Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sony VAIO VPCSC1AFM - Thumbs Down (but I'm keeping it)

As you can see further below, I wound up keeping this machine. I'll share the not so great stuff as it happens.

Forgot to mention one of my pet peeves about all Sony VAIO machines.... VOLUME. Don't understand why the max volume is so low on Sony machines.

I guess I'm done with PC's... My next machine will be a MAC. Now that I can access my work via the MAC, there is nothing keeping me tied to Microsoft.

LOL... this is stamped on my VAIO , "Dolby Home Theater".

Some cool things about this machine: http://funlimited.co.uk/tag/vpcsc1afm/

  • The screen is quite crappy (details further below). In addition to the text that's not quite dark enough unless you hunchback and look up  the screen, it's also just not very rich. 
  • Too easy to hit the Shut Down button instead of the Delete Key (lost work will happen!) 
  • The touch-pad intermittently stops working. Most of the time I have to shut down the laptop to regain touch-pad access. Fn + F1 doesn't work to reactivate the touch-pad. Strange. 
Just to note, if you buy from Best Buy. These Blue Label laptops come with an extended 2 year warranty and you can read about it here on Best Buy's web site. The sales force is relentless about pushing their own Extended Warranty (or "performance service plans" as Best Buy likes to call them) and they will not mention this extended warranty that is already included.

Original Post:

My 2 year-old Sony VAIO VGN-Z610Y finally disintegrated. It always ran hot, but it started getting sizzling hot and then turning itself off. Finally it just wouldn't stay on at all. Thinking I'd clear out some accumulated dust to keep the heat down, I opened the machine to find not much dust at all. (It did stay on longer with the machine wide open... but not very practical... :)

I wanted to wait for the new super cool Sony VAIO Z but looks like it will be a few months longer for it to debut here in the states. It's getting stellar reviews.

So I bought the only other available 13", the Sony VAIO VPCSC1AFM from Best Buy. But it's going back (even though the 15% restocking fee). I will somehow make the fried laptop work (USB keyboard and mouse!) until the new Z arrives. Keeping my eye on www.engadet.com - they seem to be the first to know about these types of things.

Here is the problem with Best Buy's (I now understand proprietary!) Sony VAIO VPCSC1AFM/S:

Even with the screen tilted as far back as it can go, the text is lighter than it should be. If you s
crunch down and look up the screen or lift the front of the laptop (in effect tilting the screen back further) you can see the text becomes nice and dark. Tweaking the contrast will not fix this - the screen tilt is just off. It'sespecially noticeable when compared side by side with my VGN-Z610Y. Setting the machine on a platform helps but then it's weird typing while it's elevated. Sigh.

7/18 - Decided to keep the machine. I just didn't want to be bothered with returning it and re-imaging yet another computer. The screen display is not that great. The rest is OK. It's $1K vs. the $2K+ I would've spent on the new 2011 Vaio Z. Something tells me it's going to cost me to keep this machine however...

Other's take on the machine:

Machine weight: 3.9 pounds
4-hour battery life
Also includes Geek Squad Support for 90 days
2-year extended warranty
Model vpcsc
Press release describing the warranty, etc: http://digital-qa.blogspot.com/2011/08/best-buy-blue-label-press-release.html


  1. You should use Win7's color calibrator with the brightness ar 50%, also try the clear-type calibrator.


  2. This is great, thanks Franklin! Now... what to do about the sound?! :)


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