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Sony VAIO VGN-U70P

The bottom right corner also houses three buttons. One of these controls the brightness of the backlight, another takes you into a hardware setup menu populated with volume control, brightness, mute etc. The third button fires up a rather strange handwriting recognition/text entry utility that I couldn’t quite get the hang of. Now, before you think that I shouldn’t be reviewing a PC if I can’t figure out the applications, let me point out that the Type U is only available in Japan, so everything on this device, including Windows XP, is Japanese. Now, I do happen to be learning Japanese, but I’m not very good yet, and I haven’t even started on reading and writing!
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The final two buttons are in the bottom left corner, and are labelled Zoom and Rotate. The Zoom button will change the resolution of the screen – you can drop it down to 640 x 480, or push it up to 1,024 x 768, 1,280 x 1,024 or 1,600 x 1,200. Of course the higher resolutions present you with a virtual desktop that you have to scroll around. The Rotate button spins the display into a portrait format, which can be very handy when you’re reading a long document.

On the left side of the chassis is the power switch, a hold switch to stop any buttons being pressed inadvertently, and a headphone socket. The headphone socket also accepts a Sony type remote control and thankfully one is supplied in the box, complete with backlit display. On the right is a single USB port, a hardware switch for the integrated 802.11b wireless adapter and a control+alt+del button – absolutely imperative for any Windows based device.
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On the top you’ll find a standby button, a MemoryStick slot and a CompactFlash slot. It’s good to see that Sony is giving you the option of using a different memory card format from it’s own MemoryStick. Here you’ll also find a couple of clips that hold the battery in place – the battery takes up the whole back of the device.

The Type U also comes with fully featured docking station that angles the screen perfectly for working at a desk. Integrated into the docking station are four USB ports, a four-pin FireWire port, a D-SUB for connecting the Type U to an External monitor, an Ethernet port and the power socket.
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Also bundled is a cute little fold away USB keyboard, that’s a perfect partner for the Type U when it’s in the docking station. Despite being completely flat, the action on the keyboard is pretty good, although the selector buttons are too close to the Spacebar and I found myself hitting them by mistake. There’s also a trackpoint mounted at the centre of the keyboard. Finally, there’s a padded case that the Type U slips into, to keep it warm and toasty when you’re carrying it around.

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