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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Sony Vaio TRA1 or PowerBook 12"

Sony Vaio TRA1 or PowerBook 12"
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schwaz80
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:37 PM
 
I am having trouble deciding between the 2. I will have about 41,000 Sony points if I buy the Vaio. That will give me $410 off the price, which will put it around $1600/no tax. The PowerBook I spec'ed out will be around $1500 but I will have to pay tax on that. I will be using the laptop mainly for C++ programming in Codewarrior, Excel, E-mail, DVD Movies on trips and other internet stuff.
Vaio Specs:
10.6" LCD 1280x768
512mb DDR mem
30gig HD
900mhz Centrino
24x CD-RW

PowerBook:
Everything standard but 512mb ram

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
macwalk
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:42 PM
 
Hey i am selling my 867MHz powerbook for around 1200
Its thhe combo drive with the ram maxed out and an airport extreme card and I ll throw in the basestation as well.let me know?!?!?!?!?
Hmmmm..... maybe not!
     
CheesePuff
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:46 PM
 
Good deal macwalk... also if you buy from a different place other then the Apple Store you do not have to pay tax.
     
macwalk
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:47 PM
 
Thanks Cheese,

The only reason I am willing to sell so low is its the only way my wife will let me get a G5!!

I can only spend about 2000 on anything for me and I reaaaaaaaaaally want the dual g5!
Hmmmm..... maybe not!
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:47 PM
 
I get an educational discount... the PowerBook will be shipped to our university warehouse. That is why there is tax.
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 21, 2003, 08:03 PM
 
still lookin for a good response
     
eScrib
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Sep 21, 2003, 08:16 PM
 
I'd get the 12" only because I HATE Windoze.

I guess you could run linux on there, but MAC OS X is what keeps me coming back to Apple.

That and the 12" AlBook is soooooooooooooo sweet.

Sony makes some nice laptops, but it's not a Mac. Apple makes the best laptops on the market, hands down.


I can't wait until mine arrives.
     
Commodus
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Sep 21, 2003, 08:27 PM
 
schwaz80:

Consider this:

- you didn't mention whether or not the Sony's optical drive is a DVD/CD-RW, or CD-RW only.
- 1280x768 is more space, but might be too small at a 10.6" screen size.
- the 12" PowerBook has 10 GB more drive space.
- the PowerBook has MUCH better video (FX 5200 Go versus a cheap integrated chip)
- instant sleep/wake by closing or opening the lid on the PowerBook.
- Apple is generally known for better reliability and tech support.

How's that for a good response?
24-inch iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
     
Robster1958
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:27 PM
 
check out this thread:
http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...hreadid=175564

although it got into pc vs. mac flames...i posted my thoughts on the Sony.

Bottom line: ultra-portability and outstanding screen are the big selling points of the Sony. I am using it as my work laptop in a windows world. For business travel and commuting, the screen makes it the best portable dvd player around. Battery life is excellent. and XP is not bad...really.

second bottom line: i will also prob. be getting the newest 12" PB as my entertainment machine for iTunes/iPod, the superdrive, movies, photos, etc. The 30 gig HD on the sony is kinda small for multimedia files.
Rob
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16 Gig iPod Touch
     
polendo
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:48 PM
 
I have an Ibook 12".. nothing compared to the PB.. but really a 10" screen is way too small. I do think 12" is a bit small and can sometimes hurt the eyes if you use it for a long time. I'm even considering a monitor for my Ibook.

regards
     
shabbasuraj
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:53 PM
 
Originally posted by macwalk:
Hey i am selling my 867MHz powerbook for around 1200
Its thhe combo drive with the ram maxed out and an airport extreme card and I ll throw in the basestation as well.let me know?!?!?!?!?
are you still selling your 12"?

where are you located...

lates....
     
