On paper, the models in the Sony VAIO CR series look pretty much like any other thin-and-light laptop: they weigh 5.5 pounds, have 14.1-inch displays, and are stocked with the latest components. But a photograph reveals that these are not your typical laptops. With such case colors like sangria, cosmopolitan, dove, and indigo--not to mention optional matching mice and bags with custom engraving--the VAIO CR laptops are more like fashion accessories than everyday tools.
|Processor||1.8GHz to 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo|
|Memory||Up to 4GB of 667MHz|
|Hard drive||Up to 200GB at 5,400rpm|
|Graphics||200GB at 4,200rpm|
|Chipset||Mobile Intel Express 965GM|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium |
Windows Vista Business
|Dimensions (wide x deep x thick)||13.2 x 9.8 x 1.3-2.7 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||14.1 inches|
|System weight||5.5 pounds|
Look inside any CR series laptop and you'll find the Intel's fresh Centrino Pro platform with a latest-generation Core 2 Duo processor, integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics, and 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi. The remaining components are typical for a thin-and-light laptop: a 5,400rpm hard drive, in capacities up to 200GB, and 1GB of 667MHz RAM (expandable up to 4GB). Likewise, the VAIO CR series' ports and connections are mostly average for the category, though we appreciate the CR series' integrated 1.3-megapixel Webcam.
|Sony VAIO CR series||Average for thin-and-light category|
|Video||VGA-out, S-video||VGA-out, S-video|
|Audio||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks|
|Data||3 USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, MemoryStick, SD card readers||3 USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, multiformat memory card reader|
|Expansion||ExpressCard/34||PC Card or ExpressCard|
802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi
|modem, Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth, optional WWAN|
|Optical drive||CD-RW/DVD-ROM or DVD burner||DVD burner|
We expected the combination of Sony style and solid features to come at a price premium, but the CR series' $1,190 baseline configuration costs about the same as a similarly configured HP Pavilion dv2500t. You'll pay just a little less for the base configuration of that other high-style thin-and-light, the MacBook--but the Mac's screen measures 13.3 inches, and it's built on the previous-generation Intel platform. Style-conscious buyers who want an attractive laptop with a solid mix of components will most likely be happy with the Sony VAIO CR series.