If No Z Canvas 2nd Ed, Is There A Logical Alternative?

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by Steve S, Jan 30, 2017.

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  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Although hope knows no boundaries, eventually one needs to be prepared to cope with reality. It seems like FenderP has collected some potentially significant indications that the ZC is a one-and-done device.

    So if that turns out to be true, what would be the logical alternative? My sense is that those of us who own ZCs have a holistic appreciation for the sum of its capabilities (of course) but I also sense that certain capabilities mean more to some of us than to others.

    It sounds like FenderP would migrate to something that featured portable computing power while Marty, and others, might look for a well-integrated, artist-friendly device.

    So if there turns out to be no Z Canvas 2nd Edition, what do you see as a logical alternative? What would you choose and why?
     
  2. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    For artists, the MobileStudio Pro is the natural choice, and Wacom finally made a product without parallax and without edge drift (and with quiet fans), so everything that made the Vaio better has been caught up with, except the quad-core processor.

    For note-takers, there's a large variety, but nothing with as powerful a processor and quiet fans as the Vaio. The Thinkpad X1 Yoga, Elitebook x360 1030 G2, Transformer 3 Pro, and Miix 720 are all high-end options with pretty good designs, though I've heard bad things about the T3P's fan noise, and the Yoga and Elitebook are bigger and heavier (but have a built-in keyboard).

    The Miix 720 is the most similar device, and a 7th-gen dual-core U CPU probably matches a 4th-gen quad-core HQ CPU in most tasks except the most demanding. There's no info about the display's color gamut which leads me to suspect it barely covers sRGB, and we won't know how noisy the fans are until it's released.
     
  3. FenderP

    FenderP Scribbler - Standard Member

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    No question it is the Panasonic XZ. It bests the SB in design, smaller, lighter, good battery life, tablet cooling similar to ZC (how effective remains to be seen). Only real negative is the 7600U. Screen was much better than what Pana usually uses.
     
  4. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think the closest alternative to the ZC is still the i7 SP4, or probably the upcoming SP5.

    Besides great engineering of the basics, with a good display, many ports and good thermal engineering, keeping the CPU cool AND the fans silent, the ZC's main benefit is its quad-core CPU with Iris Pro graphics. It is still unique in that regard, but the only other tablets with at least non-Pro/Plus Iris graphics are the i7 SP4 and the MSP. MS is much better than Wacom at thermal engineering, so the SP4 comes closer to Vaio's cooling.

    Big 360°-hinge devices like the X1 Yoga or Elitebook x360 1030 G2 or detachables with "necessary" keyboard docks like the SB can offer a lot but I wouldn't take those as direct alternatives since the form factor is too different.

    The Panasonic XZ is basically a shrunken down version of the non-dGPU SB with the same issue of a tiny battery in the tablet (15Wh on the Panasonic XZ tablet vs. 18Wh on the SB's clipboard).

    The Transformer 3 Pro was a badly engineered/manufactured disappointment and judging by reviews of the very similar Miix 510, the Miix 720 is probably going to be a disappointment in both performance (throttling) and battery life at least.

    I think for 2017, the SP5 is probably the most likely to at least partially fulfill our desires...
     
  5. FenderP

    FenderP Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That's like saying McDonald's has a better hamburger than the one I make. The SP line gets very hot when pushed. SP line is inferior in every way in ports. So how is it even close? Oh, it's not.

    Incorrect. There are two versions of the XZ: one with a S battery in the tablet, one with a L, and then you have removable battery options in the base (again, S and L). The L I believe is about 5+ hours, so roughly the same as the ZC. With the keyboard and its battery, you can get better life than the SB from the specs. The design of the tablet piece is very close to the ZC.
     
  6. FenderP

    FenderP Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Marty likes this.
  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...NAVY BLUE!..>>

    ...Actually, I kind of like it...!
     
  8. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    During the holidays, Vaio sold special editions of its devices in a variety of colors. You laugh, but appearance is important. I really wanted the Fujitsu T904 Red Edition, but it was only available with an i5 and I wanted the i7. Now I know that the performance difference is marginal, and I would have gotten it when I had the chance. Look at the U904 red edition. It's so... RED.
    [​IMG]
    It's a shame Fujitsu abandoned the aluminum chassis... and glass touchpad... and WQHD display... and Wacom EMR... and everything that separated the T904/T935/T936 from other convertibles, that now outperform it in every spec at a lower price.
     
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  9. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I didn't write that the SP4 comes close, but that it is the "closest" alternative. Since there is nothing else like the ZC, I would still argue that of all the distant runner-ups, the i7 SP4 is still leading that pack.

    I overlooked that the XZ has battery options not just in the base but also in the tablet. Good thinking by Panasonic.
    So the rated capacities on the XZ are:

    Tablet with S battery: 13.5Wh (7.6V x 1770mAh)
    Tablet with L battery: 26.9Wh (7.6V x 3540mAh)
    Base with S battery: 22.0 Wh (7.6V x 2600mAh)
    Base with L battery: 39.5 Wh (7.6V x 5200mAh)

    Panasonic rates the Tablet S battery at 4.5h and the Tablet L at 9h, but I guess those are typically quite "optimistic" since the max 26.9Wh battery in the tablet is roughly 2/3 of what a typical 12" tablet has. And with both L batteries, at 66.4Wh the battery capacity sits between the ZC (63Wh) and the SB with performance base (80Wh, 18+62).
    https://translate.google.com/transl...c-club.panasonic.jp/pc/xz/spec.html#spec_high

    Sadly, while the dock of the Panasonic XZ has ports galore, the tablet portion offers only USB-C. So for me, with the keyboard base the XZ is the winner in terms of usability/features, while the SP4 wins with regard to performance.

    Since we had some VAIO design philosophy articles a while back, here is something similar for the XZ (in a crude JP>EN translation):
    https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=http://ec-club.panasonic.jp/pc/sp/xz_interview/vol1.html&edit-text=
     
  10. FenderP

    FenderP Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've not only seen all that, I've played with it in Yodobashi. First, don't get hung up on specs. Just because the battery life total may be less than the SB, remember it's not a 13.3, yadda yadda. Having owned many Panasonic machines at this point, their estimate of 9/18h is probably not terribly off. I'd say it's probably 7/15 or 16.

    You missed the fact that the USB-C is Thunderbolt, so it can be expanded easily to do real things. It's not a charge port. The AC adapter hooks in on the bottom.

    How will the current SP4 beat the XZ in performance? The newer processor in the XZ, 16GB, 1TB, etc. There's no basis for what you're saying. Now, if the SP5 has a 7650 and not a 7600, sure, it'll be a little better but not much. And I've seen good procs hobbled. It depends on design. I felt MS screwed up with the SP3 and 4 for performance. Both are laggy and sluggish to me. When I played with the XZ, it was snappy. No SP has ever felt snappy. Granted, I was not running VMs, but even on normal stuff it wasn't sluggish. The ZC was a tad quicker, but hey, quad core.

    I'm sorry but the SP line is a big fail from my perspective. The SB is also a pretty poor design in my eyes.
     
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