The Sony VAIO
VGN-T140P/L certainly knows how to make a good first impression. Out of the box,
this tiny laptop will draw oohs and ahhs. The 10.6" 1280x720 resolution LCD is
extremely crisp and bright, and has a sheen to it that just
makes colours especially vibrant. The VGN-T140P/L's glossy screen
really is a thing of beauty.
The VAIO VGN-T140P/L is solidly constructed, which is what you want to look for
in a laptop this small, especially one that is going to be shuttled around a
lot. When closed, the device is reassuringly rigid, and when open it is difficult
to flex the keyboard portion significantly.
was also impressive. Making ultra-portable laptop keyboards is a fine art, and it's
one that Sony seems to have mastered here. An ample amount of space is
left in front of the keyboard for palm rests, and the keys have a slight
forward tilt which relieves them of the 'flat' shallow feeling that many
laptop keyboards possess. While typing on an ultra small keyboard is not always going
to be as comfortable as a desktop keyboard, we appreciate the measures Sony has taken
to make the process more comfortable.
We were much less impressed with the bundled software and instructions,
or rather the lack of them. In the box was just a
foldout quick setup guide, a safety guide, a warranty statement, a Sony solutions mini-catalog
and precious little else. No hard copy of the instruction manual was
present, something that disturbed us considering the price range of this notebook. The
online manual was visually appealing and well illustrated, though not exactly
The thing that really didn't impress us at all though was Sony's
approach to providing operating system software. Instead of a genuine
Windows XP Home CD, or even a 'recovery' CD containing the operating
system, Sony bundled a CD shaped piece of cardboard informing us that the
necessary files for recovery were
already installed onto a hard disk partition, and that we could create a
recovery disk with our own blank media if we wanted... This is cheap, and just not
acceptable practice for a supposedly "high-end" vendor like Sony, especially with a laptop in the VAIO
VGN-T140P/L's price range. Adding injury to insult is the fact that the
restoration partition eats up a whopping 5GB of drive space, an eighth of the
entire drive! This is a
bit ridiculous in our opinion.
Other pre-installed software includes copies of Quicken
2005, Microsoft Works 8.0, WinDVD, a 90-day subscription to Norton Internet
a two month trial version of Microsoft Office 2003 small business edition.
That trial version of Microsoft Office 2003 was misrepresented as a full version of the software
at the SonyStore, incidently.
The VAIO VGN-T140P/L comes with a one year limited
warranty that as far as we are aware, covers all components; it's a good thing too, as we will see a
little later in the article.
The Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L can be upgraded to a maximum of
1GB of DDR 200/333 memory using the single free RAM slot. The expansion
procedure looks like a bit of a hassle though. It involves unscrewing two
screws on the bottom of the laptop, then levering up the keyboard to expose the empty RAM slot. This is understandable in
a laptop this small, but it's still inconvenient. There are no other user-upgradeable