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Sony's Solid State 2.4 Pound Laptop Reviewed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the flexible-solid-state dept.

214

An anonymous reader writes "Last week Sony finally launched its super slim, super sexy TZ series of laptops in the US. If you've been waiting to get your hands on one of these, check out this first review of the top drawer TZ12VN, complete with solid state hard disk. It's a lot of money, but it sure looks sweet!"

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Flash Drives (5, Interesting)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959089)

Anyone know how long do these flash drives last?

Re:Flash Drives (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959185)

Anywhere between 100,000 and 5,000,000 write cycles, depending on the quality of the flash media.

This may or may not be a lot more than a conventional hard drive depending on abuse; in a perfect world, a conventional harddrive would last much longer, but in a laptop, with all the bouncing, the odds are closer to even.

Either way, I wouldn't want to keep anything unique on a laptop.

Re:Flash Drives (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959293)

I think it would be nice if you could just throw 2+ gigs of RAM in one of these things, and disable the swap space, so as not to tax your harddrive. This is probably one of the major culprits for writing lots of data the the hard drive. If you get rid of that, you'd probably greatly increase the life of the drive. Also, with 2 Gigs of RAM, most people would have absolutely no need for swap space.

Still need swap space at 2gb (3, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959459)

Also, with 2 Gigs of RAM, most people would have absolutely no need for swap space.

Not so sure about that. The article did mention it came pre-installed with Vista, FYI. And the reviewer said he uses Photoshop on it.

Re:Flash Drives (1, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959609)

From what I understand for flash based memory that the number of writes is sector based. Meaning you can write to each sector X number of time. A swap partition would probably be a good idea, with an understanding that once you've burned through that partition you need to look at other options, but this way your not risking the rest of your data.

Re:Flash Drives (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959761)

Basically every modern flash device has wear leveling. As I understand it, this means that putting swap on a separate partition will do absolutely nothing to protect your data if the flash drive gets so worn that it starts to wear out.

Re:Flash Drives (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19960093)

Yep. They should just have a slot so you could stick in a 2GB micro-sd card as a sacrificial swap partition. Those things are getting so cheap that by the time you need a new one, it won't be that bad at all to buy another to slap in there.

Re:Flash Drives (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959821)

Because as we all know 64k memory ought to be enough for anybody.

Swap is good (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959901)

Swap means that stuff that genuinely is NEVER used can be swapped out and forgotten about. That means more space for a disk cache or a write buffer, which, in turn, means fewer writes to the disk.

Re:Swap is good (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960247)

But if you're running windows, even doing stuff like minimizing a window can cause it to get swapped to disk. Having an OS that does unnecessary swapping it probably worse than not swapping at all. I think that if you're running simple Email + Word Processing + Web, that you'd probably be better off without a swap file. Even with the disc cache and write buffer, you shouldn't get anywhere close to 2 GB. If you're doing something more advanced like using Photoshop, or running VS.Net, then maybe this option isn't right for you. However, I think that many people would benefit more from not having a swap file, and lots of memory than they would from having a swap file. Even on standard laptops with spinning drives, for which writing to the swap file means decreased battery life.

Re:Flash Drives (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960173)

"I think it would be nice if you could just throw 2+ gigs of RAM in one of these things, and disable the swap space, so as not to tax your harddrive."

Absolutely you can.  I'm writing this on a system with no swap for the last year, running VMWare (with 750 megs of ram allocated to the guest), developing a large software app in NetBeans, running firefox (with about 20 tabs open), gimp, etc. etc...  Under linux it's as simple as not putting any swap entries in /etc/fstab.  Here's the output of "free" - Note the zeroes on the Swap line:

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       2074016    2010732      63284          0     117184    1473496
-/+ buffers/cache:     420052    1653964
Swap:            0          0          0

I agree with you, 2G is still a pretty ridiculous amount of RAM for 99% of applications.  Just because it's now cheap doesn't mean it's necessary.  1G is ample for mainstream applications.

Re:Flash Drives (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959359)

Are any companies selling flash hard disks in a 2.5" or even a 3.5" SATA or ATA form factor retail, or is it an OEM-only product? Other than IBM selling a 15.8 gig drive for around a grand, I've seen a few companies that I've never heard of before selling these, but that seems to be basically it.

