I have never owned a Mac in my life, but I acknowledge their superiority over most PC laptops. Back in college several years back, I was a laptop junkie, buying a new laptop every six months and selling the old. I went through 7-8 laptops from multiple brands in a span of a few years. I was never a mobile user, usually leaving them at home or at most moving them around the house like a modern tablet user would. The thing is, they ALL would start falling apart after a month or two or use with very little handling of the chassis. The hinges weren’t so sturdy anymore, the lid would creak and give, the bezels and palmrests would depress, the keyboard would flex more, the entire thing would feel looser and flexier, and the heat produced around the palmrests would create ugly sweat stains on the plastic. I stopped wasting money on laptops from then and just bought a rock solid desktop. I had a partially metal Asus that survived the best, but the brushed aluminum was very scratchy and half of it was still plastic. I’ve mostly transferred my need for bleeding edge tech to smartphones now, buying and selling them ever six months.
I’ve always been smitten by the rock-solid unibody, seamless, and clean aluminum builds of the macbook line. But I was never an Apple person and didn’t know much about the OS and the price was prohibitive. But I’ve played with those owned by friends quite a bit and really, they are the best. The body always feels extremely sturdy with no give and you can one hand it or flail it around and you won’t have to worry like you have to with other laptops. The metal is so smooth and luxurious feeling to boot. Every time I go to Fry’s and check out the other laptops, there are SO many Macbook ripoffs from Toshiba, Lenovo, etc. but the metal is never as seamless or as smooth and premium. The trackpad is also another thing I can’t understand why Windows laptops can’t get right. Does Apple own their trackpad tech or what? You would think a trackpad from synaptics or 3m or whoever that was really great would become the standard instead of laptop companies having to struggle, but it seems EVERY laptop has their own quirky and finicky touchpad made by yours truly, or they keep on implementing a third party one wrong. From sand paper surfaces to dimples to soft rubber, there was never a really good one. The trackpad on the macbook line just WORKS and is super smooth and clean and LARGE. Why is it taking so long to copy that?
Then of course there’s the whole chiclet style keyboard that everyone has also copied from Apple, and yet so many of them have terrible bendy keys and other flaws. Yes technically Sony had the first laptop with chiclet keys, but whatever happened to it? The point is, Apple did it RIGHT, refined and polished it, and everyone is trying to copy them, again. Even Sony is reinvigorated by someone else using their own design right. And did I mention screens? They have always been some of the best in the market, especially the viewing angles and colors. Back when I was buying laptops, I was always angry that expensive PC laptops with bleeding edge processor and graphics came with the absolute sh*ttiest screens while a casual midrange Macbook would trounce them in screen quality. The tides are definitely turning a bit as touchscreen Windows 8 laptops usually come with a nice high-res IPS display, but that has only been a recent development. If you go down the laptop aisle at best buy, you will see row after row of just plain awful washed out poor viewing angle screens, and it’s been true for years.
I can definitely understand the frustration with having a 1080p resolution on a screen that is too small. Macbooks enlarge the ENTIRE system when you change desktop size settings. The way Windows 7/8 enlarges things is still crude, with larger letters being constrained by small bars and a general lack of consistency. I don’t think it’s as bad as the reviewer says though, and they seem to ignore the fact that you can easily zoom, via keyboard or pinch to zoom.
I DEFINITELY agree with the poor build quality of Sony laptops in general. I use to own a Vaio and the plastic build really did start falling apart quite quickly. I’ve also played with the thin Vaio Z laptops. You can’t even open the lid without it waving around precariously and the lid flexing so bad you think the screen will pop out and crumple up. The Viao Pro sounds no different. They are achieving the light weight by literally wrapping the electronics in some foil and calling it a laptop. I would never put it in a bag with a 10lb book or even an iPad, because the iPad would crush it after a few jostles. Why spend $1000+ on a delicate flower of a laptop? It’s pretty unthinkable to me. It’s a real pity, as I do think it looks nice and the screen and electronics are quite sound. It’s just everything physical that you touch and hold, from trackpad to keyboard to chassis, that most notebook makers can’t get right, especially Sony. Ditto to their super hollow plastic tablets that feel like holding the plastic cap to a can of roach spray. Actually the cap is stronger.