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Sony Vaio TZ31XN/B

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      24.01.2009 09:52
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      Netbook killer

      Ok, first off I'm actually writing about the Sony Vaio TZ31MN - the main difference between the two, being that the one I am writing about does not have a finger print scanner.

      With the current obsession of <£300 "Netbooks" I was drawn to look into these tiny machines promising ultimate portability without sacrificing performance. Sadly, It became apparent that most of these cheap netbook's do not live up to their promises. Here steps in the Vaio TZ range.

      The Vaio TZ is the successor to the TX series and has since been succeeded by the TT series. Don't be fooled into thinking that these "dated" machines can't hold their own however. There are a number of models in the TZ series, and the release of the TT series has pushed the prices of these machines down to around £1000 new or £700 used.

      Specifications include
      1.06ghz to 1.33 ghz dual core processors
      2gb of ram
      100gb hard disk
      dvd-rw
      11.1" screen
      fingerprint scanner security (on some models)
      N-class wireless

      Any tech-savy person can immediately see the benefits of this machine over a "netbook" machine; sure the price is dramatically more, but this really is a case of you get what you pay for.
      The core2duo based processor even at a mere 1.06ghz is considerably faster than the atom based netbooks, despite
      the atoms clock speed advantage, and dual core means multi-tasking is not a problem.
      Paired with 2gb of ram the overall performance is spectacular for
      such a small machine.
      100 GB of hard disk means plenty room for your files, and the dvd writer is a surprising and very welcome addition on such a
      small machine.
      For those security concious, some of the high models include
      a finger print reader as an alternative to passwords - something typically seen on business laptops.

      I've saved the best things about this machine for last:

      The keyboard - The keys are separated much like the keys on the macbooks; this makes typing on the (near full size) keyboard a doddle. It may look odd, but dont knock it till you've tried it!

      The battery life - I don't know quite how to say this, my last laptop achieved maybe 2-2.5 hours on a full charge, and that
      was with the screen so dim you could barely read it, We've all done it. The Vaio TZ, on a full charge, will go for 8 hours or more! And that's with a reasonable screen brightness and actually using it!

      Finally - The screen - although just 11.1 inches, but with an incredible resolution of 1366x768, (yes thats 720 HD on an 11 inch screen!) is truly amazing! Its so bright, and very crisp, probably the best LCD I've ever seen!

      So to wrap the Vaio TZ is an awesome bit of kit, I whole heartedly recommend a purchase. When you are able to pick one of these up used for around £700 if you want portability you really cant do any better!

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    • Product Details

      The VAIO TZ series lets you enjoy premium mobility, power and style thanks to the Intel technology inside. The luxuriously sleek and ultra-portable VAIO TZ notebook boasts an incredibly small and lightweight form-factor that features an especially robust carbon-fiber casing for enhanced durability.