It is a temporary frustration in the laptop market that 3G enabled laptops are locked into a particular network, but at least Sony’s new Vaios are tied into the network currently offering the best data rates.
T-Mobile is the operator in question and the deal sees the top two models in Sony’s venerable SZ3 series updated to include HSDPA functionality. Cheekily, Sony is marketing these laptops as being capable of 3.6Mbps download data rates which, though technically correct, is a bit of a porky since HSDPA speeds of 3.6Mbps won’t be available until mid Q1 next year. Furthermore all HSDPA enabled cards are capable of running at 3.6Mbps and above anyway, even if it takes a firmware update.
Despite this slight manipulation of facts however the latest SZ3s guarantee a fair bit of future proofing in other areas too with a choice of either Core Duo or Core 2 Duo processors, DDR2 RAM and a nippy nVidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics card. A 13.3in display is standard across the five model line and prices start from £1,199 and push right up to £1,899 depending on spec.
Being T-Mobile based, consumers are signed up to a two month free trial of the network’s Web n Walk data bundle after which the service costs a very reasonable £29 per month on a 12 month contract. A generous 3GB data limit also means you shouldn’t need to worry about going over your allowance.
These new ‘3.6Mbps’ Vaios will ship this month, just don’t expect them to be running at anything more than 1.4 to 1.8Mbps for the next three or four months.