Z (SVZ)

From VAIO Library
Standard SVZ

Overview

The Sony VAIO Z series was Sony's top-of-the-line laptop range that was originally introduced in 2003. The SVZ is the latest and last addition to the Sony VAIO 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 has been 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.

Standard SVZ
Premium Glossy SVZ

Four case models were available for purchase:

  • Standard black version, mat, 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 and only ever seen in Japan
  • Gold variant, very rare and only ever seen in Japan
  • Silver, most likely Japan-only, rare
  • Premium glossy version, 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.

15th Anniversary Collector's Edition SVZ

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 (and VPCZ2) is considered one of the best designs VAIO made, and it can clearly be seen. An SVZ could easily be mistaken for a brand new laptop today. The cooling system, while it can be loud, is absolutely exceptional, being able to cool a full blown mobile quad-core CPU in 2012! The hinge design is also very commonly used nowadays for ultrabooks. The SVZ looks stunning from every angle, and it also feels wonderful. It's light, weighing only 1.2kg, and it's very well built, powerful, and very fast.

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 Graphics 4000 IGP, however the PMD (Power Media Dock) 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 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.

Detailed Specs

Processor: 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3210M, i5-3320M, i7-3520M (dual-core), i7-3612QM (quad-core), i7-3632QM (quad-core). Some Asian models featured an i3 CPU

Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, 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

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 2.5" modern 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 400€ 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. 15th Anniversary Collector's Editions are much rarer, and go for around 1200€ minimum on the western market.

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.

Resources

Sony JP VAIO SVZ Series Presentation Page

Sony VAIO SVZ Series User Guide

Sony VAIO SVZ Series Quick Start Guide

Sony VAIO SVZ Series Safety Guide

Sony VAIO SVZ Series Recovery, Backup, and Troubleshooting Guide

Sony VAIO SVZ Series Service Manual

Downloads

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!

Sources

Sony, NotebookCheck, MobileTechReview, and WIRED