Sony VAIO TXN17P/B

The Good Great battery life; built-in mobile broadband antenna; typically impressive Sony industrial design; LED-backlit display provides bright screen and aids battery life; compact and light; still includes optical drive.

The Bad Slow Core Solo processor; small and slow hard drive; expensive warranty extensions.

The Bottom Line Sony adds Windows Vista to its ultraportable VAIO TXN17, which doesn't change much otherwise from its XP-based precursor. With a gorgeous design, excellent battery life, and wireless broadband, it remains one of the best ultraportables on the market for business travelers.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Battery 10.0
  • Support 5.0
8.2 Overall

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Sony VAIO TXN17P/B
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Review

Sony VAIO TXN17P/B

After the first wave of laptops specifically designed for Windows Vista, such as the HP Pavilion tx1000 and the Toshiba Portege R400, major PC vendors are releasing updated versions of workhorse systems, nearly identical to previous iterations with the exception of Windows Vista. Sony has added Windows Vista Business Edition to its popular mobile-broadband-enabled ultraportable model, the VAIO TXN17 P/T. For $2,699, you get one of the smallest ultraportable systems that comes with an optical drive on the market, although the Intel Core Solo processor is going to be a step down for anyone used to dual-core computing. Expensive but attractive is the VAIO mantra, and fashion-conscious titans of industry will like this high-end conversation piece, as will anyone who needs Sprint-powered mobile broadband in the smallest possible package.

Measuring 10.8 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 1.2 inches high, the TXN17 is among the smallest ultraportables we've seen. It's tiny enough to carry around without much hassle, but the small screen and the cramped keyboard will be uncomfortable for extended use. The Sony VAIO TXN17 weighs 2.9 pounds (3.6 pounds with the AC adapter), which is extremely light when you consider the system has a built-in optical drive, something many smaller laptops omit to save on weight and bulk. The Asus S6F features a similar footprint and an optical drive but is noticeably thicker.

The tradeoff with using an ultraportable laptop is the miniaturized keyboard, and the VAIO TXN17 is no exception. The flat-topped keys are an acquired taste, similar to those on a MacBook, and those without nimble fingers will find themselves hitting the backspace key often. The touch pad, by comparison, is plenty ample for every day use, and the media control buttons built into the hinge are accessible, even when the lid is closed.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $2,250
  • Brand Sony
  • Type Core Solo
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Edition Windows XP Professional
  • Capacity 80 GB
  • Diagonal Size 11.1 in
  • Chipset Type Mobile Intel 945GMS Express
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