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At times the TZ11MN can feel a little sluggish under Vista, but this is down to the amount of system memory at its disposal. Feeding it a healthy 2GB serving of RAM when you put your money down should solve that problem quick smart.
It’s important to remember though, that this notebook is not about raw performance, it’s about being a fully featured, mobile computer that’s thin and light enough to be carried anywhere and everywhere. In single-core applications, the TZ11MN performed much like the Asus U1F, which sported a dual core 1.06GHz CPU, but not in ULV guise. However, the TZ11MN will obviously provide better battery live, while still running multi-threaded applications, or multi-tasking.
Sony is quoting nine hours battery life for the TZ11MN, which is the same as the TX3XP. I ran MobileMark on the TX3XP and it actually lived up to its nine hour billing, but since BaPCo still hasn’t produced a Vista version of MobileMark, I couldn’t do the same on this machine. Instead I implemented some subjective battery testing – I turned off the screen saver, stopped the screen from turning off and used the TZ11MN all day. I have been writing this review on the machine, doing various amounts of web browsing over both wired and wireless connections and played back some DVD content etc. The result was a battery life of around six hours, but it’s fair to say that this would be significantly higher if I allowed the machine to implement various power saving features, like switching off the screen in periods of inactivity, dropping the CPU performance and switching the wireless adapters off when not in use.
It’s therefore fair to say that the TZ11MN is the perfect partner for anyone who needs to work away from a power socket all day. It’s also very impressive that the dual-core CPU hasn’t detrimentally affected battery life to a significant extent.
Continuing my tradition of automotive analogies, the TZ11MN is like the notebook equivalent of a Pagani Zonda – it’s sleek, stylish, beautiful to look at and has a chassis lovingly crafted from carbon fibre. Luckily you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to own a TZ11MN though…
Sony has built on the good points of the TX Series but also taken some inspiration from the iconic X505VP and produced a truly stunning ultra-portable notebook. Sony has mastered the LED backlight technology and created the best notebook screen I’ve ever seen, while Intel’s new dual-core ULV mobile chip is also a triumph for the ultra-portable notebook platform. It could do with more memory, but other than that Sony has pretty much hit the target in every area.
The price is high, but you’re getting a lot of cutting edge technology for that price, and it’s worth remembering that the starting price for the TZ Series is significantly lower than it was for any of the TX Series products at launch. Ultimately, if I could have any notebook computer on the market right now, it would be this one – enough said!