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Which is the best ultraportable with 1 GB RAM, WDDM, SATA?

by lmparsons / January 21, 2006 6:58 AM PST

I'm looking for a very lightweight (removable CD/DVD is fine) laptop with the following:
1) a dual-core chip design (or true 64-bit),
2) a graphics processor that will support WDDM, Direct X 9 with at least 64 MB of graphics memory (the ability to replace the onboard video later would be great),
3) a SATA hard drive with 8MB cache & NCQ,
4) 4 or more USB ports,
5) a NIC that will support 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, and
6) a 802.11g wireless interface.

What are the best choices?

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Sony SZ series or Lenovo Thinkpad X60
by rholohan / January 31, 2006 9:09 AM PST

The Sony SZ series or Lenovo Thinkpad X60 are two Windows-based laptops that come to mind. I'm thinking about a laptop with roughly similar specs and these are the two I've honed in on. I've also considered, but have now basicly eliminated, several others including: Sony TX Series, Panasonic Toughbook (Y4 or W4) and the Dell X1. The SZ and X60 fit most of your criteria:

1) Both are Intel Duos
2) Sony: The SZ uses a unique hybrid graphics design: a built in chip for optimizing batteries, and seperate chip for high quality graphics. Thinkpad:
3) Both use SATA connectors. Don't know about cache and NCQ
4) 2 USB ports on the SZ, 3 on the Thinkpad.
5) Don't know what an NIC is, but both have Ethernet ports.
6) Both 802.11g support.

I am personally leaning toward the Sony, based mainly on superior graphics, a wide-screen 13" monitor (vs. a standard format 12" on the Thinkpad).

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Need reviews on Core Duo laptops
by gvanbelle / February 16, 2006 7:57 AM PST

Its hard to say which is superior between the SZ and the X60 (which, I believe, sports 14" or 15" screens, not 12" as noted in the previous message) - we haven't seen any CNET reviews yet! How about it?

(I'm guessing CNET might be having as hard a time as the rest of us at actually obtaining a Core Duo laptop shipped to us...)

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Core Duo Laptop Review definitely needed
by lmparsons / February 16, 2006 9:22 AM PST

I agree -- it would be great to see CNET's review of the core duo laptops. I tried a Dell X1 -- the weight was fantastic but the screen was much too small.

Thanks so much for the info on the Sony SZ and x60! I'll definitely check those out.

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Sony SZ review on any site?
by poweruser2 / February 22, 2006 3:31 AM PST

Since CNet can't seem to post a review of the Sony SZ (In-stores for weeks now), has anyone found another site with a good review?

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Sony SZ review
by kandlestix / March 7, 2006 9:53 AM PST
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Review from an owner
by joshsolera / March 8, 2006 6:45 AM PST
In reply to: Sony SZ review

Hey all,

I recently purchased the SZ120P after months of agonizing over my choice of machine (also considered the X60, Dell 1505, etc.). I could not be happier. Though I cannot provide a full review a la Cnet, heres a brief overview.

Amazing specs for such a small package. 1.83 Duo is ridiculously fast, and having an optical drive for the DVD R/W is much nicer than having it external
Nvidia video card- though its by no means the top of the line, it allows for decent game play and is far superior to the built in 950s that abound
Decent price - Circuit city has $240 in MIRs, to make the price about 1800... not bad considering what you get.
Great battery life- I've already used it for 5 hours with it set on ultimate battery.
Screen is bright and crisp
Full Keyboard
Includes card reader, in addition to the built in sony stick reader (whichreally shouldnt be there)
Most importantly- doesnt come with a lot of the standard Sony BS software that is impossible to get off and sucks at life.

Only comes with 60day trial of Office 2003. Should be a full version (though I have an extra copy so I didnt have to pay more)
Only 1 year warranty - I would definitely recommend extending to 3 years ($299 for onsite/accidental thru Sony) as Sony's arent the most durable things in the world
Fignerprint scanner is awesome, but could work better
Could have more than 2 usb ports

Hope this helps!

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by xiaoxue2012 / January 26, 2008 7:29 AM PST

