The Sony VAIO Z series was Sony's top-of-the-line laptop range that was originally introduced in 2003. The Z2 is the last Z design from Sony, which was later reused in the SVZ, which is the last Z Series that Sony released. It came out in 2011.
The Z2 was a complete refresh of the Z Series, finally ditching the iconic cylinder power button design, and instead offering a brand new design that Sony called "Hexa-shell". Made from aluminium and carbon fiber, the result is stunning. The Z2/SVZ has one of the most iconic VAIO designs of all time, with elements of its design still being used today on modern laptops, like the hinge that props up the keyboard for a better typing angle and better airflow for cooling.
The Z2 can be differentiated from the SVZ by the network switch on top of the keyboard, that is present on the Z2, but not on the SVZ, and by the USB ports, the two being USB 3.0 on the SVZ, and one being USB 2.0 on the VPCZ2. SVZ is also missing the model affix printed on the right of the front of the machine.
Four case models were available for purchase:
- Standard black version, made from aluminium and carbon fiber
- Blue version, blue palmrest and bezel, same mat black lid and bottom assembly as the standard black version, very rare, mostly seen in Japan, but also sold in small quantities in some other markets
- Gold variant, very rare, only sold in select countries like Japan and Hong Kong
- Silver, very rare, most likely Japan-only
- Carbon black, made of aluminium for the keyboard assembly, and carbon fiber for the rest, lid is similar to the premium glossy edition of the SVZ, without being glossy
The Z2, unlike the SVZ, did not offer any quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU options, but they still used full-voltage mobile chips, which at the time was impressive. The cooling system was also very impressive, being able to cool such a chip in such a small chassis. However, it was criticized for being a bit too loud when under heavy load. For the GPU, Sony offered an external dock "Power Media Dock" (PMD) with an integrated AMD Radeon HD 6650M, while the laptop itself used the Intel HD Graphics 3000 IGP. By making the GPU external, the engineers were able to make this laptop a reality.
Two display options were available, a 1600x900 panel for the lower-end models, and a magnificent 1920x1080 panel with 96% of the Adobe RGB gamut coverage.
Storage was handled by Samsung SSDs, with a Quad-SSD setup running in RAID 0. The speed this configuration archived was unbeatable by other manufacturers in that era. One SSD module counted as 2 seperate SSDs. RAM is not soldered, but uses proprietary sticks, which mean you can upgrade from 4GB to 8GB, if you're able to find the sticks, that is.
Processor: Intel Core i3-2330M, i5-2410M, i5-2435M, i7-2620M, i7-2640M (possibly more)
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, or AMD Radeon 6650M (with PMD)
RAM: 4GB or 8GB DDR3, not soldered, proprietary modules, can be upgraded from 4GB to 8GB with special Sony VPCZ2/SVZ RAM modules
Display: 13.1" 1600x900, or 1920x1080 LED backlit LCD
Storage: Samsung LIF SSD, proprietary ZIF connector (15mm, 29pins), one module counts as two SSDs, 128/256/512GB options
Weight: 1.2 kg / 42.33 oz / 2.65 pounds
Daily Usage Today
The Z2 is still a totally usable ultrabook today. They can play light(ish) games with the dedicated GPU. The SSDs are still very very fast, faster than some standard 2.5" modern SATA SSDs from today, and with their powerful enough CPUs, they can be used for basically every modern task.
It does come at a cost, literally. Standard black VPCZ2s sell for around 300€ on sites like eBay, however if you look in the Japanese market (the VAIO Library recommends Buyee, not sponsored), you can find some for much cheaper.
It is required to clean the inside of the laptop and replace the thermal paste when buying a second hand Z2. They are already loud when perfectly clean...
You can bypass the model checks of these recoveries by using SVRP.
Follow our guides to download and install drivers.