Re:Flash Drives (2, Informative)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959817)

Other than IBM selling a 15.8 gig drive for around a grand, I've seen a few companies that I've never heard of before selling these, but that seems to be basically it.

Solid state disks are memory products, so it's the memory vendors that will be selling them. That means that companies like Transcend and Super Talent are the brands you should be expecting to see.

Wear leveling and redundancy (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959661)

... are the two main ways to fight the finite write cycles.

Wear leveling essentially distributes writes to a frequently-accessed logical sector to multiple physical sectors. Without it, cheap flash cards would barely survive ~10K pictures (they use the FAT filesystem, btw). Redundancy - it simply means that there are more physical sectors than logical ones, to transparently replace dead sectors.

Re:Flash Drives (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960131)

This may or may not be a lot more than a conventional hard drive depending on abuse; in a perfect world, a conventional harddrive would last much longer, but in a laptop, with all the bouncing, the odds are closer to even.

Except when flash wears out you simply can't WRITE to it anymore. You can read fine. Assuming that whatever you were doing last will cause the biggest problem (failure during your last write when the drive "fails"), you can easily just plug the drive in somewhere else and copy your data to your new drive. I'd say that with the durability factor that CF would certainly be the way to go.

Re:Flash Drives (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960339)

Anywhere between 100,000 and 5,000,000 write cycles, depending on the quality of the flash media.

This may or may not be a lot more than a conventional hard drive depending on abuse; in a perfect world, a conventional harddrive would last much longer, but in a laptop, with all the bouncing, the odds are closer to even.
No, it is pretty much many, many years longer than a spinning disk of equivalent size. In summary, at the absolute worst case of continuous streaming writes at maximum throughput it will take roughly 25 years to fail.

Another benefit that flash has over spinning disk is that almost all failure modes are at write time, so the hardware can detect the error and write to a spare flash cell without the user experiencing any problems. Error detection on rotating media is almost always at read-time, usually long after it is too late to recover from.

See here for the gory details. [storagesearch.com]

Re:Flash Drives (1)

JrOldPhart (1063610) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959197)

Probably as long or longer than the spinning disk flavor of mass storage.

Re:Flash Drives (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959731)

Anyone know how long do these flash drives last?
Not long underwater. Don't ask.

Why are flash hard drives so expensive??? (5, Interesting)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960025)

Why are flash hard drives SO EXPENSIVE? It's $300 for a 16gb 2.5" IDE drive [newegg.com] on Newegg!!!

On the other hand, a 16gb CompactFlash card is only $140 [newegg.com] . And the CompactFlash interface is electrically identical to IDE/PATA, so you can use a $5 mechanical adapter [ebay.com] to connect a CompactFlash card to your notebook's hard drive bay.

What am I missing here???
  • I can make my own 16gb solid-state IDE disk for only $150 (and 32gb CF cards are coming out in a few months).
  • Does the $300 Transcend solid-state disk include any additional caching features or other speed-up? (the web site doesn't say: http://www.transcendusa.com/Products/ModDetail.asp ?ModNo=164&SpNo=3&LangNo=0 [transcendusa.com] )
  • Are the 32gb disks anything more than just a little RAID0 chip with two 16gb CF cards attached?


Inquiring minds want to know. Maybe I can start selling cheapo 16gb solid state drives on eBay for $180 and make a killing :)

Re:Why are flash hard drives so expensive??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19960187)

make sure your cf-ide adapter supports dma transfers.

Re:Why are flash hard drives so expensive??? (4, Informative)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960305)

make sure your cf-ide adapter supports dma transfers.
The CF-IDE adapter is simply a passive mechanical adapter... nothing more than a connector between the pins of the CF card and the pins of the IDE header.

However, you bring up a good point: if the CF card doesn't support DMA, it will be quite slow. The one I linked to apparently doesn't support DMA [newegg.com] :-( Anyone know what the prices are like for 16gb CF cards that do support UDMA mode 4? An 8gb CF card supporting DMA costs $110 [newegg.com] ... and it is made by Transcend. It sounds like they may be the leading maker of CF cards that support DMA.

