The sony range of vaio's has the reputation for being well built well specced machines. They also come with the burden of being not so competitively priced. I got given my laptop due to my dyslexia and as such can't really complain about what I got. But I can be critical of it. Now the sony vaio is indeed a quality well built laptop. I'd go as far as to say that only apple better it in this respect but nobody wants one of them do they. The spec. is a p3 1GHz with 256mb of pc-133 ram, its got a mobility radeon video card and a 20gig hard drive. The spec when I bought it was pretty much top of the range and the price was relatively competitive with the other alternative which would be a Dell. I have to say I really like it, I have owned a couple of laptops before hand but the sony is a complete package. Often you find that although the system spec sounds impressive it has one fatal flaw like crap battery life, the sony doesn't. It does everything well in a light and well built chassis. Guess thats why they have the good reputation they do. The only problems I have had with this laptop are the video card, its not the most up to date mobile video card and being a laptop can't be replaced, however the latest 3XX series from sony do come with the radeon 7500 which is a great improvement. Saying that the video card performs admirably in most modern video games but does struggle on occasions. If I were to buy another laptop i'd certainly go for another sony (budget allowing). Its a really well built good all rounder, it has no major flaws and as such is a good buy for people willing to pay more for a quality product.
Okay I consider myself as pretty lucky to be given one of these sheek little numbers as a portable workstation as part of my job. This has to be one of the most gorgeous looking machines on the market at the moment, apart from the Mac's but they wont run the software I use. After the company I work for had all of our computer nicked not so long ago, we have had to buy all new stock and we got the choice as to what we wanted. So after long hours of research I decided it might be a good idea to get a laptop so that I can 1. Take my machine home and 2. If the office gets robbed again I won't loose all my work, applications, etc? So I set out on a mission to find the best laptop for the job, with a budget if £2000 I looked at the Dell Laptops and Sony machines principally because of the reputation of both companies as providing something extra to the norm. The Dell was winning right up until the moment my Boss had his new machine delivered. A Sony PCG GR215MP. That was it. I want. I want. I want. I want. Me Wantie!! I instantly forgot the Dell, I wanted one of the Sony's. Looks cool, weight is pretty low and its powerful enough to do all the job I required. Okay, Boss get me one of these I asked, Begged, Grovelled. You can't have one as you need some extra stuff as well and they need to be in your budget. We end up agreeing a compromise and I end up with a PCG GR214MP, with the docking station (its where you plug all your keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc bits in for when your in the office), a USB Hard drive and CD-Burner. Total is under £2000 so boss is happy and I'm happy as I've got a sweet machine to drool over. The Vaio PCG GR214MP is not the highest spec machine, coming as standard with P3 1Gig Processor, 256Meg Ram, 20Gig Hard Drive (Crap), 14 inch TFT Monitor, modem, network card, etc?. Waffle. It also comes as standard with Window
s XP, home or Pro the choice is yours. What I didn?t like about the installed Hardware was that the Hard drive was slip in to two separate partitions. So you have two 10 Gig hard drives not one big 20 Gig. So I had to remove XP and reformat the hard drive and then re-install XP. (Wasted and hour). The machine itself is a gorgeous silver and grey colour about 1 inch thick and 15 inches by 12 inches. On the top is the Vaio logo which is slightly indented, makes the case look cool. On the right hand side is the battery slot and on the other side is the Floppy and CD drives. The back has all the usual ports for sound, modem, network, 2 USB, printer and monitor. I bought the docking station to go with the machine which allows you to connect all you bits, monitor, keyboard, mouse and the like so that you can just clip you machine to the docking station and not have to plug in or out several wires. The docking station has all the same ports as the machine except one, which for a commercial environment is a must and that's the network port. Doh! How many times have I unplugged tha machine from the docking station and then been pulled back by the network cable which is attached to my laptop. The keyboard on the machine is sweet, it feels really nice to type on and makes a very satisfying noise when used. The touchpad mouse thingy is also a joy to use as its very smooth and the tap function makes the clicking of items easier as well. I am a bit annoyed that the wheel thing doesn't work when used whilst surfing. It doesn't scroll the page down or up but just sits there looking all shiny and silver. Sony have this little piece of software which allows you to do certain things but I didn't reinstall it after I reinstalled XP. Maybe I sould and see if it works? In general this is a superb work machine if you can afford the name, as that's what you're ultimately paying for. Its light so carrying it a long way is not a pa
in in the shoulder. The screen gives excellent colour replication and definition and is large enough for most tasks. If you have the docking station then you can run both the internal and an external monitor at the same time. The battery lasts for ages and ages, even when you push up the brightness of the monitor, must be because it's a new battery. If I had the choice of buying a laptop myself then this would be high on my wish list, however there is 2 machines even better. One with a 15 inch screen and now even a 16 inch screen. I'll have to stop typing now as I'm salivating on my keyboard! © copyright 2002, Mike Porter.