New Sony Ultraportable ... Opinions?

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Original poster
I was reading the review of the new ultraportable from Sony, and I thought the specs were rather nice. Of course it doesn't run OS X, lets make that clear. But OSs aside ... do you think it's a nice ultraportable? If only Apple could makes something like this ... ^_~


Sony VAIO VGN TX670P
C|Net Review

1.2GHz Intel Pentium M 753 processor w/ 266 MHz DDR RAM
11.1" LCD (1368x768) w/ 128 MB shared (Intel 915 chipset)
Integrated Dual-Layer DVD+/-R/RW burner (tray-load)
2 USB 2.0, 4-pin FireWire, VGA, PCI Express, SD, etc
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, BT, Ethernet, Modem, Cellular Wi-Fi
6-8 hours battery life standard (as tested by C|Net)
10.75" x 7.65" x 0.9", 2.8 lb (3.5 lb w/ AC adapter)​
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,492
402
visiting from downstream
The keyboards on the Sony T-series are (1) crap and (2) too small to type on... before I bought my PB, I tested out all of Sony's notebooks (which I've owned many of over the past several years)... none of the current models were anything I'd want to buy. They all feel kinda cheap to me, unlike Sony notebooks of the past.
 
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mylexon20s

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2003
210
24
Coral Springs, FL
My best friend got one simliar.. He goes to FSU and on his, it has a digital camera built into the center of the top of the screen.. And it rotates so you can use it as a webcam or even take pictures of friends or something.. Its pretty cool, but it is soo small.. I have a hard time using it. It is half the size of my powerbook.. Otherwise nice. One other thing $$ He payed like $2200 i believe.. He could've bought himself a maxed out powerbook. For an 11.1" screen, 2200 is sure alot of money
 
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Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Original poster
I was just looking at something small ... after using a 17" pb for nearly 3 years, I'm looking for a change, esp since I'm getting a 20" LCD to complement my laptop. Hi rez widescreen 12" or less ... if only Apple would release a wide screen 11-12" powerbook =/
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
The specs on that notebook are very impressive!

The only things I don't particularly like about it are that it doesn't seem particularly rugged...especially that really flimsy looking disc tray and EDGE antenna, and all those buttons coming off in every which direction :(, and that I don't think it's as pretty as VAIOs from a generation or two ago. It would have been nice if they had found a way to internalize that antenna. It just seems like it is not as durable as one would like for such an expensive notebook computer. :(

But the form factor and weight, paired with the battery life and wireless connectivity, have me drooling. :)
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
How is it "ultraportable?" It isn't that much smaller than a 12" Powerbook, nor is it much smaller than a Dell 700m, although it is better in some ways.

I'm on vacation in Taiway right now, and I just saw something called a "Flybook." Damn THOSE are small.

http://www.dialogue.com.tw/english/products/flybook.htm

And if Apple offered a 13" Widescreen Powerbook and filled the "small portable" void with a 10" or 11" Powerbook, I'd jump all over a 13" Widescreen PB. Man, that would be sweeeet.
 
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Capt Underpants

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2003
2,861
3
Austin, Texas
Abstract said:
How is it "ultraportable?" It isn't that much smaller than a 12" Powerbook, nor is it much smaller than a Dell 700m, although it is better in some ways.

I'm on vacation in Taiway right now, and I just saw something called a "Flybook." Damn THOSE are small.

http://www.dialogue.com.tw/english/products/flybook.htm

And if Apple offered a 13" Widescreen Powerbook and filled the "small portable" void with a 10" or 11" Powerbook, I'd jump all over a 13" Widescreen PB. Man, that would be sweeeet.
It may only be slightly smaller, but it is 2 pounds lighter than a 12" PB. And those flybooks, while small, have horrible specs. 1 GHz Crusoe processor, 16 MB VRAM, lower resolution display, and only .1 pounds lighter when compared to the sony.
 
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MoparShaha

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2003
1,635
25
San Francisco
It looks nice, but I dislike how almost no PC laptop offers DVI output. I use a DVI LCD with my PB, and love that it supports it.

I think Apple will unveil an ultra-portable when they go Intel in the PB's.
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Capt Underpants said:
It may only be slightly smaller, but it is 2 pounds lighter than a 12" PB. And those flybooks, while small, have horrible specs. 1 GHz Crusoe processor, 16 MB VRAM, lower resolution display, and only .1 pounds lighter when compared to the sony.
Its no secret how anybody sheds weight. All computers require very similar parts, so things like the HDD, and CD/DVD drive, LCD, keyboard, etc, are all going to be there. The difference is in the type of materials used, and I don't think that Sony uses great materials. I like the look of my 12" PB. I know it's heavier, but if Apple made an 11" Powerbook, that would account for some of the weight difference. The plastic they use, along with it's frame, may account for a lot of it.

There's probably something else I haven't mentioned that Sony has done to shed weight, and I think Apple should copy that method if it's smart. However, I still want the quality to be there, and I don't mind carrying an extra 1 lb (for example) for the same size 11" laptop.

And with an 11" display, do I really want a higher resolution?

And with an 8.9" display, would anybody want a Flybook with the same resolution as the 12" PB? You wouldn't be able to read the text! Also, they use slower parts to generate less heat. Everyone else does the same thing for their 10" laptop models, and I'm sure the situation was worse for an 8.9" screen.
 
