What Happened to VAIO?

– Hey guys this is Austin. Do you remember Vaio? Back in the nineties and 2000s Sony absolutely cranked
out weird but cool designs. Over the last few years though things have been a little
bit quiet on and Vaio front ever since they went independent in 2014. That is until today with
the brand new Vaio SX14. Take one look at this red
and yeah it looks dope however the rest of the build quality sadly does not quite
notch up with the looks. Now sure it feels lightweight however it just doesn’t
have that same premium feel as you would expect when you’re paying upwards of $2000 for a brand new laptop. It’s sturdy enough but put it side by side with one of my favorite
laptops of 2019 so far, the ASUS ZenBook S13,
it’s really no contest. The only advantage here
of the Vaio hardware really is just that
lightness but besides that this beats it in pretty
much every other aspect. Speaking of the ZenBook they do share a very similar keyboard design. So not only do they have nice chiclet keys but importantly they
also have a lifted design so essentially when you close
the laptops they go flat. Okay, that’s actually not what
I thought was gonna happen. (coughs) But when you open it
up you get a little bit of an extra lift on the keyboard and this goes a long way in making it feel a lot more comfortable, especially for longer typing sessions. Now I might sound like I’m
being a little bit too negative about the Vaio but there are
some legitimate strengths, starting with the ports. This has more ports than any
other Ultrabook I’ve ever seen. So on top of three USBs, 3.0 ports there’s also not only a USB-C as well as HDMI but there’s ethernet and there’s even a VGA port on a brand new Ultrabook in 2019. Yeah, that’s a Japanese
businessman’s special. Like I was saying earlier the
keyboard does have a nice feel and you also do have a
fingerprint sensor on board but what I’m not a huge
fan of is the touchpad. Now, yeah, it’s nice to
have the physical buttons but this is just way smaller than pretty much any modern laptop and it does date these
Vaio just a little bit. Now, by default it does come with a fourteen inch 1080p display but this red model is the hiring version with a full 4K panel. Now I’m usually not a huge fan
of 4K displays on Ultrabooks ’cause I find they usually have a little too much of a trade-off
as far as battery life goes but I will definitely
admit this does look nice, super sharp, super crisp. Unfortunately though the battery life is not the strong suit
of the Vaio, at all. Paired with a small battery this just feels like a throwback. Now admittedly I do use
the computer fairly hard, so I’ve got the brightness
cranked almost all the way up and high performance mode on but even so I’m only getting about three and a half hours
on a charge with this guy. Pretty much every other
Ultrabook out there, even when you’re
completely cranking it out, should give you at
least five to six hours, so that’s something that I’m
not super thrilled about. It’s just, it’s definitely probably, the weakest part of this Vaio, just being totally
honest, I mean its fine, it’s usable if you’re near an outlet but it’s just really weird in 2019 to have a laptop with
that little battery life. Thankfully performance is modern at least. So not only do you have the latest 8th generation Core i7 on board but this guy’s also
outfitted with 16 gigs of RAM and a super fast one terabyte PCIe SSD. There’s not doubt that
this looks dope in red but when you take it as an entire package the SX14 just falls behind. Not only is the battery life poor and there’s some weird design decisions but most importantly
it is really expensive. This thing starts at 1300 bucks but if you wanna get the
maxed out version in red that’s going to cost you $2300. Put that side by side with the ZenBook and it’s really no comparison. I will take this pretty much any day however that got me thinking. Vaio used to be the undisputed champ when it comes to weird and premium laptops so what exactly happened? So as you might be able to tell some time has passed ’cause we’re waiting for some old school Vaios to
show up straight from Japan but there’s some really,
really cool stuff here. So first of all we have the Vaio X505. Now at first glance this
could totally be a laptop that’s being sold today however it actually came out in 2004. Yes my friends, we’re got a Japanese copy of Windows XP loaded up on this bad boy and it’s kind of awesome. Considering that this came out four years before the MacBook Air it’s
actually not that far behind. Now, yeah the 10.4 inch display isn’t massive by today’s standards but one of the cool things
is that you actually get some king of interesting thinness. I mean this is honestly
thinner than most laptops you can buy today and this was
way before the days of USB-C. I mean, look, this is
literally the Wi-Fi antennae or the Wi-Fi card. Now my Japanese skills
aren’t quite good enough to figure out how to get
this thing over to English but it does have a
whopping 1.2 gigs of RAM which I think actually
someone paid to upgrade. Now as you might imagine, a laptop like this was not exactly cheap, even in Japan back in 2004. I mean what what the
actual price on this guy? – [Man] Three thousand – $3000 new, and that was
back in 2004. (exhales) Yeah but hey it’s okay, you’ve got a ten gigabyte hard
drive, you’ll be just fine. Update, I was wrong,
20 gigabyte hard drive, that’s where it’s at right there. It’s also surprisingly light
at just about two pounds and a lot of that is just
the battery in the back. A big part of that is
because it is made out of a composite carbon fiber. Now when you look at this kind of stuff, sure $3000 was a lot back in the day but you were legitimately
getting something that was way ahead of its time. Whereas the current day Vaio,
