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Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61VN
For all our waxing lyrical about Sony's TZ series of notebooks, that doesn't mean they're for everyone. Putting aside the obvious issue of cost, for some the TZ is a little too small, a little too diminutive and simply not fast enough for their needs. Portable is great, but if you want high performance as well then the TZ probably isn't for you.
To bridge this gap in people's hearts and minds many manufacturers have long turned to the 13.3 form factor, with the likes of the Samsung Q70, Asus U3 and Apple's iconic MacBook being good recent examples of this. Of course, where small and light notebooks are concerned Sony is always in attendance and it has produced many a 13.3in notebook in the shape of the long forgotten S Series or, more recently, the SZ series, which we first looked at in the form of the SZ1VP back in February last year. Since then the series has seen quite a few revisions, however the basic chassis has remained much the same, as evidenced by the SZ61VN I'm looking at today.
It's fortunate then that the original SZ was a stunner, and on first inspection it looks just as good now as it did then. The Carbon Fibre exterior oozes class and refinement, giving the SZ1VN a beautifully sleek and low profile mystique. This quality finish is continued on the inside, with the beautifully rounded front edge that is both perfectly engineered and ideal for resting your wrists on when typing. Beauty and practicality working hand in hand, that's what good design is about.
Weighing 1.79kg the SZ6 slips comfortably under the all important 2kg barrier; indeed, the SZ6 is even lighter than some 12.1in notebooks such as the Samsung Q45 which weighs 1.86kg. It's thin too, just 32.6mm at its thickest point and, thanks to the wedge shaped design, 21.8mm at its thinnest. This, combined with 315mm width and 234.3mm depth, makes the SZ61VN very portable.
It's portability though, that doesn't impinge on performance and one's ability to perform demanding tasks on the move. That's because, under the hood, the SV61VN sports some serious processing power. This is the top of range SZ6, which means you get a blisteringly quick Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 that runs at 2.4GHz with an 800MHz Front Side Bus and 4MB L2 Cache. This is one of the quickest mobile Core 2 Duo's available right now, and it's ably supported by 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM. Alone this makes the SZ61VN a very quick and capable machine, providing performance that surpasses many a 'desktop replacement'.