Roughly the size of a hardcover book and weighing about 2.6 pounds (3.2 pounds with an AC adapter), Sony’s VAIO laptop comes with some solid business features. Among the work-specific highlights: a fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth connectivity, and integrated wireless WAN through Sprint Mobile Broadband. These features are increasingly commonplace, but supporting EvDO Revision A wireless data transfers makes this an instant win for Sprint customers. Sony doesn’t allow you to configure the VGN-TZ295N to your preferences, so if you buy it, you’re paying for the Sprint-specific hardware whether you like it or not.
Mostly, though, this laptop is an entertainer–and the impressively crisp 11.1-inch, 1366-by-768-pixel display can attest to that. In fact, its LED backlighting technology gives it one of the sharpest, brightest screens of all the ultraportables we’ve seen.
With Windows Vista Business and a 1.33-GHz Core 2 Duo U7700 processor installed, the VGN-TZ295N chugs along well enough. It came in close behind Lenovo’s X300 in performance.
Ultraportables by nature often have cramped keyboards. But Sony’s cut-out chiclet-sized keys are tiny even by ultraportable standards. Although the keys have ample space between them, the main QWERTY keys measure a little less than half an inch wide each. Stylish, yes; conducive to typing, not so much.
This VAIO looks great, and its screen is phenomenal. But for its lofty price, we’d accept no less than perfection, and it falls just short.
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