SONY Vaio VGN-T2XP
When it comes to choosing a notebook with portability in mind, you can do nothing more than check out the latest notebooks from Sony. With its S and T Series', the company has all but sewn up the ultraportable market. When it comes to producing dependable machines that weigh in at less than 2kg, but come with all the functionality of your desktop PC, Sony has it covered.
Weighing in at 1.4kg, the VGN-T2XP is light and small enough to be stowed away in your hand luggage without even realising that it is there. Considering that the system comes with an integrated DVD rewriter, which takes advantage of the latest advances in ultra-slim optical drive technology to allow you to record double-density discs for a full 9.4GB of storage space. Whether it's to back up your iTunes, or to copy DVD discs, you should make sure that if you're buying a notebook that it comes with such a drive.
Once the lid has been opened, the small but highly usable keyboard is exposed. The T2 has a 10.5-inch screen, which uses Sony's X-black technology. This has an anti-glare layer that channels the light from the back panel far more effectively than standard panels can offer. The widescreen display has a native resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels that we found ideal for writing documents as well as watching the occasional DVD on the train.
The small screen means that you'll have to grow accustomed to using a small keyboard too. However, we found it to be comfortable to use and after only a short time you'll be able to use it without double-striking the wrong keys.
The VGN-T2XP uses an Intel Pentium M 753 processor, which is an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) chip that puts battery life ahead of raw processing power. Supported by 512MB DDR SDRAM, there is enough performance to keep you ticking over with ease. Completed by the addition of a Toshiba 60GB hard drive, there is little to complain about with the main specification of the VGN-T2XP.
The proof of the ULV processor can be seen in the battery life of the VGN-T2XP. We have been promised for years that we would one day be able to use our notebooks all day without having to resort to mains power at some point. While the VGN-T2XP can't quite promise all-day computing, we managed to get a little over six hours of life from the battery without the need to turn the performance down.
On the downside, in order to reach a battery life such as this, component compromises have to be made. To this end, graphics come as part of the Intel 855 chipset and offer the bare minimum the user will need to get through the day.