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liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,156
26
Lincoln,UK
Well i just bought my Mrs a Sony Laptop (celery stick version for £699) and i think for what it does it does it well.

i would consider Apple to be the best looking but IMO Sony comes 2nd on design.

one thing that does make me laugh is the Batt life my Mrs Sony gets - 2-3 hours V's 3.5-4 hours on my 12" Powerbook.
 
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gangst

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2004
614
0
UK
What's cellular wi-fi? I'v never heard of that, is that for long range Wi-fi across cities etc?
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
gangst said:
What's cellular wi-fi? I'v never heard of that, is that for long range Wi-fi across cities etc?
I don't think it's a standard way of talking about it, by any means, but what they are talking about here are 3G data services...particularly, EDGE, as offered by Cingular. EDGE is a high-speed wireless data service that has backwards compatibility with GPRS, which is what 2G GSM phones (such as Cingular and T-Mobile) use, so it offers pretty good speeds when one is in EDGE territory and a very broad, albeit very slow, backup standard in GSM, which is available almost anywhere cell phone coverage is available.

It isn't Wi-Fi in the sense that it uses 802.11x technology, but it is Wi-Fi in the sense that it's wireless, and offers speeds that are at least within the order of magnitude of DSL's speed....
 
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WaxTheories

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2005
35
0
Atlanta
clayj said:
(2) too small to type on...
I have to agree. I have a 12" ibook, and it's just big enough for me to be comfortable on. I have HUGE hands, and something like that looks far too small. I'm sure it has its uses, I'm sure many people will find it helpful, but I can't see it appealing to a majority of users.
 
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mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
Keyboard and screensize really limits how small a laptop can be without being too impractical. Now I don't have particularly big hands, but 11" screen is simply too small for me.

So untill they come with a build in high-res projector, I would never go below 14-15" screens.

A
 
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Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Original poster
I thought the 12" iBook/PB uses the same keyboard as it's larger siblings? The thing about the 11" widescreen is that there is more width, so it should be possible to have the same keyboard without any shrinkage, it'd just be narrower.

That was my impression anyway, correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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WaxTheories

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2005
35
0
Atlanta
Over Achiever said:
I thought the 12" iBook/PB uses the same keyboard as it's larger siblings? The thing about the 11" widescreen is that there is more width, so it should be possible to have the same keyboard without any shrinkage, it'd just be narrower.

That was my impression anyway, correct me if I'm wrong.
It does. The chassis of the 12" ibook is just large enough to accomidate a full sized keyboard (minus the directonal keys, num pad, etc). Anything smaller would have to have a slimmed-down keyboard.
 
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tobio

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2004
146
0
London
We have one of these at work, and I had to do the build for it, so I have a few days of first hand experience with the thing.
first off, the screen on it is very clear indeed, as all sony vaio laptops I have used seem to be. It has a nice reflective quality about it which makes it appear glass-like. The resolution of the screen is the same as my 15" powerbook - 1280x854 I think it looks very nice indeed.

The keyboard I actually quite liked. I have used small laptop keyboards, and I tend to miss the keys, and I especially hate it when they move keys around like the del key and the windows keys... (important for windows as you need to hit ctrl-alt-del quite a lot) I found the keyboard very comfortable for the size.

ports - yes, only VGA, and it has my pet peeve with most laptops... the modem and network ports are behind fiddly little plastic doors, which I know from our older toshiba laptops will break eventually rendering the modem useless.

overall feel. the lid has a nice kind of hardback book texture to it, other than that it felt a bit like cheap creaky plastic to me.

overall, it was nice to play with for a day or two, but I had no desire to keep it for any longer than that. It is incredibly tiny though, much more so than I remember the 12" powerbook being. If i could ever convince myself to buy a PC laptop I would definitely consider it, unless it costs a ridiculous amount of money.
 
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Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
Over Achiever said:
I was reading the review of the new ultraportable from Sony, and I thought the specs were rather nice. Of course it doesn't run OS X, lets make that clear. But OSs aside ... do you think it's a nice ultraportable? If only Apple could makes something like this ...
I have an S series, and it's a nice machine. It's sure light. BUT you're right, it has XP. It's somewhat slow even though I got the hottest CPU they had. THAT'S what's stopping me from changing models. Oh, and Apple DOES make "something like it". It's called a 12" Powerbook. And know what? Side by side the PB blows the Sony out of the water. Now if you need a PC for some god-aweful reason, get a Sony. I have three of them and they are solid machines.
 
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Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
Over Achiever said:
That's what makes this laptop so intriguing ... imagine having 7-8 hours of battery life!
It's a lie, dude. That 7-8 hours doing nothing. My 6 hour Sony S series, brand new, never made it through a DVD. Heavy use... maybe 2-3 hours otherwise.
 
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cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
16,983
4,965
Abstract said:
Its no secret how anybody sheds weight. All computers require very similar parts, so things like the HDD, and CD/DVD drive, LCD, keyboard, etc, are all going to be there. The difference is in the type of materials used, and I don't think that Sony uses great materials.
The TX series has a carbon fibre shell.

I was looking at this yersterday, but the OS is crap and the CPU is horrible.
I wish Apple made a nice G4 like this (and with camera).
 
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