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.