* Prices may differ from that shown
I got my first laptop (Toshiba) in 1997 during my business trip to the US (Los Angeles) and it broke down after 4 years due to the leak from the internal battery which caused damage to the board. In 2002, I decided to purchase another laptop but this time, a second hand unit from a friend who happened to work with Acer in Australia. Until now its still working, however, it always hang-up especially when two or more programs are opened at the same time. Another problem is the battery (unplug/not charging) which could only last for 30 minutes! Finally, I thought that this is the right time to buy an excellent model and could somehow a big help in my current research.
Recently, after so many advices from close friends and several attempts to purchase a new unit on-line from various distributors and manufacturers, I decided to buy a SONY VAIO VGN-TX2XP in DIXONS (inside the duty free area of Manchester Airport Terminal 3). Since it is tax free, the notebooks price is £1,497.86 (high street price is almost £1,700), inclusive of 1 year warranty. I arranged the purchase thru telephone (or could be done on-line www.dixonstaxfree.co.uk) before my departure from Manchester Airport and presented the boarding pass to pay/claim the unit. Fortunately, I was also able to arrange for the 12-hour charging of the battery prior to my purchase to ensure that I could use it immediately in the airport while waiting for my connecting flights to the US.
Acquiring a new notebook by SONY is something that I give myself a big smile! Frankly, it is my dream to have a dependable, efficient, compact, handy/portable and wireless notebook that I can bring anywhere I go especially during school vacation and long weekends. And one more thing, a notebook that can really works under pressure.
By the way, the US model comparable to this unit is VGN-TX750P/B which has a suggested retail price of $2,299.99 (approx £1,700), w/o tax. There might be people (from UK) who want to buy it in the US; I recommend buying it here or in Europe for warranty services and the right system for the DVD player (wherein UK has different region classification from the US, thus DVDs from here will not work with DVD players brought from the US, or vice-versa).
Prior to my purchase, I already came up with basic requirements that suit my computing needs. These basic considerations include portability, speed, upgrade ability, the processor/hard drive, wireless feature, and the DVD/CD functions. So now, I will list down the reasons why I settled down with SONY VAIO VGN-TX2XP (black)!
***SONY VAIO VGN-TX2XP SPECS***
1. Memory, Capacity and Processor/System
This is the primary consideration in buying a notebook which really affects the market value of the unit. The installed type of processor is:
- Intel Pentium M753 Processor Ultra Low Voltage, with 1.2 GHz processor speed and front side bus speed of 400 MHz,
- 0.99 GB of RAM, and 2MB of cache memory.
- The hard drive is 80GB with 4200rpm speed.
Having these specs, it is faster to navigate on-line, storing documents and graphics, and most especially for restoring my photos from my digital camera, and downloaded/transferred music from CDs or on-line. I could download additional software in the system as well. The pre-installed operating system includes the ff:
-Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003 (Service pack 2)Microsoft Works 8
- Norton AntiVirus, Norton Ghost 10,
- Skype, Roxio DigitalMedia,
- Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, Adobe Acrobat Elements, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4
- And all the VAIO club members support utilities.
The MS Office and Works is on 60-days trial (inclusive of the trial key/code) , including the Norton Antivirus and Norton Ghost 10 with limited months. I already downloaded a back-up of MS Office processor MS Works Suite 2004 (licensed), and it is easy to download free anti-virus software in the internet.
Manuals for warranty agreement, license agreement, recovery guide, regulation and trouble shooting guides are also provided translated in 6 languages including English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian and German.
2. Display/Screen and Dimension
- body colour is black of high-tech carbon fibre chassis,
- total weight of 2.76 lbs (1.25 kg) including the weight of the standard battery,
- dimension: 10.7(W) X 0.83-1.12 (H) X 7.7 (D).
- keyboard has 82 keys with 1.7mm stroke and 17mm pitch with touch pad
- screen size is about 11.1 with razor-thin panel
- total resolution of 1366X768 using a XBRITE LED technology.
Having this dimension, it is very easy to carry and place it in an ordinary bag pack or a notebook lip case (£60) which is also available in the store. The size sometimes matter especially if you are travelling abroad and hand-carry baggage is limited. Having this notebook, it does not need additional hand-carry bag; instead you can slip it in your shoulder bag or back pack. Take note, with the current security measure in the airport, this notebook will not give you a problem during inspection! I brought it during my summer trip to the US this year.
To maintain the good condition of the touch pad, I also suggest buying an extra USB port hub/terminal for the wireless mouse especially if you are working at home or office (with table and more space). But if you are working on field or just sitting down (with no arm chair), then the touch pad is much more appropriate to use. Since I really take good care of this unit, I also bought a cleaning kit (anti-static, no alcohol and no ammonia type of cloth/swab) for the LCD screen and keyboard.
3. Optical Drive and Multimedia Card Reader
There are expansion slots for multimedia card reader covering various memory stick functionality (SD PRO and Duo), PCMCIA type I and II card slot with CardbBus support. For the optical drive features are listed below:
Double layer DVD+/- RW(max)
CD-ROM/-R read 24x CD-R write 24x
CD-RW read 12x CD-RW write 10x
DVD-R read 4x DVD-R write 4x
DVD-RW/+RW read 4x VD-RW write 2x
DVD-RW read 2x DVD+RW write 2.4x
DVD-RAM read 2x DV+R write 4x
4. Audio, Graphics, Input/Output and Networking
The processor is Intel Graphics Media Accelator(GMA) 900 and the video RAM is 128M using a Intel 915 GMS chipset and a dynamic video memory technology 3.0
- It has a sound card (external connector) and external connector/microphone for audio output.
- It has also a modem/fax functionality with 56 kbps maximum transfer rate (built-in V.92/V.90).
- Its wireless LAN feature has the ff specs:
IEEE (802.11b/g std, using an Intel PRO/wireless 2200BG Network connection
- Integrated wireless wide area network (WAN),
Frequency band: 2.4 GHz ISM, Speed (1): max Mbps(b)/max 54 Mbps(g)
- including an integrated Bluetooth technology 2.0.
Being wireless, it is very easy to have access/connection to both secured and unsecured connections like in airports and bus stations, or even coffee shops. It has also 2 USB ports (2.0 compliant) with type A connector
If you want to enhance the sound while using your media/DVD/CD player, I suggest to use an external speakers not expensive one (approx £15-20).
It has a maximum battery life of 7 hrs. Frankly, I was not sure about this, so I decided to use it for the whole day and it stayed for almost 7.5 hours. The lithium-ion battery is rechargeable. Other accessories include: AC adapter and power cord. One of the salient features of this notebook is that you can set the time for hibernation while not in use, or just close the cover/screen and the screen automatically shut-off. It does not totally shutting down/power-off, instead you have to push the power button to reactivate the windows and the programs you previously used. If it is not plug to the power supply, the screen is a little bit dim as to save the battery life.
6. CLUB VAIO Membership
This is a special support to Vaio users that other notebook/computer providers dont offer. The registration provides with personalised customer support, source of updates and in case of emergency option. This is also a place where members could find creative and imaginative people and share their interests and enthusiasms through the use of Sony Vaio. If you have queries concerning installation, operating system, donwloading, etc., you can easily get feedbacks from members.
IN CONCLUSION, the SONY VAIO VGN-TX2XP is really an excellent companion. This is the right choice for the right time - from wireless connectivity to high performing graphics, and powerful processors to innovative software. It is truly indeed a VALUE FOR MONEY!