Monday, August 03, 2009

SONY VAIO Notebooks..NO! NO!

We have been searching for a perfect notebook for a while now..

Given the budget we have, Sony VAIO CS36/34 series had all the features we were looking for….

I almost had bought it...until...suddenly I noticed the following two things about VAIO notebooks…(while going through the product demo at Sony Center-Jayanagar, Bangalore):

1. Sony VAIO Notebook does not support Intel VT.

And they never will...PERIOD!

Even if they are shipped with Intel Core two Duo processors, they do not have VT enabled in the BIOS.

BIOS has all the features locked and there is no way you can enable them. (unless you hack your notebook and break support contract). Another how to: link.

I don’t care for the reason why SONY does this (DRM philosophy or saving cost on OEM partnership with Intel)…but I feel cheated even by considering SONY notebooks now.

The reason I am concerned about this is not just because…I will not be able to run 64-bit VMs on this notebook(and no virtualization), but also Windows-7 is around the corner.

Without VT, there is no chance I will be able to run the inbuilt XP mode in Win-7.

On top of that.. The sales guy at SONY Center-Jayanagar told me they are offering a discount for Win-7 for all the VAIO deals made before 10-Aug-09.

SONY, you want me to pay for Win-7 but not expect the full functionality..ha!

This is the SONY's official stance on this: KB C381809

This gets more interesting if you search for VT at SONY KB website. This is what I found.


„…The vPro logo sticker on VAIO computers indicates that the computer meets the requirements for the following vPro features:

Intel Active Management Technology (AMT)
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT)
Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)…“

Well, yes, the CPU does truly support hardware virtualization...but it's disabled.

And..there is no posibility enable it...and this way the notebook really does *NOT* support VT.

There is another interesting thread at Intel's forum: link

2. SONY do not provide you any driver and OS media along with the Laptop.

It’s always assumed that all the drivers and OS media (for which customers have paid) will come along with the laptop. No..not with SONY...I have a lesson learnt…Don’t assume anything!

A notebooks are shipped with pre-installed Windows Vista and other VAIO software.

After probing more on this, the sales guy told me...customers themselves are supposed to take a backup of the notebook (on a 4.5GB DVD media) as soon as they receive it (using VAIO Backup software).

And in case of any issues...they can always re-image the notebook using the backup media.

What If I wish/need to re-configure my notebook (say..want to have different disk partitioning scheme)...or want to try any other OS.. I don’t have the OS media/drivers/licenses to do it myself.

After all I have purchased the hardware and I’m free to do anything with it ..right?

NO!....I’ll lose out on the support contract on trying to do anything on those lines.

And mind you…the above things were obviously not specified anywhere in the product website nor in the product documentation I was provided.

Both the above are true for all SONY VAIO notebooks.

Shame on you SONY and Intel ( if you are responsible or #1 above). !


Anonymous said...

"2. SONY do not provide you any driver and OS media along with the Laptop."

Neither does any major manufacturer in the post 2005 computer market. HP, Dell, Acer, all require you to make your own factory recovery disks, use a recovery partition, or sell you the disks at a premium.

It's quite idiotic and probably only saves the company pennies from each system sold.

Puneet said...

I know of some models of Dell notebooks come with Os and driver media. But the notebook quality makes Dell an out of question for personal purchase though...

Anonymous said...

My HP laptop came with all the software and necessary drivers on disks.