Sony VAIO VGN-BX168GP
- Poor battery life, small hard drive
Unfortunately there is no microphone, and the specs are a bit weak where it matters.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
Set to be the next in the latest range of Sony VAIOs is the BX168B. The most notable improvement on previous VAIOs is the biometric fingerprint scanner which is becoming more of a standard part of the next generation of notebooks.
The scanner is very accurate, and well implemented to allow for a single biometric sign on into all of your password-protected areas. We tried ye olde "fool the scanner with a Gummi Bear" trick without any success. To make full use of the finger print sign on, the Documents folder has been replaced by My Safe, which is only accessible via a finger swipe or a password.
Sony has also included a light, but bulky docking station that has an Ethernet connection, two USB ports, a serial port, monitor and DVI-D outputs and a printer output. There is also an exchangeable drive bay and a bay for an extra battery to be on charge (although the extra battery doesn't come with the notebook).
The BX168GP battery life is a little short (especially considering that the notebook weighs 3kg), only 1hr 38min under worst-case conditions. However, the second battery being charged while you are out and about compensates for this to a certain degree. It isn't just the battery that is on the lean side, the built-in hard drive is incredibly small, with only 30GB of space. The BX168GP is designed to rely more on the 70GB exchangeable drive that is included.
In our tests, it posted 4733 in 3DMark 2001SE, which was low compared to similarly priced laptops. It has Wi-Fi and media ports on the front and an excellent quality Web camera above the monitor.
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For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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