The most impressive thing about the lid is how thin it is though. Thanks to the LED backlight technology that Sony pioneered in the VAIO TX1XP, the lid of the TZ12VN is wafer thin and helps keep weight down to near anorexic levels. But the LED backlight doesn’t just allow for a thin lid, it also creates a far wider colour gamut than a standard cold cathode light source. You’re immediately hit by how rich, vibrant and accurate the colours are on the TZ12VN when you start using it. If, like me, you find yourself doing a lot of Photoshop work on the move, this screen would be a definite boon.
The high contrast coating on the screen also makes blacks look black, while allowing you to see the screen even in bright sunlight. The viewing angle is also second to none. The screen really excels when watching video, which is handy for a machine as thin and light as this. I generally load my notebook up with video before a long plane journey, just in case I’ve seen the in-flight movies already. Finally, the LED backlight improves battery life, another majorly important factor for an ultra-portable machine.
The display itself measures 11.1in, which is slightly smaller than the 12.1in screens seen on most thin and light notebooks. That said, while most 12.1in displays sport a resolution of 1,280 768 or 1,280 x 800, Sony has managed to squeeze more pixels into less physical space with a resolution of 1,366 x 768. Finally it’s good to see that there’s no hint of light bleed from the bottom of the screen – a problem that plagued the early LED backlight equipped TX models.
The aforementioned keyboard is mounted in a glossy black surround and looks superb – just bear in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time dusting and wiping it to keep it looking good. The keyboard is made up of separated buttons, rather than rows of keys, which at first glance looks like it could make typing uncomfortable, but I can assure you it doesn’t. Just like the X505 which sported a similar keyboard, the TZ12VN is a joy to type on and each key has a surprising amount of travel , with a solid break . I had no trouble sitting down at the TZ12VN and typing at full speed for extended periods.