My Sony Vaio is broken. Please fix it.
[Updated: Good news: Sony is sending someone to my office to replace the touch pad. Hopefully that will do the trick.] I’m going off topic here, so bear with me.
Last year I bought a Sony Vaio SZ750N for about $2,000. The specs are awesome: 13″ screen, under 4 pounds, screen just a few millimeters thick, and integrated Sprint EVDO. It’s perfect for writing on the go and connecting to a fast wireless network.
Unfortunately the computer is a lemon. It has a few problems, but the main one is the touchpad. After a couple months of using the computer, the touchpad started to go in reverse. I’d move the cursor to the right and it would go left. I’d move it up and it would go down.
A lot of people have this problem, especially with the Sony Vaio SZ series. Check out the 248 comments about this problem over at CNET.
Early fixes people tried, including sending their laptops back to Sony and having them wiped clean, were only temporary fixes. (One poor guy sent his computer back three times, was without it for 10 days as they worked on it, and the computer still isn’t fixed!) Since no one could get it fixed, I settled on a low-tech fix: learning to use the touchpad backwards. Seriously, that was how desperate I became.
That worked for awhile, until I encountered other touchpad problems people wrote about on the CNET forum. Such as my cursor on the screen wigging out. It goes out of control for about 15 seconds, jumping all over the screen and opening and closing programs. Or it just freezes up and stops working all together. Sometimes the keyboard stops working, too.
It will be hard to bring you live coverage of DOMAINfest with this problem. Or I might be giving a presentation on my laptop and suddenly the controls will freeze up — ouch.
As it turns out, the problem is likely with the hardware. The way the Sony Vaio is engineered, the touchpad gets interference. If you use an external mouse it works fine. It can be fixed, if you are willing to pry apart your computer into many pieces and add insulating tape around your touchpad. I’m serious, click the link in the last sentence to see it.
Apparently Sony finally started to pay attention to this issue. A group called “Sony Listens” pays attention to forums and posted an e-mail address on the CNET forum — firstname.lastname@example.org — for people to contact them. I e-mailed Sony Listens December 31 and haven’t heard back. Maybe they’re on vacation. But Hank, if you’re reading this, please get back to me soon at editor (at) domainnamewire.com. I’m heading out to L.A. in two weeks to cover a conference, and I won’t be pleased if I can’t use my $2,000 laptop.