The Sony VAIO TR2A had a much better showing in battery life than in mobile performance, lasting more than four hours, thanks to its 11.1V, 3600mAh (48WHr) battery--good enough for second place in this small test group. This was more than enough to beat the Toshiba Portégé R1000 with its default 10.8V, 1600mAh (17WHr) battery, which lasted only a bit more than two hours. The Panasonic ToughBook CFW2, however, was just too much for the Sony VAIO TR2A to handle, cranking for nearly six hours with its 7.4V, 6,600mAh (49WHr) battery. Still, the Sony VAIO TR2A lasts long enough to get about half a day's work done.
Battery life analysis written by CNET Labs assistant lab manager Eric Franklin.
Battery life (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Find out more about how we test laptops.
To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark 2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).System configurations:
Panasonic ToughBook CFW2
Windows XP Pro; 900MHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Intel 82852/82855GM/GME Extreme Graphics (up to 64MB); Hitachi DK23EA-60 60GB 4,200rpm
Sony VAIO TR2A
Windows XP Home; 1,000MHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Extreme Graphics (up to 64MB); Toshiba MK4004GAH 40GB 4,200rpm
Toshiba Portégé R1000
Windows XP Professional; 1,000MHz Intel Pentium M; 256MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Trident Video Accelerator Cyber-XP4 32MB; Toshiba MK4004GAH 40GB 4,200rpm
While Sony comes on strong with the Sony VAIO TR2A's design, its warranty is merely average (although it's typical for the industry). Free parts and labor with return-to-depot service and toll-free, 24/7 phone support last for one year. You can't buy an extended policy online, but some retailers offer various warranty extensions.
The laptop ships with some of the better documentation we've seen among Sony laptops. Both the hard-copy quick-start guide and electronic user manual include step-by-step graphics on how to set up and use the Sony VAIO TR2A. Unfortunately, Sony's limited support Web site still pales in comparison to those of other laptop manufacturers, lacking handy features such as user forums and the ability to chat in real time with a tech-support rep.
To find out more about how this product's warranty really stacks up and what you should look for in terms of service and support, take a look at CNET's hardware warranty explainer.