Tech Review: Sony Vaio EA Series

I took a quick glance to the Sony Style website the other day and I noticed something. New Sony  Vaio laptops. With Widi (wireless display). Sigh. Widi (wireless display) is the newest technology available for laptops, allowing you to wirelessly display images from your laptop onto your TV screen. No HDMI cable. All done wirelessly. It was something I was hoping which would be available for my current laptop. Unfortunately it came a year later, so I had to “settle” with another Sony product, the Sony Vaio EA series. If you could call this settling.

When I was looking for a new laptop last year ( I had a Gateway one previously) it took me a long time. The whole summer actually and then some, about 6 months till last Christmas. When my Gateway went down last summer, I vowed to get a laptop that would not suffer the same fate.

I went to cnet.com, redflagdeals.com, computershopper.com, online laptop forums, pretty much everywhere that they were discussing new laptops and reviewing them. I learned a lot. So much that if you need recommendations on what to get, I’m your man. But it always comes back to your personal needs, and being the picky guy I am I had a few.

They were:

  • Good battery life (at least 3+ hrs)
  • Good video card (not the standard one available in most laptops found in electronic stores)
  • Core I3 processor or better
  • 14” screen or smaller
  • Great keyboard and touch pad
  • Larger than 320 Hard drive (that my old Gateway had)
  • Black
    Quite the list. My Gateway was about $770 (taxes in) so I decided I’d up the budget and settle on one which was around $1000. With my criteria in place, 6 months of research in place, it came down to two: The Sony Vaio EA and the MacBook Pro.
    The reasons were simple. I knew both were excellent brands with a very informed following, way more than the other brands I looked at such as Asus, HP (have heard horror stories), Dell, or Compaq. In terms of reliability, Sony and Apple, seemed to stand above those aforementioned laptop makers so it made me even more comfortable with them being my top two.

However, I could only get one laptop so I had to decide. And from criteria I was pushed into Sony’s direction. Firstly, I’m not a huge fan of Apple. They are one of the companies you either love or hate. You’re  PC or Mac. Although I love innovation and would consider myself creative, I’m a  PC guy. All day. So that was the first thing. Second, the Sony was customisable! Yay for choice! I was able to put in a Blu-Ray player (The Dark Knight looks fantastic on this laptop), and upgrade the battery to an extended battery. They even threw in Photoshop suite which was a nice bonus. Finally, It came in black. Colours matter and black > silver (MacBook Pro) sealed the deal. If they had the MacBook Pro, like the MacBook before it in all black, maybe it would have changed my mind…

So with that here is my video from last year, giving a quick look at the Sony Vaio’s EA’s unpacking. Enjoy! PS I sound a little nerdy.

Poor PS3

Poor PS3 owners. I can’t help but have a little bit of delight in your misery. You’re locked out of online gameplay,ps3 while the rest of us serious gamers (Xbox 360), can continue to delight in late night Call of Duty: Black Ops play.  A fairly large contingent of my friends who demanded I get a PS3 are now left with nothing to say. I guess hacking a network could happen to anyone could it? Of course. Tell me that after I’m done with these new map packs, I’m just too busy right now to care.

Could you imagine if this happened when Call of Duty Black Ops was released? This would definitely be much more of an outcry. I could see 15 year olds, writing letters in their broken English and foul tongues, to Sony HQ demanding them to get things up and running. I guess PS3 owners can take solace in the fact at least their online gaming experience is free. Which is useless now since the network is shut down, with the latest news saying it will be out till the end of May! Yikes. So what can Sony do about this disaster? Here are some suggestions:

Give a credit

Give a credit to PS3 users to use towards free online content or something in the large PSN (PlayStation Network) world. People need to be rewarded for their investment in you, and even through this frustrating time, it’s time to step up and give them reason to continue to support the PS3 brand.

Take blame

Some of the worst things when a PR nightmare like this happens is when the responsible party doesn’t take the blame. It may not be your fault, but as the face of the product,  you must own up to it somehow. To let the situation become a spiralling mess of uncertainty with no one taking responsibility, doesn’t help people have faith in your product. Management  should have owned up immediately, rather than go silent.

Stay the course

Sony is a great brand. I’m writing this on a Sony Vaio laptop. I believe in your brand. You also gave us the first portable MP3, the Sony Walkman. People love your products. So by just staying the course people will realize that yes you made a mistake but you have a good history with other products and in your brand in general, which will help to keep brand loyalty high.

Good brands don’t just die. I remember people saying they would stay away from Toyota forever right after they had their major  automotive recalls a while back. Last time I checked they were driving their Camry’s around the neighbourhood. Like Toyota, Sony has a lot of name power, along with this being (I’m assuming) a minor blimp in an otherwise impeccable resume. There is light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I should actually be getting a PS3 quite soon…funny how things work, isn’t it?

E-shopping on Esprit

It was a little over a year ago when I was introduced to Esprit by a friend. He was adamant I check out this store withesprit him, so we went into their retail location at the local mall and I was impressed with what I found. European style men’s clothes at affordable prices. Shopping is really enjoyable when good style and great prices go together, but sometimes getting to the mall is the hard part. After work, I’m not too keen on staying in the downtown core and shopping. So what’s better? E-shopping. So that’s what I do. E-shop on Esprit. And I have to say I’m pretty addicted to it.

Giving my e-mail to Esprit was probably the worst decision I’ve ever made. They send me an e-mail about once a week, with sales allowing me to save 30 – 40% . All I have to do is put in the a promo code, fill up my cart, and checkout.  They don’t get me every week, I’m not that rich, but they usually get me once a month. What makes me buy so much from them? It is all about their product, European style clothing, which has made me completely tied to their brand.

Good brands become personal. You adopt it, defend it and sell it to others. This exactly what Esprit is to me. I love their clothes (adopt), stand tall in them and say the European style suites me the best (defend) and I’m able to sell it to others. For example, once I really nice striped long sleeve sweater one size too big from their online store, so I gave it to my brother. He asked where I got it and I told him Esprit. Now he is aware of the brand and is able to vouch for it as being good. I’ve converted him into a walking billboard of the Esprit brand. Too bad I won’t get paid from them for that.

Although e-shopping is fast and efficient on Esprit, paying the nasty duty is something I could live without. However, more importantly, the thing is is sometimes I miss going into the store and experiencing what it was like the first time I discovered the brand. A brand is about a relationship.That experience of going into the store that first time with my friend, was when I started a relationship with Esprit. The staff were friendly, and I walked out with a bunch of clothes knowing I made purchases that fit my budget. Plus, sitting on your computer buying stuff  in your basement isn’t as fun. You miss out on all the cuties at the mall.  And you can’t blame me for that can you?