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Sony VAIO VGN-TX3XP - Ultra-Portable Notebook review



  • Recommended by TR
Sony VAIO VGN-TX3XP - Ultra-Portable Notebook


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Back in March I reviewed the Sony TX2XP and although I liked it, I didn’t consider it a big enough step forward from the previous model. Now I have the Sony VAIO VGN-TX3XP sitting in front of me and it’s time to see whether Sony has managed to move things on a bit this time.

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Like the previous two TX models before it, the TX3XP is a beautifully designed notebook. It really is one of those bits of kit that makes people stop and stare, while anyone else in your vicinity using a notebook will somehow feel self conscious about the size and weight of their mobile computer. Talking of size and weight, the TX3XP measures 272.4 x 195.1 x 28.5mm and weighs in at 1.25kg - exactly the same numbers as the TX2XP in fact. The carbon fibre chassis construction helps keep the weight down, while maintaining robust build quality.

The chassis of the TX3XP is pretty much identical to the outgoing model with one significant difference. Set into the right side of the wrist rest, below the cursor keys is a fingerprint scanner. Now I know that a lot of people don’t put much trust in biometric security, citing that it’s far too easy to crack - after all there will be hundreds of examples of your fingerprint all over the notebook. However, what a fingerprint scanner does bring to the party is simple security - for the type of user who forgets passwords and therefore tends not to use them, a quick swipe of the index finger will at least afford some security. Whether you’re a fan of fingerprint security or not, you have to admit that it’s a far better solution than no security at all.

Like most Sony notebooks these days, there’s no catch securing the lid, instead the TX3XP uses a spring loaded mechanism to keep the lid closed, which makes opening the notebook one handed very simple. Talking of the lid, this particular model has a Slate Blue finish to the lid which lookds good - the TX2XP I looked at also had this finish, and like that model, this TX3XP is only available from SonyStyle.

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January 8, 2011, 6:24 am

I have owned a Vaio TX for a few years now and ownership has been great.........

Until is started crashing when I moved it around, particularly when picked up by the front left hand edge. This got so bad I effectively couldn't use it. I was just about to put it in the bin when a well know high street retailer with it own "tech" dept offered to fix it on a no win no fee basis. They gave it back to me saying the mother board was cracked and they couldn't get the part. After a drop of wine a thought I would open her up with nothing to lose. Fortunately for me it proved nothing nore than a lose wire and it became apparent the "tech" dept hadn't even opened it. It appears no one will touch these things to repair because, as I found out for myself, EVERYTHING inside is microscopic!

The one desturbing thing about the whole event was that despite Sony claiming a Carbon fibre construction, frankly necessary for something so "lightweight" there wasn't a scrap of it inside mine. The flex crash problem reoccurs and the screen flexs down on the keyboard leaving marks. It's just under-engineered.

Saying that, battery life is excellent and if you are travelling alot, as I was when I bought it, it really is up there in portability. Its is also very smart looking.

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