I mean it’s not a bad laptop but you’re still paying a premium price for something that’s really
not in that same kind of league of wow this looks like
it could be made today if you ignore the fact it
doesn’t have a touchpad and has a little nipple. Now as cool as this is we
are just getting started with some of these
awesome old Vaio designs. Next up is the PCG-505 from 1998. Now, yeah this looks a bit on
the thicker and heavier side compared to stuff that’s modern but again this was the late nineties. This was absolutely tiny compared to what most people we’re
(coughs) carrying around. Now sadly, this model
doesn’t actually function, although it would be cool if it did but we can take a look at the hardware and see just how far
ahead of its time it was. So not only do we have a USB-A port, which, believe it or not, for the late nineties was very impressive. We also have a series of other ports including my favorite, a little modem that kind of pops into the side here. And on top of that if we pop
the little side of the screen, we have a good old stylus. Now I know a stylus is not a touchscreen but you could use this in
conjunction with the touchpad to write the world’s
tiniest, little notes. Now if USB and FireWire aren’t your thing, you could also get this
giant dongle for it. Now this adds a ton of additional ports including you have PS2 you have VGA. Where is this plugged in? Wait, no it doesn’t go in there. Oh actually, wait, oh I’m stupid. The cool part about this
is that this was very much in an era where laptops were nowhere near as good as desktops for most categories, right? They were way more expensive, they usually had terrible battery life, terrible performance but
this was a major step forward toward a super portable laptop that could actually get real work done. It also had a Wi-Fi card on the side. Actually I have one here, don’t I? So with this now we are online not even having to use
our super cool modem. Probably one of the craziest models that Vaio ever brought
out was this the UX180P and no my friends this
is not a giant side kit, this is a full fledged
Windows XP computer. Now if you wanna talk
about ahead of its time this is absolutely it. Now again keep in mind we’re
talking about 2006 here. We have a touchscreen with a stylus. It has not only Wi-Fi but
also built-in cellular. There’s even a fingerprint sensor in both a front and rear
facing camera on this guy and we’re talking about 2006. Now this is not exactly
a blazing fast system with a Core Solo Processor
and half a gigabyte of RAM but when you consider
just the level of spec you’re able to get in something this small it’s really impressive. I mean seriously, fingerprint sensors are still a good thing to
have on laptops, alright. They are by no means ubiquitous in 2019 and especially when you look
at stuff like cellular networks again, that’s something that
is not standard whatsoever yet and yet this weird little
computer from 2006 totally had it. I mean that, that’s innovation dude, like there’s no way of
getting around that. This was so far ahead of its time. At least it came
pre-loaded with Norton 2006 so I’m sure that’ll be very helpful for our ancient Windows XP install. Also fun fact, this was product
placement central in movies back in the late 2000s. Not only was it in National Treasure but it was even in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you know, that famous American movie that everyone is totally
in love with, right? So the next item is the Vaio P which came out, for the record, ten years ago in 2009 and I
believe it probably shipped with XP or maybe Vista
at the time but someone, whoever had this before us,
loaded up Windows 10 on it. Man, you’re gonna have to use
this for a week, you know. – [Man] What? – This is gonna be your new
laptop for the next week. It runs Windows 10, it has full up to date
security patches and all. What actually is this thing even running? We’ve got a blistering fast,
single core Atom processor, two gigs of RAM as well as
a 60 gigabyte hard drive but I mean it does
legitimately run Windows 10. I cannot believe someone did this. Like, I mean, that’s so, like. It’s actually, I will say one thing, a lot of these computers from this era, they shipped with Windows XP and they were Windows Visa compatible because Vista was so much
more heavy on the resources but most of the time you can
actually load up Windows 10 on a Vista compatible machine and Windows 10 will actually run better. Which is pretty impressive considering that it’s like 12 year
newer operating system. Oh, we have Wi-Fi, it
sees our Wi-Fi network. Dude this thing is so cool. I’m blown away this runs Windows 10. I legitimately thought we
were gonna turn this thing on it was gonna have Windows XP. And this thing even has decent ports, you have a pair of USB-As as well as you can pick up a dongle which has VGA as well as ethernet on it
and on top of all of that it has a glorious ultra-wide display way before LG ever made it cool. Now when these were all new Vaio was known as a bit of a
form over function company. Now Sony had a ton of cash
and a ton of interesting ideas and a lot of these were
legitimately super unique but they also did have
some sacrifices right. But that’s okay. Today when you look at laptops they’re all so similar, right? I mean you get a slightly tapered design, you get a couple of extra ports. That makes it something unique. However back in the day, I mean something like
this just did not exist. Something like this didn’t exist. I mean this stuff is so cool and I think that’s absolutely something we need today in current PC design. More innovation, more
willingness to take risks. I mean that’s absolutely
good for everyone. Also, this is still my
favorite thing ever. (laughs) This runs on just on XP man, how are you gonna complain about that?


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