Feeds
70%
Sony Vaio SZ4 series notebook

Sony Vaio SZ4 slimline laptop

It's slim but is it a lightweight?

Reducing security risks from open source software

You get a fairly reasonable list of software with the SZ4, including SonicStageCP 4.2, SonicStage Mastering Studio 2.3, DVgate Plus 2.3, WinDVD 8.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, Acrobat 8.0 and Microsoft Works 8.5, as well as the annoying trial version of Norton Internet Security 2007. We have to wonder how much of this is relevant to the business user, and in particular Works and Norton seem out of place.

Sony Vaio SZ4 series notebook

The SZ4's performance is solid if uninspiring. However, the cooling fan makes a steady noise not dissimilar to a small hairdryer. Sony has done an impressive job by shoehorning this much hardware into such a slender chassis, but it seems that the cooling system has paid a price.

Running the standard benchmark tests, the GeForce Go 7200 scored 707 - not bad for general apps, but you'd not want to run games more graphically challenging than Tetris on it. That's reflected in the low-ish PCMark05 graphics rating of 2103, compared to CPU, memory and hard disk scores of 4801, 3890 and 3205, respectively. Overall, the SZ4 scored 4084.

We've got bad news when it comes to the battery life as we only got a mere one hour and five minutes of continuous use from the SZ4. The standard battery is rated at 5200mAh and costs an amusing £139. But the alternative, 7800mAh battery is priced at a scary £279. We reckon this bigger battery should last for one hour and 40 minutes, which is hardly more than the bundled standard unit, so you'd better expect to carry the sizeable 560g AC adaptor supply with you when you're on the move.

Verdict

We have mixed feelings about the Vaio SZ4. It looks superb and has a decent keyboard and a clear, bright, colourful screen. The list of features is likely to appeal to the business user - especially if you can persuade your company to pay for it - and its size will win the approval of individuals who doesn't mind paying a little more to get a machine that's a lot more portable than most. But with such a short battery life it doesn't seem like a practical proposition.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

70%
Sony Vaio SZ4 series notebook

Sony Vaio SZ4 slimline laptop

A gorgeous laptop - but the price is too high and the battery life too short...
Price: From £1699/$2050 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.