Connectivity is very well catered for with an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG card providing 802.11a, b and g support, as well as integrated Bluetooth. You also get Gigabit Ethernet, so you’ll have lightning fast connectivity to your office network, as long as your office has a Gigabit switch of course. If there’s one thing I’d really like to see in a TZ machine, it’s an integrated HSDPA module – hopefully Sony has something like that up its sleeve.
Like the TZ11MN before it, the TZ12VN looks absolutely beautiful – I’d go as far as saying that this is the best looking notebook on sale today. Surely even the most die hard Apple fan boys will have to admit that not only does the TZ12VN look better than a MacBook, but it also weighs less than half as much as Apple’s mobile fashion item. And once again let me make it clear that Sony has not copied the MacBook style of keyboard – in fact the MacBook copied Sony’s iconic VAIO X505, which preceded it by a couple of years.
The TZ12VN’s chassis is constructed from carbon fibre, which brings with it the dual advantages of strength and lightness. My mountain bike is liberally peppered with carbon fibre components for the same reasons, they’re stiff, light and very strong – unfortunately they’re also very expensive. This is why there aren’t too many notebooks out there with carbon fibre construction, despite the fact that it’s clearly the best material if you want to build a light and strong machine.
Dimensionally, the TZ12VN is, unsurprisingly identical to the TZ11MN that I reviewed previously, but the measurements of 276 x 199 x 29mm (WxDxH) are no less impressive now than they were then. Interestingly Sony has managed to shave off a few grams by using the solid state drive – the TZ12VN weighs in at 1.15kg compared to the TZ11MN at 1.19kg.
The TZ11MN had a sand coloured lid that offset the rest of the chassis which was finished in black. The TZ12VN on the other hand is completely black, although the lid has a slate like finish to it. I’m sure that some people will prefer the contrast of the sand coloured lid, but for me the stealthy look of the TZ12VN wins every time. At the centre of the lid is a mirror finish VAIO logo, which contrasts the slate finish perfectly.