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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sony VAIO TZ Ultraportable Review

Published August 25, 2008 at 01:16:14 PM, by Victor Lin

Design & Features

Sony's newest ultra portable laptop is as light as air. With its amazingly thin and light design, the TZ laptop is definitely for the mobile user. It has a stylish design, from the green power button to the carbon fiber casing. On paper and in pictures, there's nothing not to like about the TZ from top to bottom!

The design of the TZ is truly breath taking. The TZ is incredibly light and thin with a weight around 2.65 lbs (when equipped with SSD) and a thickness of less than 2 inches.

The left side houses the power port, ventilation exhaust, 2 USB ports, while the other side sports the monitor output, DVD drive and power button. The signature left side charge, right side enable remains on the TZ.

Our review model had a carbon fiber casing that makes the TZ look like a piece of modern art.

To accentuate the design even further, the keyboard bezel has a glossy, piano finish. Unlike most laptop keyboards, however, the TZ has raised keys.

Furthermore, the keys are spaced out, which surprisingly doesn't hinder typing. Unfortunately since the keys are so small, it can be difficult to type; especially for people with big hands.

The main design concern I had when using the TZ was the noise. The laptop had a constant hum that was apparent when in a quiet room. The hard drive wouldn't make any noise given it is an SSD, but it might have been due to a constantly running fan since the laptop never got hot at all.

The model tested had a 1.33 GHz Ultra Low Voltage Intel Core 2 Duo CPU coupled with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM and a high tech new 64 GB SSD. All of these components helped to give the TZ its lightweight and incredibly thin design, not to mention incredible battery life (more on that later).

Also included is an integrated wireless card for Sprint's broadband service, which runs on the fast EVDO revision A network. To encourage usage, the TZ comes with a 1-month free subscription to Sprint's service. Aside from Sprint's mobile service, the TZ also offers support for 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth.

It also comes with a DVDRW drive and 2.0 mega pixel MotionEye camera integrated into the LCD screen. While not quite as stripped as the MacBook Air, the TZ doesn't overwhelm with connectivity. You've got VGA output, 2 USB, LAN, dial-up, Firewire, and SD/Memorystick slot as well as audio and mic jacks.

While the laptop itself is a little over 1" thin, the screen itself is nearly paper-thin. The display maxes out at 1366x768 and thanks in part to the XBRITE technology the colors are bright and vivid. We were overall very pleased with the screen, but it remains to be seen how durable something that thin could possibly be.


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