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Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review

Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The navy blue and silver Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L laptop is the size of a hardcover book and weighs only a little over three pounds.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Notebooks Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Sony Apr 22 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Notebooks > Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L

Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review

As you might guess, here at PCstats we like computers... things with 'gadget' value, and tiny electronic devices in general. When something comes along that can fulfill all of these cravings, we tend to take notice. Such was the case when this lovely little Sony laptop arrived.

This is the kind of device that can produce paroxysms of tech lust in anyone, never mind the gear heads among us. The navy blue and silver Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L laptop is the size of a hardcover book and weighs only a little over three pounds. It packs a weighty list of features, beginning with a DVD/CDRW combo drive and a massive WXGA (1280x768) resolution on its tiny, shiny, 10.6" widescreen LCD. The outer shells (lower and upper) of the notebook are made from aluminum, and typical of Sony, the build quality is very solid. Its retail price hovers in the range of $2470CDN ($2000USD) .

Now that IBM is out of the laptop making business, Sony is one of the few 'boutique' laptop makers left. Traditionally, Sony laptops have not been business favourites, so now would be an excellent time for the company to make a move in this direction. We were eager to see how the VAIO VGN-T140P/L fared in this regard.

Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook
Quick Specs

Speed: 1.1GHz, Intel Pentium M CPU
L2: 2MB
Core: 90 nm
FSB: 400MHz
Chipsets: 855GME/ICH4-M

Includes:
Quick start guide, power cord & AC adaptor, battery.

Further Technical Details:


- 1.10GHZ Intel Pentium M Processor Ultra Low Voltage 733 (2MB L2 Cache, 400Mhz FSB)
- Intel Centrino 855GME/ICH4-M chipset w. Intel Extreme Graphics 2
- 512MB DDR333 SO-DIMM, upgradeable to 1GB (one memory socket)
- 10.6" WXGA TFT LCD display (1280x768) w. Xbrite
- Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b+g) wifi, Intel 10/100 Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth
- 2.5" Ultra DMA 66/100, 40GB (4200rpm) hard drive
- DVD/CD-RW combo drive
- Audio AC'97 2.2, built-in dual speakers and microphone, Dolby Virtual speaker/headphone
- I/O Ports: 1x PCMCIA, 2x USB 2.0, VGA, IEEE 1394a, Mic in, Headphone, RJ11, RJ45, Memorystick
- 56K v.92 Fax/modem
- 4-8.5 hrs battery life w. 7200mAh battery
- Weight: 3.04 Lbs
- Size: 10.7" x 1.34" x 8.1"

Contents of Package:

Unfortunately, over the course of testing the VAIO VGN-T140P/L, we ran into a major issue which halted the testing process until a replacement unit was acquired. Sony did resolve this issue quickly for us though, and we were able to finish the review without any further incident. But, the VAIO VGN-T140P/L does get one big red check mark against it for frying halfway through the review.... now, let's begin.

Features and Specs

Intel's newest Pentium M ultra-low voltage line of chips, packaged with the 'Centrino' integrated wireless architecture, finally enabled laptop manufacturers to make viable ultra-portable systems based on the Pentium 4 CPU. The Pentium M's tiny profile and better performance/power usage ratio has brought the world of tiny laptops much closer to the mainstream.

The VAIO VGN-T140P/L sports a 1.10GHz Pentium M '733' Ultra low voltage processor. Based on a 90nm process, this chip uses a 400Mhz FSB and like all 90nm process Pentium M chips, comes equipped with 2MB of level 2 cache memory. The Pentium M is the fastest currently available in Intel's 'ultra low voltage' mobile line and should provide plenty of grunt for this tiny laptop.

Like other Pentium M processors, the clock speed does not truly indicate the amount of work it can do relative to traditional desktop processors, so don't let that scare you off. The Pentium M is the reason that Intel decided to drop the Gigahertz measurements from its processors and switched to a meaningless 'Performance Rating' figure instead.

The Intel 855GME chipset provides connectivity with the Centrino architecture. The ICH4-M Southbridge handles the integrated video courtesy of Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 chip, and a fairly standard array of I/O abilities which we'll detail a bit later. As you would expect, it also supports a good set of power saving abilities which work in concert with the processor to save precious battery life, typically by dropping processing speed down substantially when on batteries. More on this later also.

The VAIO notebook ships with 512MB of DDR memory, 64MB of which is shared with the onboard video. The memory can be expanded up to 1GB in total, though there is only one SODIMM socket. A smallish 4200RPM 40GB hard drive provides storage. The Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine provides excellent image quality and DVD playback, along with some (mostly theoretical) 3D support.

For older 3D games (from a few years ago) it should be adequate, for current games it is extremely poor. This VAIO is not intended to be a portable gaming machine, so don't even bother trying to use it for that.

The Lithium-Ion battery snaps into the rear of the notebook (model VGP-BPS3), and carries a capacity of 7.4V / 7200mAH. It weighs about 0.66 pounds, and according to Sony figures, will offer a run time of about 4-8.5 hours with a full charge.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L
 Pg 1.  — Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review
 Pg 2.  Mesmerizing LCD Screen
 Pg 3.  Physical dimensions and port placement
 Pg 4.  Keyboard layout and more
 Pg 5.  First impressions and upgrading
 Pg 6.  Real world testing of the VAIO
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Windbench 99, BatteryMark and Sandra
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Super PI, PCmark2002, PCMark 04
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: 3Dmark 2001, 3DMark 03, X2: The Threat
 Pg 10.  Benchmark: UT2003 and Conclusions

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