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The final part of the ergonomic equation is the touchpad, and Sony certainly hasn’t skimped here. The silver touchpad is located far enough from the Spacebar to avoid any inadvertent cursor movement, so you don’t have to worry about erasing large blocks of text when you’re typing at speed. Below the touchpad are two silver buttons, which obviously reflect the left and right buttons on a mouse. Also, the far right side of the touchpad can be used to scroll up and down through a document, although there’s no indication of this feature. Despite the fact that I prefer trackpoints to touchpads, this one is a fine example and pointer manipulation is quick and accurate.
Inside the T2XP, the specs are pretty impressive considering the size of the notebook. Driving things along is an Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M CPU running at 1.2GHz – no doubt the choice of a ULV chip has helped the Sony achieve very impressive battery life. There’s 512MB of memory installed, but 8MB has been dedicated to the integrated Intel 855GME graphics chipset. You could allocate up to 64MB to the graphics chipset, but it really isn’t worth it – you’re better off keeping the memory accessible by your applications.
Storage comes courtesy of a 60GB hard disk, which is a fair amount considering the size of the unit. If however you do want to free up some space on your hard drive, you can easily offload data via the integrated DVD writer, which will burn to both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media.
Connectivity is very well catered for, with a 56k modem and a 10/100 Ethernet adapter. But if you don’t want to be tethered to a phone line or network port, there’s also an 802.11b/g wireless adapter as well as integrated Bluetooth. Obviously the former makes up part of the Centrino branding, but it’s always good to see Bluetooth, for those instances where you can’t find a hotspot and need to connect via your mobile phone.
The right hand side of the chassis is dominated by the DVD writer, but the modem socket and Ethernet port are also located here, behind sturdy plastic flaps. At the front you’ll find volume controls and a mute button, along with headphone and mic sockets. There’s also a hard switch for the WiFi and Bluetooth adapters.
At the left there’s a single Type II PC Card slot, a Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro slot, two USB 2.0 ports, a four-pin FireWire port and a D-SUB port. Last but not least, above the keyboard and below the screen you’ll find an array of indicator lights, the power button, and a set of multimedia controls. Pressing the DVD button will bring up Sony’s own multimedia app, from where you can play music, look at photos or watch a DVD.
At the rear the you’ll see that the battery protrudes slightly, but not enough to spoil the overall look of the machine. Personally I’m happy to have a slightly larger battery if the result is improved battery life, and that’s certainly the case here. Running Mobile Mark 2002, the T2XP exhibited a battery life of over five and a half hours. That makes this machine very attractive to the road warrior who wants something small, light and usable on the move.
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