Product Type: Sony laptops
Newest Review: ... is a bit limiting. It comes with a reasonable amount of extra kit, a useful DVD-RW drive and 3 USB ports (only 2 of which are 2.0 I thi... more
Vaio laptop with excellent screen and good build quality.
Sony Vaio GRT915M
Author Name: Gareth Young
Sony Vaio GRT915M
Advantages: Bright, vibrant screen, reasonable processing, good connectivity features, reliable.
Disadvantages: Appalling battery life, below average onboard graphics, useless bundled software.
I've had this laptop for about four years now and it has served me fairly well. I haven't had any significant problems with it, other than the fact that either I or my vendor have put in a BIOS password which has now been forgotten, and resetting this is difficult.
The screen is its strong point, an excellent quality screen that is vibrant and bright, although the maximum res of 1024x768 is a bit limiting.
It comes with a reasonable amount of extra kit, a useful DVD-RW drive and 3 USB ports (only 2 of which are 2.0 I think). The on-board wireless networking is useful and works well, other features that I've not used include firewire and a sony memory stick drive. The lack of a serial port could annoy some users.
I've also set this up with a Linux kernel - difficulties here involve changing the brightness of the display (done in XP by specialist sony software) and changing the volume (for the same reasons). I had to NDISwrap the wireless driver to get that to work.
The 0.5 gig of RAM is reasonable, but annoyingly comes in 2x256M modules so you have to change both to get more memory.
Build quality is reasonable - its been fairly badly abused in my working life and still looks good and works OK. Its lost a couple of rubber feet on the bottom and thats it really.
Bundled software is crap - I uninstalled most of it straight away and replaced it with more useful, often free software.
Downsides are really poor battery life - don't use this for more than 30 minutes away from AC, and sub-standard onboard graphics even for its day - 64MB of video RAM means a lot of games won't run very well on this machine's lovely screen.
Not a bad buy overall, its served and is serving its purpose well, but possibly a little overpriced. May have got better value for money elsewhere.
Summary: Probably not great value for money compared to some competitors, but not a bad laptop to buy either.
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