Sony VAIO VGN-NR17G review: Sony VAIO VGN-NR17G

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The Good Excellent keyboard and display. Distinctive finish. Thin profile.

The Bad Uses both memory slots. Quirky DVD playback. Poor graphics performance.

The Bottom Line Sony's NR17G has a distinctive look, and while it doesn't stand out in the performance stakes, it's still a worthwhile desktop replacement candidate, as long as your needs are modest.

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7.4 Overall

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Sony's Vaio NR17G is aimed at those wanting a desktop replacement laptop, and while it's somewhat thin for a desktop replacement -- its maximum thickness is only 37.9mm with the lid closed -- its other dimensions (360 x 31.4-37.9 x 269.1mm, 2.8kg) put paid to any serious considerations of long-term portability. It's also wrapped in a rather unusual finish.

While most mid-range notebooks tend towards very plain designs, the NR17G has a textured silver finish, rather than the smooth and sleek finish that most notebooks sport. It's purely a matter of taste whether you like or dislike the finish, as it adds nothing in a practical sense. Then again, Sony's been rather specialising in stylish notebooks purely for the sake of style lately, and the NR17G certainly isn't an ugly creature.

The NR17G runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5450 (1.66GHz) with 1GB of memory. It's capable of supporting up to 4GB of memory, but the bad news is that the preconfigured memory comes in the form of two 512MB SO-DIMMS, so those who want to jump to 2GB or beyond will need to junk the existing memory entirely.

The hard drive is a 120GB internal SATA drive. The DVD rewriter supports +/-, RW and Dual Layer discs -- but not unsurprisingly at this price point, not Blu-Ray -- and not HD DVD either, but then this is a Sony notebook.

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