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I knew i wanted a sony laptop but i only had a grand to spend, but to my amazement i found a perfect laptop for around £1000. The sony vaio FX405 has a extended 15" monitor which will cost you more but is great for watching films and viewing photos on with sonys excellent array of inbuilt software and hardware. With a 1 ghz processor it may seem to be a bit slowlow but it infact very very fast. It has 256kb of memory which can be upgraded to 512 for extended power, and comes with a standard 20 gig harddrive. The laptop uses a ATI graphics card which isnt the best but for a business laptop it is fine. The laptop is very very good looking which i believe is very important for a laptop. It is very fast and pefect for any business.
I always promised myself that one thing I would never buy was a laptop - having 2PC's at home and one in the office, connected by networking and e-mails, I didn't really need one did I? Or so I thought, I had been browsing the internet sites for a while, looking to see what was available, my hair standing on end at the very thought of some of the prices, a bog standard non-branded machine was going to set me back at least £800, there was really little hope. In my job, I spend quite a bit of time on the road, and an incident a few weeks ago 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 still promised myself I would never do, buy a lap-top. The big question was, Could I really justify the expenditure? and if I am honest, the answer really was no. I wanted a CD-rewriter a large processor, and something lightweight into the bargain. Restricted by lack of time I guessed I would have to struggle on, but of course, I forgot about the pending bank holiday, which meant for me, a day off. I had intended to spend the whole day studying and working on my thesis, but the weather was so nice. I just had to get out, with the original intention being to get 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, I ended up buying a second computer for for my daughter, so it was only to be expected that I would end up buying something, yep, you've guessed it, a Sony Vaio PCG-FX405. After all my doubts about money and the cost of the machines, this was 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. My partner tried the haggling bit as we were getting the shop model, and instead (thats how good he is), I ended up purchasing an extended three year warranty for £100 less than the normal price of £360, and if I did this then the manager would thrown in a carry case, power surge 4 plug extension lead, data transfer cable and a USB Roller Mouse. I was also offered 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 the 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 or so after the end of the interest free period, thus you could 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, · 20Mb Hard drive (2 individual 10Mb discs) · 256 MbRAM, · A CD Re-writer combined with - · A DVD Player (this can be plugged into wide screen player just like a normal player - or even watched on the TFT screen) · Audio CD player (built in speakers) · Windows XP Home Edition · Data Transfer cables · Network point and 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 p
ort 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 battery 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 T
HINK? 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 am still getting used to the new location of the Home/End Buttons and Page down/Up etc - a couple of times I have found myself in the wrong place in documents, but this is just familiarisation and will settle down eventually. The keyboard is surprisingly nice to type on compared to other laptops I have tried, I make use of my 'free' roller mouse, but the machine does have its own touch pad, with two buttons just like a normal mouse. 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. I can't yet fully vouch for robustness and durability, 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 Sue