I HAVE A soft spot for Sony's VAIO notebook range because they have always served me well. You can get them small and that means "perfect form factor" for nomads like me who camp out with other Bedouins in Ireland. Vic Keegan is impressed with the powerful Sony Vaio SZ2 and he cited "its facilities, including a very thin 13.3in screen, Wi-Fi, and DVD all packed into a thin case weighing just under 1.7kg (compared with a bit over 2kg for my Apple laptop with 12in screen)". For me, I've smacked around the TX2-HP, which weighs only 1.2kg with more than seven hours of battery life and fits inside my Bihn Bag.
Some features include:
- Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Intel Pentium M 733 processor, which runs at 1.1GHz and employs 2MB of L2 cache and a 400MHz front side bus.
- Only 512MB of RAM which means no gaming and slow crunching of video rendering.
- The 11.1in widescreen uses Sony's X-Black LCD technology that, at a WXGA resolution of 1,366 x 768, makes everything look super crisp.
- Come with 80GB as standard for most notebooks but I need the 100 GB option since I carry loadasa WAVs for post-production.
- The dual-format, dual layer DVD writer (Sony has managed to squeeze an optical drive into the casing) will archive up to 8.5GB of data at a time.
- Limited slots, but they work for me. Two USB, one mini Firewire where I jack the MX-20, modem, network, VGA and PC Card, SD memory card reader and Memory Stick slot.
- Baseband connection to 802.11g Wifi and Bluetooth.
- Buttons for quick access to multimedia playback and Sony's AV Mode, which boots the notebook in a Windows XP Pro-less state to access DVDs, CDs and photos in around 15 seconds.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches Ireland's first Honours Degree in Creative Multimedia on the Clonmel campus of the Tipperary Institute.]