I recently bought a new Sony Vaio Laptop. Typically I don’t like Sony for much, what with all their rootkits and such. There were a few reasons I decided to buy this laptop though: it had 4GB of RAM, it had a wide-screen (1600×900) and it had a BluRay drive and it was under $1200.
To put it short, this computer is excellent for development. It’s got all the RAM I need to run Visual Studio, and SQL Server and even some virtual machines. The screen is fantastic and a great resolution for developing on. I’m a big fan of wide screens because I can fit more code onto the screen.
The screen is also excellent for something else I like to do: watch TV. The laptop came with three BluRay movies, including Casino Royale. HD movies look great on it, and most wide-screen shows fill the 16:9 ratio monitor. I downloaded some 720p shows and they look awesome. The screen is glossy though, so it’s harder to code on in a bright environment.
There is a “Full HD: 1080p” sticker on the laptop, but if I’m not mistaken full 1080p is 1920×1080, not 1600×900. All the same, it looks fanstastic.
The processor is an Intel Centrino T5800, which is 2.0GHz with a 2MB L2 cache and 800MHz FSB. The RAM is also DD2-800, so the RAM takes advantage of the FSB. There are more powerful and more modern chips out there, but this one is good enough.
It has a “chiclet” keyboard like the Macbooks have with English and French layout keys. It’s a jumble of white, pink, green and orange text on some of the buttons. I think that is just because that is how Future Shop orders them. I’m still getting used to it. It should be parrot proof though, so my birds won’t bite the keys off this one like they did for my Gateway and Compaq laptops!
The mouse trackpad can’t be turned off with a button, but it does have a handy feature to disable tapping when you’re typing. That is handy because I’m always resting my thumb on the trackpad. It doesn’t work 100% for me though, because my hands are still resting on the mousepad even when I’m not actually typing.
In the end, this is a decent laptop that I expect will last me at least two years of development. Probably once it is done I’ll be able to get a Windows 7 laptop!