Robster1958
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:55 PM
 
yes...but the sony screen is approx. the same width as the 12" PB or iBook.

as a result, widescreen movies are roughly the same size.

in addition, the supperior resolution of the Sony allows at least the same amount of text on the screen for websites, etc. of course it does depend on your eyesight.
Rob
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16 Gig iPod Touch
     
HasanDaddy
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Sep 21, 2003, 10:00 PM
 
2 points -

1. Do you really want XP over OS X?? That's a WHOLE different computer right there!

2. Take my word for it --- Sony's fall apart after one year --- Macs stay good forever!
"Government is not the solution, its the problem" --- Ronald Reagan
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 21, 2003, 10:18 PM
 
it's a real tough decision... I know the Centrino has more power than that G4. I know the screen on the Sony is better and a higher res. The Apple build quality is better though. I'll bet the HD speed is faster on the Apple too... but it's something I am not really concerned with as I won't be doing anything with extreme I/O demands. I just need an ultra-portable laptop to take to class and to the library with me. When I am done with class, I will use it for work. I also like the 15" PowerBook way more than the 12". So perhaps I will just drop my coin on the Sony for now and get the next G5 PowerBook or somethin. BTW, I also got an extended 2yr warranty on the screen... just in case I break it.
     
Sakino
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Sep 21, 2003, 10:22 PM
 
Originally posted by schwaz80:
it's a real tough decision... I know the Centrino has more power than that G4. I know the screen on the Sony is better and a higher res. The Apple build quality is better though. I'll bet the HD speed is faster on the Apple too... but it's something I am not really concerned with as I won't be doing anything with extreme I/O demands. I just need an ultra-portable laptop to take to class and to the library with me. When I am done with class, I will use it for work. I also like the 15" PowerBook way more than the 12". So perhaps I will just drop my coin on the Sony for now and get the next G5 PowerBook or somethin. BTW, I also got an extended 2yr warranty on the screen... just in case I break it.
I have known some people who have had sony laptops, and personally all I hear from them is bad comments about it. Especially the quality of the product put out from sony, they are always having problems. I would suggest going with a 12 inch pb. The look so nice, and OSX is so much better then XP. I cannot wait to get my first mac this week(15 in al pb).

Hands down go with the Mac
     
MrK
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Sep 22, 2003, 05:00 AM
 
Both are great. The Sony is lighter, has more screen res and gets better battery life. Performance is close, but the Sony is faster w/ the Centrino chipset. However, the graphics card is ****. At the end of the day, I don't want to run Windows or have something with a less reliable build quality than Apple... but after 6 hours, your Sony would still be running and my 12" PB would need to be plugged in.
     
MusicalTone
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Sep 22, 2003, 05:05 AM
 
Originally posted by schwaz80:
it's a real tough decision... I know the Centrino has more power than that G4. I know the screen on the Sony is better and a higher res. The Apple build quality is better though. I'll bet the HD speed is faster on the Apple too... but it's something I am not really concerned with as I won't be doing anything with extreme I/O demands. I just need an ultra-portable laptop to take to class and to the library with me. When I am done with class, I will use it for work. I also like the 15" PowerBook way more than the 12". So perhaps I will just drop my coin on the Sony for now and get the next G5 PowerBook or somethin. BTW, I also got an extended 2yr warranty on the screen... just in case I break it.

Man, dont waste your money on a Sony XP setup when you can get a lovely 12" OSX rig. I have a Sony Vaio and never use it anymore since buying a 15" 1Ghz SD eight months ago. Beleive me, the stats and figures mean nothing when you actually compare using the two side by side. If you are into photos, miniDV or anything creative whatsoever OSX is seriously out ahead on its own - by a long long way. I am constantly amazed by what this machine can do. Give the left hand side of your brain a say - processor specs and other techinical bumpf do not always equate with the best solution. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Edit: I see the 1Ghz TiBooks are going at a great price now.
     
Simon
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Sep 22, 2003, 05:06 AM
 
Originally posted by schwaz80:
I know the Centrino has more power than that G4.
If you have to fight XP the whole time I doubt that additional power will get you anywhere. In the end, the hassle-free Mac OS will let you get more work done.

