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Sony Vaio TZs Broken


Sony Vaio TZs Broken?

With the arguable exception of the Lenovo Thinkpad X300, Sony's Vaio TZ is by far the most desirable notebook available to buy. Sadly, though, anyone that bought one made since June last year will probably be troubled to hear that some units are overheating slightly.

In Sony's words:

"Recently, we became aware of a potential issue affecting the following notebook PC models, which have been available for purchase in Europe since June 2007:

  • All model numbers beginning "VGN TZ1" (e.g. VGN-TZ11XN/B)

  • All model numbers beginning "VGN TZ2" (e.g. VGN-TZ21WN/B)

  • Certain model numbers beginning "VGN TZ3" (e.g. VGN-TZ31VN/R)

The issue involves a limited number of units that, in rare cases, may generate heat around the DC jack inlet and frame of LCD screen, which creates the potential of deformation of the plastic casing".

Those customers who's systems might be affected - thank goodness it isn't all of them - can have Sony pick up, inspect, repair if needed and then return their TZs at no cost. Either calling a dedicated freephone helpline, or using an online checker will guide you through the process of arranging this free inspection.

As Sony is asking for serial numbers as part of this process it seems reasonable to assume that only certain batches are effected, so in all likelihood most owner shouldn't have anything to worry about.

It's probably worth pointing out that this problem is entirely unrelated to the much-publicised battery debacle. So, while if you're stupid enough not remove your laptop from your lap when it starts burning you could still hurt yourself, you at least aren't going to have your notebook explode in your face.

Still, as the owner of a TZ myself, I can't help but be a little bit nervous about using my system just now.

Gavin Hamer

September 4, 2008, 8:27 pm

A Sony laptop manufacturing problem? Who would've thunk it! Aside from the battery recall debacle, the hardware of Sony laptops that I've encountered has been unacceptably unreliable compared to other brands, particularly Lenovo. Admittedly we're talking tens, not hundreds, so I'm sure that somebody can find a stat to prove me wrong...


September 4, 2008, 9:31 pm

The BBC is reporting that this fault does not exist in models sold in the UK:



September 4, 2008, 10:14 pm

Well the US site was first to have the 'recall' form on it's website, shortly followed by the EU/UK one. putting in my TZ's serial number etc says it is potentially affected and can be collected by sony for a nose about


September 5, 2008, 1:02 am

I'm sending mine back. Better safe than sorry!

Paul Nicolson

September 5, 2008, 5:12 am

well at least as you point out its not done to nvidia, but that ccan still happen !!! Why hasnt it been discussed on Trusted that all laptops with the 8000 GPU and some 9000 have the fault chip material ????


September 5, 2008, 3:06 pm

In a nutshell: because Charlie Demerjian doesn't work for us.


September 5, 2008, 9:05 pm

@hugo: nice dig! and so true!

Panayiotis Kaldis

September 6, 2008, 8:09 pm

I wonder how sony fixes its quality control problems. It is a common secret that it leads the unreliability charts especially in Vaios. Sorry for the brand which made top quality Vaios some years ago.

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