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Sony Micro PC Vaio VGN-UX1XN - Solid State Disk
The cradle that comes in the box adds a four-pin iLink connection (FireWire to you and me), a 3.5mm AV output socket, an Ethernet socket, three more USB ports and a D-SUB output for hooking the thing up to your monitor - so you can use it as a mobile desktop machine if you want to. It’s a line-up that most laptops would be proud to boast.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about the UX1XN is the fact that, instead of using a hard disk for storing applications and files, it employs a 32GB solid state disk. In fact it uses the same ’drive’ as the Samsung Q1 SSD Riyad reviewed back in September 2006. And as Riyad pointed out there are significant benefits to this.
First it means that the device is much more robust than a mechanical drive - there are no moving parts, so if you do have the misfortune to drop it you’re less likely to lose your data.
Second, it draws less power, so you should get more life out of it on a single charge, and on this front it certainly seems to make a difference. Using the UX1XN as a basic word processor, connected to a wireless network and with Bluetooth switched off, I managed to extract over three and a half hours out of it. This compares quite well with most laptops and should increase if you turn the wireless adapter off. Likewise watching movies and exercising the processor more will reduce the battery life.
The low power draw also means less heat output, which is an important consideration in a handheld device like this. Unlike the OQO Model 01+, which was uncomfortable to hold after a while, the UX1XN never gets as far as the hot potato stage.
Finally, from what we've seen of solid state drives recently, there's a significant performance boost over many standard laptop disks. I wasn't able to replicate Riyad's PCMark HDD results, but a score of 4009 is still more than respectable. Compare it to the recently reviewed Samsung R20 - a full sized laptop with a standard laptop hard drive - and you'll see what I mean. The R20 achieved an HDD score of just 3874.