My new workhorse, Vaio Z (3rd generation), arrived today. It is bit early to say anything conclusive yet, but mostly my first impressions are positive. The overall build quality is better than in the first generation “Z” that I have been using so far. The Full HD screen is very sharp and colours are vivid. The laptop is very light, even while after the long-duration sheet battery has been added the weight goes up a bit. The keyboard feel is pretty good even while the key travel is so short it takes some time getting used to. But luckily the “click” (tactile-auditive feedback) you get from the keys is ok.
My main concerns right now relate to the touchpad. On the other hand it is a clear upgrade from 1st generation Vaio Z’s touchpad that did not properly support multitouch. Here you can do all the scrolling and rotating gestures you most usually need. But touchpad is rather small, and most serious thing is the nonreponsive left mouse button. There must be something wrong with its mechanical construction – getting it to register button clicks is pretty frustrating hit and miss thing. Really unacceptable from a laptop of this caliber. I still need to check whether this could be something that a driver upgrade could fix.
Things that I have not yet got any chance to test include the discrete graphics chip in the Power Media Dock, in Blu-ray as well as gaming modes. It is also interesting to see how long the battery will actually last: since the sheet battery is installed on top of the regular one, there is two of them, and it seems that when the power brick is not plugged in, Z3/Win7 first starts draining the long-life battery and the regular one will stay in 100%. Sony promises 14 hours of usage, but I will see this in the real life later.
Also, I have not found yet where to insert SIM card (this thing should come with 4G/LTE mobile data module). Maybe it is buried underneath the battery compartment like in the old Z1.