Having already owned both the Sony Vaio Picturebook PCG-C1X (266Mhz) and the PCG-C1XS (P2/400Mhz), I eagerly awaited for Sony to release the new PCG-C1VN model. While I was initially leary of the use of the Transmeta Crusoe chip, I figured Sony must know what they are doing. Big mistake! The new machine, while faster in megahertz (400 vs. 600), the new Picturebook is actually SLOWER than the older Pentium II-400Mhz model! (I would estimate about 15-20%; I could actually see the machine pause and think while it did it's internal conversion to Intel instructions). Yes, it does get a little faster on repetitive tasks, but still painfully slow. Again, while on paper the C1VN is a better bargain (128MB RAM vs 64MB; 8MB Video RAM vs. 2.5MB on the C1XS), you don't get a bundled USB floppy like the C1XS. Something to think about if this is important to you. Another minor flaw is the use of Windows ME vs Windows 98. Klunky! (why no Windows 2000 Sony?) In the end, I ended up returning the C1VN. It's a shame. Overall, it's a great machine. Small, compact, excellent 8.4" Wide-TFT screen, Trackpoint-like pointing device (listen here ThinkPad users), built-in camera (though the use of it grows old after awhile). Battery life was about 25% longer with the standard Lithium battery included. If you're just using it for email, maybe you'll be able to deal with the lag delays in processing, then it would make an excellent traveling companion. Otherwise, I'd recommend either finding a discontinued C1XS or waiting till Sony and/or Tranmeta works out the processor performance issues. Recommended Yes Amount Paid (US$): 2295.00 Operating System: Windows Processor: Other Processor speed: 501-600 RAM: 128 Hard Drive (GB): 9-12
SONY PCG-C1XD Description: VAIO laptop from SONY in their VAIO lilac colour – barely larger than A5 size, an inch which, with a built in camera. 64Mb RAM, Widescreen TFT and a PII 400Mhz, !2Gb of HDD space. OS: It is shipped with 98SE with a lot of OS dependant gadget drivers that come with it. The nice touch is the two CD’s that come with it – which will very quickly return your machine to the status it was shipped in from boot. Great idea – but hang on …. Where is the CDROM drive?! Ah – here you have an issue – it is shipped with a floppy drive USB, and that is it. I am fortunate enough to have access to the CDROM PCMCIA that comes with the bigger machines – but access to a network card is a MUST for any kind of network connection – so you can get CDR’s on – and access the net. Support: Standard of SONY support is not a favourite of mine – and not all that reliable – it will normally give you a very terse yes or no – and a ‘SONY do not make it policy to…’. But that is only my experience. If you stick with the software it is shipped with then there are no doubt no issues : ) Advantages: Wow cool – how small is this – it rattles around in my laptop bag! There is also a camera built in to the top – I had not mentioned that yet – the resolution is pants, and I am convinced it’s most practical use is occasionally draining the battery completely! More seriously it is a handy gadget – very handy, and discrete as well ; ) The resolution is crappy – but it will take 640x480’s quite happily – just at the sort of grain level you would expect from a camera with a 5mm lens. Size – oh damn, already mentioned that – maybe you are getting the point now. Built in IR, USB, two SONY proprietary connectors of little use to me, a PCMCIA slot.
Oh – and gets very warm, and blows out loads of hot air (like a few people I know)…. Great on a cold day commuting. Wide screen format makes the best of the format of the device. Disadvantages: Battery life is poor, even more poor with the CD attached, or the camera running. Or is that poorer? Well – means the same thing : TAKE THE CHARGER WITH YOU. The charger is smaller and better made than the more serious VAIO’s – but is no way compatable – so the idea of one at home one at work is out of the window already. Best Bit: Functionality in a small place. Although it does not have a serial connection – you have everything you need in SUCH a small package…. Being a sys. admin – it has been great for walking into a data centre, holding a net meeting session – and telneting into a box with a power lead, and a network connection – TOTALLY COOL. Of course this has home ideals as well for when the missus don’t like you hiding away – grab a wander lead, and work discretely from the sofa ; ) Worst Bit: Hitting the left click with your thumb when you are typing – it’s in pretty close quarter to the space bar – no one likes to suddenly start writing in the subject bar suddenly…. It took me a while to figure out what was going on! WHAT IT IS NOT: It is not a high speed machine – the 64Mb of RAM make it sluggish with all the extra drivers it bears. It is also not to be confused with the models with the smaller HDD’s, or the crappy Trans Meta CPU versions which have a better battery life and less reliability. Cheers – hope that helps Ant
Have you ever seen it? I have been using one for the last few weeks (unfortunatelly I have to give it back to my boss) and I must say, if you have a PC at work, this is the best laptop to have. The screen is a bit too small, but you get easily used to it, the keyboard is just the right size, and the camera... oh the camera... you can take pictures anywhere (without being noticed) and send it to anyone by email. The vaio is a concept computer, where you have all the PC stuff with a small camera on top. The HD is not too big, but you if you have another PC, you can transfer the stuff quite easily. The processor is quite fast (P2 400mhz), and the only bad thing is the quality of image from the camera. Ok It's not perfect, but it is VERY cool. You have all the ports to hook up anything you like, and it is so light and small you can put it on your back pocket (well almost). The only bad thing is that it does not come with MS Office, just Word, but you have a 1.2 giga HD, which is not too big, but you can easily fit a few more applications.