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Solid state drives will also draw less power since there are no motors to drive, no platters to spin and no physical heads to move. Finally, a solid state drive will also be lighter than a traditional hard disk, something that’s particularly appealing in an ultra-portable notebook like this one.
The big question is whether you can actually tell the difference when using a notebook with an SSD as opposed to an HDD, and I’m glad to say that you definitely can. When I reviewed the TZ11MN I mentioned that it was a little sluggish at times, but I’ve encountered no such issues with this machine. Applications open incredibly quickly and Vista as a whole just feels far more responsive. Of course some of this improvement is no doubt due to the 2GB of memory installed, as opposed to the 1GB seen in the TZ11MN. However, my Samsung Q40 definitely feels more responsive since being equipped with an SSD, and since I was previously using it with a standard HDD and the same amount of memory, it’s clear that an SSD does make a discernable difference to everyday Windows work.
The down side of a solid state drive is capacity, and just like my Samsung, this Sony ships with a 32GB drive, which is pretty meagre by today’s standards, even for ultra-portables. In fact, the TZ model one rung below this one ships with a massive 100GB hard drive! But I’m generally of the opinion that you really don’t need masses of storage space in a notebook, especially one as thin and light as this. If you use a notebook for work, there’s almost no amount of files that can fill up 32GB. What eats up hard disk space is stuff like music and video libraries – stuff that is far from necessary on a machine that’s supposed to be a work tool. If however you’re looking for an ultra-portable machine for personal use, you may want to look at one of the cheaper TZ models with a traditional drive.
Sitting in the driving seat of the TZ12VN is an Intel Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage chip running at 1.2GHz. This is the first dual core ULV chip that Intel has produced and despite the fact that it still runs on the older 533MHz bus, it will still provide significantly improved performance over the previous TX machines. As already mentioned, there’s 2GB of RAM supporting the CPU and Vista nips along quite nicely with this configuration.