I have been a loyal VAIO customer all my life. However, this will be the LAST time I ever buy a vaio laptop. the only future that I love is the easy access, which sometime doesn't work if the laptop freezes, and it happens often due to WINDOWS VISTA, which is why i give up windows once for all. it doesn't get along with any application that I download into my system. I crashes more often than car accident. the battery only last about half hour, and you HAVE to buy a tray for the laptop, otherwise, you lap will be toasted. It burns your hands off if you touch the bottom. First, I through I bought a defective product, then I did a onetime exchange, it is SAME. Later I went to best buy, the rep told me all SZ series has the problem of overheating and low battery life. There are no useful application, you have to spend tons to purchase all the preinstalled program in there once free trail runs out, or if you install anything, it?s most likely not compatible. And the windows vista problem, I don?t think I need to mention more. I always afraid of switching to apple, but after this, I don?t think it could be worse than this piece of garbage. The workmanship of this product is unacceptable, not for the price. The first unit I bought has a defective CDROM, and the 2nd one was even more frustrating, the battery won?t stay, it comes loose constantly, and when that happens, the laptop will force you to restart it all over again.
Last but not least, have you ever talk to SONY support, they are the WORST! Just for my battery overheating problem, they ask me to ship the laptop to them, and I?ll be without it for up to 4 weeks. Will you do it? I want to ask SONY, what happened to your prestigious brand name?

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Flaw on SZ1 Series
by ZTEman / April 19, 2006 7:28 PM PDT

Have now had 2 replacements of SZ1XP notebook, this series has a flaw with wireless driver under certain configurations which corrupts WMI and damages registry. Sony have informed me they will release a driver update but this could take upto a month or so. Will have to do a Full notebook Manufacturer Recovery for the sixth time and then install driver. Notebook is useless until then. Sony not willing to compensate or provide loan notebook even tho Professional Premium Service purchased with notebook. Been informed this problem exists on whole series
I'd recommend to avoid this series.

I am in the process of returning the laptop to supplier and replacing with Lenovo Thinkpad X Series.

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by keman58 / April 19, 2006 9:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Flaw on SZ1 Series

what is this certian config? Very anxious to know since I run my SZ in wireless mode all the time.

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Sony Vaio SZ1XP problem
by ZTEman / April 20, 2006 2:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Config?

Band new out of the box, I have had this problem from day 1 on 6 occassions after each Manufacturer System Recovery (which takes 2 hours each time) within a couple of hours of using laptop. Even after supplier exchanging laptops for another the problem repeats itself.
As part of my setup I use the RJ45 LAN conection on one network (cable connected) and then switch on and enable wireless and configure for another network. Then while both networks are connected and active, I reboot the laptop. After reboot, the network connections folder in control panel is blank, cannot see wireless network connection or local network connection, in computer management WMI is showing as corrupt. Windows System Restore to an earlier point does not eliminate the problem.

Sony support have eventually and reluctantly excepted that there is a problem after doing all there trouble-shooting for them. They will not take the laptop back and also refuse to send an engineer out (even with 3 years on-site premium support). Have now decided to return laptop back to supplier in exchange for a IBM Thinkpad X60.

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network problem
by nori_s / December 14, 2007 3:20 PM PST

Looks like I am replying kinda late, but, the problem may be due to windows not just the wireless card driver.
There's such a problem in Vista (on all kinds of brands) and some people get the same problem in Win XP.
It shows "No network - server execution failed" in Vista and the network connection in the control panel is blank.
If it is the problem, windows' forum has some replies that can be counted on.

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Sony Vaio SZ series..
by smgnj / March 9, 2006 3:12 PM PST

I also prefere Sony VAIO SZ Series Notebooks
You can go through some of good reviews at


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Sony Vaio SZ Series.
by Big Steve / May 17, 2006 5:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Sony Vaio SZ series..

Anyone who owns one of the newer Sony Vaio notebooks; just curious; where is Sony's notebook tech support based? Does Sony outsource their notebook tech support overseas to India; Phillipines; or elsewhere or is their company's notebook tech support based here in the United States?

Big Steve

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Where is the Sony SZ review CNet?
by poweruser2 / April 23, 2006 7:23 AM PDT

The Sony SZ has been out for months and CNet still doesn't have a review. They also have a confusing array of SZ140s listed on their site but no other models. I guess this makes it easier for CNet to spread around any voting for SZ to keep it off the most popular list. I'm beginning to think CNet is biased towards their heavy advertisers. Apple and Dell have lots of ads and always seem to top the CNet lists. Meanwhile a user favorite like the Sony SZ doesn?t get a review and searches for the model show a confusing array of similar laptops to confuse those who what to vote for it. Get it together CNet or you will make your manufacturer biases too apparent.

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Notebook bias
by keman58 / April 23, 2006 12:51 PM PDT

I couldent agree more. Ive had my SZ120P/B for 2 mounths and not one problem with config or heavy use. I use this machine to the edge with some very compicated music recording software and not one crash or overheat problem. Before I purchased this little powerhouse I couldent find one decent review or hardcore user that could recomend a decent core duo notebook. I find it hard to belive that cnet hasen't fully tested this killer little computer. I implore you at cnet to do take a hard look at the SZ series, It might give a little balance between your over obvious affection for the two or three other companys you constantly review.
p.s. and how about Asus notebooks as well. would like to know how they fair up with you guys as well.

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