now. (Have windows 7 upstairs on my quad-core system which doesn't get used)

Anyhow hope I like what I see in apple store :-D
will keep this space posted.
Repped for all the advice! Thanks guys :thumbsup:
banned#35
ele-font
Thanks for all the advice so far guys, and after having absorbed all of this, I believe I now have a better understanding of what I'm actually after.

Firstly, I'm heading apple store to have a play with their technology (since it's my 1st mac). However I don't think MacBook is what I will settle on. The reason is:
a) price (ofcourse).
b) The idea is to use it as desktop means, so portability is not essential.
c) if portability is not essential, why don't I instead go for an iMac?
d) if I go for an iMac, I can acquire the 27" display which eliminates the need to 'plug-in the laptop into another display' ...

On the other hand, should I dislike my visit at apple store - this would leave me with the 18" vaio. However, as some of you have stated, it has poor battery life, HD editing 'stuff' I probably won't ever use; it's another windows system and I think I'm bored of it now. (Have windows 7 upstairs on my quad-core system which doesn't get used)

Anyhow hope I like what I see in apple store :-D
will keep this space posted.
Repped for all the advice! Thanks guys :thumbsup:


If you do go Apple then come back on here and I'm sure us Apple experts will help you out with anything you need to know!
#36
master_chief
If you do go Apple then come back on here and I'm sure us Apple experts will help you out with anything you need to know!
Indeed. We should have most of the answers, as chances are we've asked the same questions in the past. I know I tested the sanity and patience of several assistants at the Apple Store before buying my Mac.
#37
ele-font
On the other hand, should I dislike my visit at apple store - this would leave me with the 18" vaio. However, as some of you have stated, it has poor battery life, HD editing 'stuff' I probably won't ever use; it's another windows system and I think I'm bored of it now. (Have windows 7 upstairs on my quad-core system which doesn't get used)


I think you need to decide what you want from your next PC before you consider models. I assume your quad-core system is some sort of desktop but why don't you use that much? Is it unpleasant to use? Too noisy, poor peripherals or long startup time? Is it just badly placed and you want something you can use sitting on the sofa?

With the iMac I'd check whether the poor adjustability of the stand and the placement of the ports would bother you, if you plug USB stuff in frequently then would having to fumble behind the machine each time or having wires trailing out of it be something you could put up with.

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