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Being on the road a lot with my job, Tuesday made me realise that I was struggling, jumping from meeting to meeting, running home and back to colleagues’ houses in order to print out relevant materials, I finally realised that the time had come to do something I always promised myself I would never do, buy a lap-top. I spent a few days surfing all the electrical sites but the prices for what I wanted were flabbergasting – could I really justify the expenditure? I wanted a CD-rewriter a large processor, and something lightweight into the bargain. Well stilted by lack of time I guessed I would have to struggle on, but of course, I forgot it was Good Friday, which meant for me, a day off. I had intended to spend the whole day studying, but the weather was so lovely, I just had to get out. The original intention was to go buy a Turkey for Sunday lunch as my parents were coming to dinner, but as the local roads were so quiet, I persuaded my other half that we really wanted a trip to my local new all interactive Comet Store – bad move, last time I went there to help my father chose a new printer, so it was only to be expected that I would end up buying something, yep, you’ve guessed it, a Sony Vaio FX405. Probably one of the most expensive machines in the store, so what swayed me? Well firstly, the machine is being discontinued, in Comet speak this generally means discount in sizeable chunks off the ticket price (I bought both my computers in the same manner). On this occasion, 20% to be exact which on a £1,400 machine meant £280 off. I tried the haggling bit, and instead, I ended up purchasing an extended three year warranty for £100 less than the normal price (£360), for which the store threw in a carry case, power surge extension lead and a USB Mouse – they did offer me a free printer but as I already have two I decided to give this one a miss. In addition to the discount, this was one of t
he few machines that COMET were offering 12 months interest free credit. Translated, this meant a 10% deposit, a monthly payment of c£30 and then the balance payable by 22nd May 2003, if for any reason you don’t pay the balance off within that time, then you will be stitched up for interest at 29.9%APR and will end up paying the product off over the next 4 years, thus you would end up paying well over double the price of the initial product. SO WHAT DID I GET FOR MY MONEY? A Sony laptop with · 1 Gig AMD Athlon 4 processor, · 20Gig Hard drive (actually 2 individual 10Gig discs) · 256 MbRAM, · A CD Re-writer · A DVD Player (this can be plugged into wide screen player just like a normal player – or even watched on the screen) · Audio CD player (built in speakers) · Windows XP Home Edition · Data Transfer cables · Network card · 15” inch visible TFT screen · Built in V90 modem · Telephone Port · Free AOL Trial (as if I haven’t got enough of these already) · 2 USB Ports · Parallel port for Printer/Scanner · Serial port to link to an additional monitor – (although believe me with this little beauty you will not need it). · 3 year extended warranty that covers me for accidental damage (something I have never considered before – but as this little beauty is going to be coming everywhere with me, on this occasion it seemed like a chance worth taking). · Standard battery power is 1 hour 15 minutes, not very long compared to many of the other machines on the market, but apparently the bigger the processor the more power it uses, hence the short life-time. There is however a slot to insert and charge a second battery pack – don’t know the price of these yet) – the battery can be charged whilst not in use, or whilst you are using the machine – I did a little experiment where I charged the bat
tery up fully and then started the machine without mains connection – it used 5% of the power – but did tell me that I had nearly two hours power left – so I guess time will tell how this develops. ·A moveable mouse pad and proper mouse buttons on the machine (there is also the facility to double click on the mouse-pad to make selections), although thankfully there is a USB port to which a mouse can be connected. SOFTWARE · Windows XP – some software discs don’t seem to like this as apparently they need digital signatures, the machine has crashed on me twice, but I am getting used to this and beginning to think it is me rather than the machines, or hence just a failing with PC’s · Sonic Stage Media Player · Acrobat Reader 5 (can be downloaded FOC anyway) · A load of Sony software for digital imaging, scanning etc (not really of much use to someone like me) but could certainly be useful for the industry in which I work So as you can see, not a lot with the software that wasn’t included with XP (something else I said I didn’t like), but I am afraid I have very quickly become a convert. SO WHAT DO I THINK? This little beauty could very easily end up replacing one of my desktop machines, it is sleek fast and I am totally in love – my only gripe is that the keyboard doesn’t have a proper number pad – although it does have the facility to change the main keyboard into something similar. I have never liked laptops, always found the mouse difficult to use and the keyboard difficult to type on, but this is NICE, very very nice- although I guess for the money it should be – all I have to do now is pay for it. It also means I can do my work wherever I fancy – which on a Sunday night is always in front of the TV – until now it has been either/or. Naturally, I can't vouch for robustness and durabili
ty, but the machine seems fairly sturdy, with this only time will tell through the longevity of the machine - any bad experiences, I will update. TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE - £1,382
The VAIO all-in-one FX Series notebooks provide everything you need in a notebook without any of those excess connections, making travel easy and convenient! Bring the ultimate power, performance and network connectivity of a Sony VAIO into your itinerary with Sony's popular FX Series notebooks.
The VAIO all-in-one solution is the true desktop replacement for anyone. The FX Series offers lightning-fast processors, roomy hard drives, and plenty of RAM! And, you can even make your own movies. The i.LINK interface lets you download images from compatible Sony camcorders or cameras for extra fun on the road. The VAIO all-in-one FX Series provides everything you need in a notebook, making your life easy and convenient whether you're on the road or at home.