Random Rants

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Archive for May, 2008

Sony VAIO VGN-SZ56GN: A review.

Posted by silverstag on May 30, 2008

I purchased a Sony VAIO laptop (VGN-SZ56GN) sometime back. December 2007 to be precise. I slapped in an extra 2 GB of RAM along with the defalut config. Couldn’t get my machine to utilise 4 Gigs of it and had to settle to 3 GB. The whole thing cost me 1,10,000INR. Did I blow too much on just a piece metal and silicon? No, I just wanted to feel rich and, that was totally worth every single buck.

Now, after almost 6 months of use, How good did my purchase turn out to be?

Here goes…

Good Stuff:

  • Display is very crisp and looks beautiful.
  • At 1.93 Kgs, the laptop is light and makes some other laptops look like breifcases.
  • The free, extra 2 years international warranty is welcome for a laptop of this cost.
  • You can run the laptop in two “Stamina” and “Speed” modes. Really nice if you want to save some juice.
  • I can play Crysis (Albeit, at a low fps). That should suffice my gaming needs.
  • The keyboard which uses the entire length of the laptop making it very comfortable for typing.
  • Trackpad is responsive and smooth.
  • Some nifty software is bundled with the laptop.

Bad Stuff:

  • Battery life is pathetic, and even more so if you’re running in “Speed” mode.
  • Built-in speakers aren’t that great but, that’s not much of a problem if you got some other speakers.
  • Just two USB ports isn’t good enough for me.
  • Comes preloaded with Windows Vista. More on that below.

So, why is preloading Vista a bad thing?

For one thing, I had purchased a copy of XP just before I bought the laptop. Talk about bad timing. And for other, If I try to dual boot Linux alongside Vista, my network connection starts acting up. The wireless router I use to connect to the internet keeps getting rebooted when I am using Vista. This doesn’t happen when I use Linux with XP. If I wipe out the Linux installation things start working fine again. Weird, huh!. Tell you what? It frustrates me not being able to run whatever I want on my laptop.

I need to find out why this is happening only when I run Vista with Linux. And, let me tell you Sony Customer Care wasn’t much helpful.

For now, I’m running Vista alone, since I don’t really need Linux except for satisfying my geek fantasies. 😉

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