Originally posted by schwaz80:
I know the screen on the Sony is better and a higher res.
It must be higher res. It's smaller and yet you don't want to see less area. So it will have a higher DPI. The only question is if your eyes will like to look at that high DPI resolution for hours. The 12" may have a lower DPI number, but it will show you about the same while being nicer to your eyes.

My bottom line: If the 12" PowerBook is really too big you'll have to go with the Sony. Else, take the Mac.
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 22, 2003, 10:46 AM
 
I worked on a 15" LCD w/ 1600x1200 res for a really long time. It never did hurt my eyes. All the people I have talked to told me that the Sony LCD is so clear that the high res really doesn't bother them. Like I said, I am not doing any graphics or video editing. I just need something for Codewarrior, Documents, E-mail, Portable DVD player, etc.
     
hunkhuang
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Sep 22, 2003, 11:12 AM
 
I would support you to get a Sony because you are genious. You are always there to fix the Windows problem and codes.
For Mac users, we don't have to worry of our OS got crashed or something. We don't have to learn how to fix the problem.

Anyway, just depend on yourself, i was a programmer for PC applications. Sometimes you might get blue screen or hang (512mb DDR) when your code goes wrong.
But Mac just works for me smoothly.. i just switched in May 2003 and that's why i switched.


17" widescreen LCD, 1GHz PowerPC G4,
1GB DDR266 SDRAM, 80GB Ultra ATA HD,
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, 64MB DDR video memory
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 22, 2003, 11:48 AM
 
yes, I know I am a genious...
     
hunkhuang
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Sep 22, 2003, 11:59 AM
 
Sorry perhaps i might sound rude or sarcastic.
But this is how i made my decision when one guy told me the exact thing like this.

cheers and good luck for your choice !


17" widescreen LCD, 1GHz PowerPC G4,
1GB DDR266 SDRAM, 80GB Ultra ATA HD,
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, 64MB DDR video memory
     
nagromme
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Sep 22, 2003, 12:27 PM
 
The main feature of a computer, beyond speed, size, screen, expansion, graphics... is the OS. If you are between OS X and Windows, I can say as a former Windows user that OS X is amazing. Well-designed, secure, stable, elagant... yes, even enjoyable to work with!

If you can settle for Windows, you can shop for whatever hardware specs you want. I could never settle for Windows again, personally. I'd be terrified to have my privacy and security dependent on Microsoft! Nor do I feel like tinkering with Linux.

Having said that, the new faster 12" PowerBook specs are pretty nice. Three kinds of wireless simultaneously (Bluetooth, optional 802.11b and 802.11g), Firewire, nice 3D video board, VGA and DVI out, built-in TV out (adapter is under $20), built in mic and 3 speakers, optical drive (even DVD burning option), great-feeling full-size keyboard, and VERY compact/light--right down to the clever charger. It's hard to find any other laptop so portable that doesn't make major sacrifices--like having to lug your optical drive and cables separately! I do think for long use that the 15" PowerBook screen would be better--but you CAN always add an external display to the 12".

I highly recommend the PowerBook. They are quite trouble-free (there's never been a virus for OS X), and they have a long usable life. I can still run my business from an old PowerBook G3. Pluc I can even run Windows on it (Virtual PC)--although all apps I need are sold for Mac anyway.

If you choose Mac, you might wait for Panther (OS X 10.3), which is another big step even better, due this year. It will be a US$69 upgrade for students/educators, unless it's already out when you buy and comes with your PowerBook (or you buy your PB just before-it ships--an unknown date.)

BUT there are some great education deals that end at the end of this week: $200 off an iPod, plus $100 off an HP printer or printer/scanner. (You must order them all together I think.) Even if you haven't started using MP3s/MP4s yet, you probably will when you try iTunes--and besides an iPod is a great backup drive. A 10 GB iPod fpr $69 is too good to pass up! Look for rebate PDF coupons at the bottom of the online Apple store.
nagromme
     
nagromme
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Sep 22, 2003, 12:37 PM
 
I suppose I should add that my sister's Sony is fairly new, and a total nightmare reliability-wide. I don't even know whether to blame Sony or Microsoft or both, but she's at her wit's end. That's just one anecdote of course, any product can have the occasional lemon--and I do like the look of Sony's. Not as much as the look of a PowerBook though! (I'm currently considering all THREE sizes of aluminum PBook. Such a dilemma. Or I COULD stick to my guns and wait for a G5...)

