The Sony VAIO Z Series was Sony's top-of-the-line laptop range that was originally introduced in 2003. The SVZ is the last addition to the Z Series, released in 2012, and replaced in 2013 by the Pro Series.
The SVZ features the same case as the VPCZ2, only differentiable by the network switch on top of the keyboard, that was removed from 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.
Four case models were available for purchase:
- Standard black: mat, made from aluminium and carbon fiber
- Blue: blue palmrest and bezel, same mat black lid and bottom assembly as the standard black version, very rare and only ever seen in Japan
- Gold: gold lid, bottom, palmrest and bezel, very rare and only ever seen in Japan
- Silver: silver lid, bottom, palmrest and bezel, rare and most likely Japan-only
- Premium glossy black: made of aluminium for the keyboard assembly, and carbon fiber for the rest
The glossy variant was particularly prone to scratches, but looked absolutely stunning.
The Sony VAIO SVZ 15th Anniversary Edition is one of the rarest and most expensive VAIO laptops to obtain today, featuring the premium glossy case, and a special black metal bar on the bottom of the lid instead of the standard silver one. Carved in this bar was:
15TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION (new line) MADE IN AZUMINO, JAPAN. At launch, these editions were considerably more expensive than the standard editions, fetching upwards of 4000€ instead of the standard 2500-3000€ for a top-end SVZ.
The SVZ looks stunning from every angle, and it is considered to be one of the best designs VAIO ever made. An SVZ could easily be mistaken for a brand new laptop today, with its measly weight of 1.2kg, its beautiful design, and its excellent workmanship. The hinge design, that props up the laptop for a better typing experience, as well as better airflow, is also very commonly used nowadays for ultrabooks.
Its cooling system, while it can be loud, is absolutely exceptional, being able to cool a full-voltage mobile quad-core i7 CPU in 2012! Processor options ranged from dual-core mobile Intel Core i5 CPUs, to dual-core i7, and all the way to quad-core i7 for top-end models. The laptop itself included the standard Intel HD 4000 IGP, however the PMD (Power Media Dock), which connects to the laptop with a now old standard of Intel Thunderbolt, included a dedicated AMD Radeon 7670M, as well as a Blu-ray reader and some extra ports.
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 Dual-SSD or Quad-SSD setup running in RAID 0. The speed these configurations achieved was unbeatable by other manufacturers in that era. One SSD module counted as 2 separate SSDs.
Processor: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5-3210M, i5-3320M, i7-3520M (dual-core), i7-3612QM (quad-core), i7-3632QM (quad-core), some Asian models featured an i3
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 IGP, or AMD Radeon 7670M (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, with 1080p model claiming 96% Adobe RGB coverage
Storage: Samsung LIF SSD, proprietary ZIF connector (15mm, 29pins), one module counts as two SSDs, 128/256/512GB options
Weight: 1.18 kg / 41.62 oz / 2.6 pounds
Daily Usage Today
The SVZ is still a totally usable ultrabook today. They can play light(ish) games with the dedicated GPU, and even on the IGP. The SSDs are still very very fast, faster than some standard SATA SSDs from today, and with their powerful quad-core CPUs, they can be used for basically every modern task.
It does come at a cost, literally. Standard SVZs sell for around 300-400€ on sites like eBay, however if you look in the Japanese market, you can find some for much cheaper. 15th Anniversary Collector's Editions are much rarer, and go for around 1200€ minimum in western markets.
It is required to clean the inside of the laptop and replace the thermal paste when buying a second hand SVZ. They are already loud when perfectly clean... It is especially important for quad-core models.
Follow our guides to download and install drivers.
Recovery discs are not available for this model. We are currently trying our best to find them. If you have some recovery discs available, please archive them or send them to us!