After carrying for years, fully loaded laptops I have come back to basics. My laptop for last 3 years was an HP Compaq nx7010, a 15.4″ Wide Screen with 2GB RAM. In my many trips around the world and presentations, the laptop has never let me down. I have seen rarely a blue screen, the cons are it is not a speed monster, wireless support is spotty and Vista doesn’t support Aero glass. Battery life has been decent (90 – 120 mins) considering the widescreen and it has survived my numerous formats and re-installs.
My chief complaint has been weight – my hand-baggage on an average weighs 9.5Kgs. The major culprit being the nx7010 laptop weighing around 4Kgs – Laptop itself at 3.4Kgs and Power Adaptor the balance. I got so fed up carrying this brick block, I vowed a year back that my new laptop whenever I buy it will not weigh more than 2Kgs (including Power Adaptor). If you ask why to wait for a year – simple, I wanted Vista to get released & come pre-loaded with the machine. Having lived through all major releases of Windows, I have learned not to buy a new laptop (Desktops are OK) before the preceding months of a major Windows Release. If you do, then be prepared to keep hunting drivers for its life. There are only a few instances I know where people have successfully upgraded OS on their laptops.
Last month I used every opportunity I got during my business trips in Seattle, Tokyo & Singapore to do extensive window-shopping for the lightest laptop. Then narrowed down to Sony Vaio TX Series (VGN-TX57GN) that weighs only 1.25Kgs. There are few Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic and even a Sony G Series (890grams) that were available in Tokyo – but they all came only with Japanese OS and warranty limited to Japan – photos of these models for a different post. The model I bought was priced in Tokyo around 290,000 Yens, but I bought it last Friday (2 Mar 07) in Chennai itself for Rs.112,500/- mainly for the convenience of support in India.
The VGN-TX57GN comes with a Carbon Fibre body that is extremely light. It is not a power-horse, has an Intel Core Solo 1.33Ghz CPU, 1.5 GB (max), 80GB HDD, 11.1” Wide Display, DVD Writer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, Firewire and Vista Business. Apart from the weight and the display brilliance, few more things impressed me with this laptop. The bundled software especially the Adobe PhotoShop and Premiere elements, Sony’s easy-to-use yet highly configurable recovery utility and the fingerprint sensor for sign-in. Full Specifications here (PDF).
I am setting up the laptop now – yet to load MS Office and other applications.
Update 28 January 2016:
It has been nearly 9 years and the laptop is still going strong. After 3 years I gave the laptop to my Brother In Law who is using it till now. Other than few keys on the keyboard not working, there has been no problem with the machine. Everything from display to ports to the battery is working. This is one fine engineering by Sony. I am sad they stopped making laptops anymore.