The Good HD video looks great on big 15.5-inch, 16:9 display; keyboard is comfortable and spacious; relatively thin and lightweight.
The Bad Disappointing battery life; extra-wide chassis may require a new laptop bag; no media control buttons.
The Bottom Line With just about the biggest display you'd be willing to lug around on a daily basis, the Sony Vaio VGN-NW125J/T attempts to be both a low-end entertainment laptop and versatile everyday productivity machine. But for the battery life, it pulls it off.
Sony Vaio VGN-NW125J/T
Editors' note: This review is part of our Back-to-school 2009 Retail Laptop Roundup, covering specific new configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.
It won't be the lightest laptop on campus this fall, and it may not fit into every knapsack or laptop bag, but if you're willing and able to tote around a little extra weight, the Sony Vaio VGN-NW125J/T holds great appeal for its big, cinematic display and roomy keyboard. The software bundle is a winner, too, with a full version of Microsoft Office and 12 months of Norton Internet Security. (Make sure you get the discs at purchase; on our test system, only the trials of Office and Norton were preinstalled and no CDs were in the box. We've heard various customers report similar occurrences.)
Sadly, Sony equips the Vaio NW125 with a standard six-cell battery, which delivers less than 3 hours running time on a single charge. Given the size of the laptop, there would appear to be room for an extended-cell battery. Two 14-inch laptops, the Dell Studio S1440-022B and the Toshiba Satellite E105-S1602, each manage to squeeze in a longer-running eight-cell battery that still sits flush with the system.
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