After a bit of tinkering in power management, I set the CPU to drop its speed and set the fans to quiet mode. Instantly the fan spun down, but then a few seconds later it spun up again, then stopped, then started, then stopped, then started ad infinitum….It’s generally accepted that tonal changes can be more annoying than a constant noise, and I have to say that in this case it’s definitely true. To be fair though, this is a very early sample of the TX1XP and both the T2XP and the S4M quite happily ticked over silently with a bit of tweaking – Sony has since assured me that this has been addressed in production units.
As far as performance goes, I’m far more concerned with battery life on a thin and light notebook than I am with raw power. That said, 167 overall in SYSmark 2002 is pretty respectable for a machine with a modest Ultra-Low Voltage CPU. But it’s the MobileMark 2005 scores that really impressed me. Running the DVD playback test produced a time of just over four and a half hours – that’s pretty staggering and means that you could watch pretty much anything on battery power, including a director’s cut of a Lord of the Rings movie, or even Ben Hur!
But I really wasn’t prepared for the result from the application based battery test. I usually expect at least three hours from a decent Centrino branded notebook, but the TX1XP has more stamina than a toy bunny with Duracell batteries, turning in a time of five hours and 43 minutes! What’s so incredible about the battery performance of the TX1XP is that these results were obtained using a standard battery. Sony did include an extended battery in the box, but due to the very short time that I had access to this machine, I wasn’t able to test the second, larger battery. If I get my hands on a TX1XP again I will try and benchmark it with the larger battery, but I would be surprised if it doesn’t give you a full eight hour day – although with a retail price of £249 you’ve got to really need that extra battery life!