If you want to save for a PB G5 (mid to late 2004?) I suggest a 12" PowerBook now so you'll already be used to Mac and have your Mac apps all ready to go. Or, even an iBook (under $950) is capable of doing the things you need--and runs a great OS!

If performance is an issue, I recommend over 512 MB RAM on any Mac--but don't buy from Apple. transintl.com and eshop.macsales.com are good places to buy RAM--they know what goes in each model. Call them if you don't see the newest PowerBooks listed online.

Oh--and screen size/tiny pixels IS an issue for most people. I have good eyes--no glasses--but using 1024x768 at 14" (on a laptop screen--dimmer than a desktop) hurts my eyes after long hours of text. And that's BIGGER pixels than most laptop screens now. I would NOT want to cram more pixels into a tiny screen!

And Mac OS manages multiple windows and apps very well and easily--especially with Panther's Expos features. So that makes extra pixel space less important. Still nice--but I wouldn't make my eyes burn for it!
( Last edited by nagromme; Sep 22, 2003 at 12:42 PM. )
nagromme
     
Shaddim
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Sep 22, 2003, 01:10 PM
 
It all comes down to whether you want to run OS X (Unix) or Windows. The easiest decision is to get in line for your XP lappy and be part of the herd. (moo!!!)
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Dell Switcher
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Sep 22, 2003, 02:48 PM
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by schwaz80:
[B]I am having trouble deciding between the 2. I will have about 41,000 Sony points if I buy the Vaio. That will give me $410 off the price, which will put it around $1600/no tax. The PowerBook I spec'ed out will be around $1500 but I will have to pay tax on that. I will be using the laptop mainly for C++ programming in Codewarrior, Excel, E-mail, DVD Movies on trips and other internet stuff.
Vaio Specs:
10.6" LCD 1280x768
512mb DDR mem
30gig HD
900mhz Centrino
24x CD-RW

PowerBook:
Everything standard but 512mb ram:


Several months ago I bought Sony Vaio Notebook with cost a consideration (have a Sony Credit Card also)but returned it to the dealer the next day for several reasons:

1. The CD-RW did not work well and XP kept rebooting (no blue screen but if it reboots what the difference!).

2. The notebook construction was inadequate when compared to PB...had much trouble getting the CD out of the device (I call it push and pull versus the PB slot)

3. XP no comparison to OS X.

After almost 20 yrs experience with PC's, my switch to Mac in March 2003 was dramatic. But, now I plan to add another Mac...the new PB 15. I have spent considerable time comparing PC notebooks (Toshiba, Sony, HP) with Apple
within the same store...no comparison as to quality of the HW much less the OS. Go with the Mac.
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 22, 2003, 03:47 PM
 
well... I bit the bullet and ordered a 12" PowerBook today. Everything stock except the Airport Extreme card. I am gonna buy 512mb ram from Crucial or maybe some place else. Thanks for all your input guys. I guess I will see soon how much I like it.
     
MusicalTone
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Sep 22, 2003, 05:00 PM
 
Originally posted by schwaz80:
well... I bit the bullet and ordered a 12" PowerBook today. Everything stock except the Airport Extreme card. I am gonna buy 512mb ram from Crucial or maybe some place else. Thanks for all your input guys. I guess I will see soon how much I like it.
Congrats man. I am really happy for you. You will not be dissapointed! I have the 15" but would love a 12" too (and a new 15", G2 dual, 20" CD, etc. etc). See you around.
     
Robster1958
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Sep 22, 2003, 09:50 PM
 
sooner or later (prob. sooner...that student deal with $200 off iPod is too good to pass up maybe), i will be able to A/B compare the Sony TR1A to the new 12" PB.

