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Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review

Sony VAIO VGN-T140P/L Notebook Review - PCSTATS
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

First impressions and upgrading

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.

The keyboard 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 comprehensive.

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 Security and 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.

Upgradeability

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 parts.

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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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