Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN
- Stylish design, minuscule size and weight, good battery life, well built
- Not very powerful, limited specifications
The VAIO TZ17GN is an ideal ultraportable thanks to a compact, lightweight frame, good battery life and solid, if not outstanding performance. A stylish design sweetens the deal.
Price$ 3,599.00 (AUD)
The Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN is an ultraportable notebook that features a stylish design, excellent battery life and a weight of just 1.2kg. The TZ17 is ideal for mobile professionals who require a decent level of performance while on the road.
The VGN-TZ17GN has a tiny 11.1in screen with a 1366x768 resolution and weighs in at just 1.2kg. It has an excellent viewing angle, is bright and clear and offers reasonable colour - so it's fine to watch a DVD movie on. The screen is glossy though, so if you're working in an office environment, fluorescent lights reflecting off the display can become annoying.
At the heart of this notebook is an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 CPU running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 2GB) and a 100GB hard drive. Despite the small size, Sony conveniently manages to squeeze in a DVD-RW/RAM drive. Overall, these specifications aren't outstanding, but suit the target market of this notebook; an ideal solution for frequent travellers who would only be e-mailing, browsing the Internet and editing Office documents.
We encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files to test the system's performance. The encoding time of 3min 30sec is fairly slow, although somewhat expected considering the specifications. As it's aimed at business users, a biometric fingerprint scanner allows the system to be locked and adds security to the Windows Vista log-in process, as well as many applications. A VGA port is also available to output presentations to a larger screen or projector.
The VAIO hasn't been designed for extensive graphics use, so it's no surprise to see it only uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950. This scored a low, but completely expected 2454 in our 3DMark2001 benchmark. Multimedia is notable though, with a media card reader supporting MagicGate, MS/MS-Pro and SD cards, a fingerprint reader sitting neatly between the mouse buttons and a set of media controls residing on the front edge of the chassis. There's also a VGA MotionEye camera built into the top of the display, and headphone and microphone jacks on the front.
For connectivity, a pair of USB 2.0 ports joins an Express Card slot, one gigabit Ethernet port and a 56Kbps modem port, in addition to a FireWire 400 port. Built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 are also offered.
Aesthetically, the VAIO is extremely stylish. It is finished in 'Sanity Black' and the flat, black matte scissor keys on a glossy base is a nice touch. The cover has a silver VAIO logo etched into the top, while the cylindrical design is practical and feels sturdy. Although the VAIO is small, it feels solid enough and isn't fragile. The screen exhibits a little flex, but this is natural as it's very thin.
We tested the battery life by looping a DVD until the notebook has no charge left. The DVD loop test is considered a worst-case scenario, as it utilises the optical drive and speakers, as well as the screen, CPU and other core components. The VAIO lasted 2hrs 42min before the battery died, which is a strong result. Keep in mind though that all our tests were run using maximum performance battery profiles. Longer battery life can be achieved by selecting a number of other power profiles through Vista's control panel.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- Why my older Chromebook has a right to live, even if Google says it's over
- Which is the best Mac to learn programming and coding: Buying advice for Mac coders
- A Surface all-in-one PC may lead a Microsoft hardware refresh in October
- Hands-on with Asus ROG G752 and GeForce GTX 1070 (or holy crap this thing is fast!)
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 for laptops break the mobile mold
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
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.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTNetwork and Security Design EngineerNSW
- CCPMO AnalystNSW
- FTCertification and Accreditation Security ConsultantACT
- CCIT Security ArchitectACT
- FTBusiness Development Manager | ICT intelligent systems integrationVIC
- CCSoftware TesterACT
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager - DCR ProjectNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst -Change and SAP ProcurementNSW
- CCContract Web Developer (160915/WD/vmp)Asia
- FTBackup ConsultantWA
- CCService Desk analystSA
- CCFull Stack Application Developer - IoT projectsVIC
- CCBusiness ArchitectNSW
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- FTIT Pre-Sales EngineerSA
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTScrum Master | High Profile FintechNSW
- CCJava / J2ee ProgrammersACT
- FTTechnical Business Analyst | Marketing ServicesNSW
- CCInformatica Developer (MDM)NSW
- CCSenior Infrastrcture Project ManagerACT
- FTTeam Leader Full Stack, Python, FinanceNSW
- CCData Analyst | Data Feeds | Catalogue and MapNSW
- CCSecurity Cleared IT Professionals - Expression of InterestSA