Sony VAIO Z Series review

Incredible performance from Sony's latest ultraportable laptop

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Sony vaio vpc z21v9e

One thing we always expect from Sony's VAIO laptops is a gorgeous screen, and the VAIO VPC-Z21V9E doesn't disappoint. The 13.1-inch screen has a matt TFT finish, so there are no pesky reflections when you're working outside.

Despite the lack of gloss, we were struck by how realistic our photos appeared. Colours are rich and vibrant, helped by the excellent brightness levels.

On a display this size, we'd hope for a 1366 x 768 (WXGA) resolution as the minimum. Sony has gone one further, and the VAIO VPC-Z21V9E has a crisp 1600 x 900 (WXGA++) resolution, with images looking super sharp. Even the tiniest fonts are easy to make out, if your eyesight can cope.

A 256GB solid state drive (SSD) gives you reasonable space for carrying around files and media, but there's no built-in DVD drive.

Sony vaio vpc z21v9e dock

However, one of the funky new features of this VAIO Z Series is the docking station, which plugs into the laptop's power and USB port, and is propped upright by the included stand. This not only adds an optical drive, it also gives you two more USB ports (one of them USB 3.0), extra VGA and HDMI ports, and another Ethernet port. Sony has also squeezed in a dedicated GPU – but more on that later.

While Sony could have built an optical drive into the VAIO VPC-Z21V9E's body, as it did with previous models, this would have bulked up the laptop. By separating it, you can carry the drive around only when needed. The extra ports are a great addition, especially as there are only two USB ports on the actual machine.

Like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, this laptop also has a built-in fingerprint scanner for extra security. If you're carrying around confidential documents and want to protect them with more than a password, this is a great alternative.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7 Hour
Finger Print ReaderYes
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
FireWire/i.LINKNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyVAIO Z
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli7-2620M
ColourCarbon Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Professional with SP1
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size33.3 cm (13.1")
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.18 kg
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM67 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Gobi SupportedYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports1
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height16.7 mm
Width330 mm
Depth210 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesZ
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCZ21V9E
Product NameVAIO VPCZ21V9E Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCZ21V9E
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Designed to impress

Take all the stress out of business travel. Carry around your Z Series with its ultra thin profile and full flat design, with no bulge from the battery weighing less than 1.2 kilos.

Enjoy solid Japanese craftsmanship in light but strong carbon fibre, with a new hexa-shell housing. Exclusively styled to complement your professional image.

Faster and more efficient

Store data and access files faster with the latest SSD RAID Flash drive. The light and robust drive transfers data around 6.2 times faster than a standard HDD and features low power consumption to preserve battery life.

Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCZ21V9E Notebook
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adaptor
  • Power Cord
  • Documentation Pack
  • VAIO International Repair Service Guide
  • Docking Station / Port Replicator with Optical Drive
Limited Warranty2 Year