I had compared the Sony to a 12" iBook in that other thread, but as mentioned, it degenerated into mac vs. pc flames. <PB users are more open-minded apparently! >

I have been using the sony constantly over the past few weeks, and i gotta admit: tiny size and weight means a lot in commuting or travelling. The sony is also quite full-featured with two USB2 ports, one firewire, VGA out, PCMCIA slot, memory stick slot (very useful for me since i have a Clie and sony camera), earphone/microphone jacks, built-in camera, built-in microphone, and two-button mouse pad (sorry, had to insert dig). The centrino chipset does seem to maximize performance and battery life quite well. The machine runs cool and fan hardly ever comes on. As for graphics: do not minimize integrated intel graphics using 64 MB of the ram. Again, by controlling everything on the motherboard, intel seems to have acheived outstanding performance.

So for email, wireless net surfing, Office apps and games, i am very satisfied with the TR1A. For dvd playback, i am startled at how good.

BUT...no it does not run OS X. Although again, i don't like to admit it, but my Jaguar has had many a crash/endless beachball. But yes it is more elegant and fun than XP. And important for me, the Sony will not run iTunes (yet). And the multimedia apps like iPhoto, iDVD are far better on the mac (not games though). So it looks like i will get a new 12" PB w/ SD...and the iSight..and the new slim 20 gig iPod.

So what is the whole point of comparing apples to oranges (don't say it!)?? IMO, it's not necessarily an either/or world...and apple would be smart to take note of things like higher resolution small screens. Because i can be sure of one thing: for the same $2000 for today's TR1A, in about a year, i will get a 60 gig hd, 802.11g, even longer battery life, a faster processor and a dvd burner. Then there might be one less Apple user. On the other hand, maybe there will be a smaller widescreen PB with current/better performance and there will be one less Vaio user.
Rob
2.1 Ghz 15" MacBook Pro 2 GB RAM, OS X 10.5

16 Gig iPod Touch
     
LfGrdMike
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Sep 22, 2003, 10:42 PM
 
I just read the post title I say go for the PB 12 inch. I love mine its solid.
MacBook Pro 15" Rev B | 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | 2GB Mem | 160GB HD | Display 15 Glossy Widescreen Display
iPod Mini Green | 35 gigs of music :-)
HP DV1040us Laptop | 1.6 Pentium M | 1GB RAM | Centrino
     
PvD_45RPM
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Sep 22, 2003, 11:46 PM
 
To all those who say Mac OS X has never had a virus or whatever: GET A CLUE.

I know for a fact that the mac community has a rather large hacker/underground which has gotten larger with UNIX implemented in OS X. Unlike Windows hackers all of them play nice and help eachother though

Although there are no large virus epidemics there are viruses for macs, most mac hackers don't bother giving it to another mac user though because generally mac users share a bond. Mac on mac crime is wrong! So I guess were lucky in that sense.
     
schwaz80  (op)
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Sep 22, 2003, 11:51 PM
 
um, ok...
     
nagromme
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Sep 23, 2003, 01:03 AM
 
Welcome aboard. Keep an eye open for Panther, too!

I find the General forum at MacCentral.com to be a good place to get help when you have questions: surprisingly few trolls and flames for an online forum. People will be happy to answer questions.
nagromme
     
spitty27
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Sep 23, 2003, 01:26 AM
 
you can get 200 off iPOD?!!!!!!!! WHERE
| MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo | 4GB Memory | 8x DL Superdrive | NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM | 160GB Internal running Leopard 10.5.6 | 500GB External | AirportExtreme + Bluetooth 2.0 | Logitech MxRevolution | Casio Exilim EX z75 | iPhone 3G Black |
     
nagromme
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Sep 23, 2003, 07:47 AM
 
Originally posted by spitty27:
you can get 200 off iPOD?!!!!!!!! WHERE
Only for edu buyers, only this week. I'll post a new thread just to remind people the deal's almost up!
nagromme
     
   
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