Sony Vaio PCG-GRX3P notebook

The first notebook we've seen in the Test Centre to sport a massive 16.1in active TFT display, the GRX3P supports resolutions up to 1600x1200 - and the image quality is superb. It falls (heavily) into the desktop replacement category with a weight of 4.2kg with power supply (3.7kg without) and dimensions of 355x39.8x292mm (WxHxD). That said, it provides you with most of the features you would expect from a full-sized PC, plus some extras you wouldn't.

Our test Vaio was powered by a 1.6GHz Pentium 4-M processor twinned with the unit's maximum 512MB of DDR SDRAM. This resulted in productivity benchmark scores of 90 in PC WorldBench 4 and a high-end 152 in SYSMark 2001.

Put to the test, the 32MB DDR ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller ensured smooth 3D performance, achieving 4346 in 3DMark 2001. A 40GB hard drive offers plenty of storage space, and the fast 16x10x8x24x CD-R/RW/DVD-ROM combination drive (great for backups) uses a hot-swappable multi-bay.

The GRX3P uses a glidepad cursor control located just above Sony's proprietary jog-dial that provides quick access to and navigation of the pre-installed software.

The software bundle is generous, although several programs are Sony utilities, including DVGate for image capture, VisualFlow Memory Stick browser and MovieShaker video editing software. These video-enthusiast tools are backed up by a built-in MagicGate slot to read MemoryStick media as well as three USB 1.1 ports and a FireWire port. Other ports include single TV-out, VGA-out (for external monitors), Ethernet, 56Kbps modem and parallel, in addition to stereo headphone and microphone jacks. Standard warranty is 12 months with a three-month extension after registration.

In brief:Sony PCG-GRX3P

A desktop replacement notebook with a large screen (and footprint), high-end performance and plenty of multimedia capabilities.

Price: $5299.

Phone: 1300 13 8246.


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