The Vaio Z Canvas vs Surface Pro 4 – The Best Laptop for College Students in 2017

– The Ultimate Showdown of 2 in 1 laptops –

Like most college students, my budget is always on my mind. I took a lot of time looking for the perfect laptop. There are so many things to think about, like what will I really need for school, and how am I going to use it? What kind of things will I need after college? Is there some way to get one computer that’ll work now and later so I don’t have to plan on buying something right after I graduate? I narrowed my search down to the Vaio Z Canvas and the Surface Pro 4.

Both are 2-in-1 computers that work as a laptop and a notebook. They’re about the same price—around $2,000—have the same amount of RAM (expandable in both computers), and run Windows 10. (**Update** Now get the Sony V Canvas for only $1,269! and the Surface Pro 4 for $999!)  I discovered that the Vaio Z Canvas has quad processor, a huge step-up over the Surface Pro’s dual processor—It is nearly as powerful as my massive home desktop. The Sony VAIO Z Canvas may have a 1.2″ smaller screen than the Microsoft Surface Book, but the smaller laptop has a -6% higher pixel-per-inch count, which means a sharper display. The VAIO Canvas is a 12.3 inch tablet with a detached keyboard and a stylus pen, whose design mimics the Surface Pro almost identically. At 2.67 pounds, the VAIO is almost a full pound heavier than the 1.76lb Surface Pro 4, although it’s still lightweight enough for that extra pound to make little difference when using it on a daily basis.



Just like the Surface Pro 4, the VAIO Z Canvas integrates an Intel Iris Graphics GPU, however, the Surface Pro 4 features a higher resolution 2736 x 1824 pixels touchscreen than the 2560 x 1704 on the VAIO Z Canvas, although it’s unlikely that a little over 100 pixels will make a difference for most users.


Ports: VAIO Z Canvas

  • The Surface Pro 4 integrates one USB 3.0 port, while the VAIO Z Canvas features two USB 3.0 ports, one of which can be used to recharge the tablet.
  • The VAIO also features one HDMI port, and a mini DisplayPort output, as well as a LAN port for wired network communication. By comparison, the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t have an HDMI port, but it features a Surface Connect port, which can be used to expand the number of ports, by connecting it to a Surface Dock, which allows to connect to up to two 4K displays, and four USB accessories and peripherals.

I needed a computer that’s tough enough to go from class, to the dorm, to the library without batting an eye. I needed something that can stand-up to the wear-and-tear of keeping up with me, handle the workload of all the papers, research, and everything else I do, not to mention something that will look good doing it. I mean, who wants to carry around a clunky computer. The Vaio Z Canvas is a sexy, sleek computer that’s easy to carry and strong enough to handle whatever I throw at it.

And, who wants to spend money on a tablet and a laptop? Thanks to OneNote, notes taken on a 2-in-1 computer like these handwritten notes taken in class can be converted to searchable text so I never need to deal with lost notes again! The Vaio Z Canvas has OneNote, and a detachable keyboard that charges when attached to tablet or via micro USB. That makes it perfect for taking notes in class.


But, for me, the  Vaio Z Canvas is the true winner. I love graphic design, filmmaking, and photography, and the Vaio is like a sexy, portable workstation. The faster processor of the Vaio works so much better with my design software. I tested both computers, and there was a lag with the Surface Pro 4 that just wasn’t there with the Vaio Z Canvas. Being able to see what you’re doing, as you’re doing it is a huge deal for me, and that was the ultimate tie-breaker.


Needless to say, the Vaio Z Canvas was the perfect choice for me. The sleek design, the processing speed, and the ability to use it as a tablet or a laptop were exactly what I was looking for. Check out the Vaio Z Canvas, you won’t be disappointed.

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