Hopefully other manufacturers will catch up quick, since DMA capabilities don't depend on the raw NAND flash chips, only on the controller chip... so the cost to manufacture a CF card supporting DMA should barely increase.

AAA+++++!!! FAST, CLEAR COMMENT, MOD INSIGHTFUL!!! (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960259)

bwahahahahaha

but, really, good point.

A Few Days or Essentially Forever (5, Informative)

arrianus (740942) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960163)

Flash media will typically have about 100,000 read/write cycles before failing. It's sometimes advertised as millions, but practically, no one makes media that goes over 300k, and no one makes media that goes under maybe 10k. Used naively (e.g. CompactFlash in an IDE-to-CF adapter as your / partition), the time to failure is on the order of days. Log files, file access times, and bits like that get written over and over and over, with some files being touched every few seconds. You've got 86,400 seconds in a day, which is in the same ballpark as flash endurance. I've seen drives fail this way.

Used properly, however, a SSD will last forever. Typically, the drive will include load spreading somewhere in the chain. The algorithms are a bit more clever than what I'm about to describe, but naively, if you've written the same location more than a few times, you move that data to a different location. This are often implemented in the drive's firmware, but may also be implemented in the file system (Linux comes with a few flash file systems that do this -- indeed, OLPC uses one of them). Used this way, the solid state drive will last for many decades of continuous use before failing, and will eventually fail for the same mechanisms as any other old IC. A 40GB drive, written at 100Mbps, will take about an hour to overwrite completely. With an endurance of 100,000 cycles, you get a bit over 10 years of continuous write at that speed before you run into endurance limits. With normal write frequencies, that means it'll last essentially forever.

Data is stored as charge on a conductor surrounded by insulator, but the insulator isn't perfect, and eventually, electrons do drift on and off. As a result, data stored in flash has a lifetime on the order of 10 years if it doesn't get refreshed. Of course, refreshing it is trivial (read out data, write it back).

Of course, with a Sony laptop, the major question isn't drive lifetime, but how long until the hinges or latches break. Sony laptops typically frequently have mechanical failures within a few months of purchase. Sony skims on quality quite a bit, these days, and is mostly running on reputation for quality acquired many years ago. That, combined with shooting for the lowest possible weight (and skimming on construction quality to save weight too) makes for pretty flimsy laptops.

Re:Flash Drives (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960177)

Depends what drive it is; from what I've seen, even the cheaper ones are rated for *decades* of use, using the full write bandwidth of the drive.

This doesn't sound too unlikely given even a fairly modest 2 million cycles over 32G of wear-levelled storage makes for over 60PB of writes.

Since we're talking about Vaio's here, (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959097)

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call them "flimsy state" devices, rather than "solid state"?

Re:Since we're talking about Vaio's here, (3, Funny)

Suspended_Reality (927563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959149)

Flimsy state? Not phallic enough. Solid state? Rock on.

Re:Since we're talking about Vaio's here, (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959223)

Flimsy state? Not phallic enough.

Is flaccid state better?

flacid. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960141)

Is flaccid state better?

Ask MicroSoft for assurance and immoral support or consult with Dr. Stallman for a cure.

Re:Since we're talking about Vaio's here, (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959227)

Just as long as you don't call them liquid state...

Re:Since we're talking about Vaio's here, (1)

JrOldPhart (1063610) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959287)

The guts of a conventional hard drive are what is flimsy.

$4000? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959099)

Fuck that shit.

Re:$4000? (5, Insightful)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959229)

Sure, it's not exactly worth it yet unless you've got the money anyway or specifically require a small, lightweight machine with a Solid State drive, however this is still good news regardless.
This is progress and it means the cheaper SSD notebooks are just around the corner once this technology becomes mainstream.

$200. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960191)

$200 laptops are here [engadget.com] . It's small, light and has more horsepower than the five year old PIII I'm using. With GNU/Linux, you don't need a portable super computer.

Re:$4000? (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959425)

The thing you have to realise about the UK is that electronics over here just take the dollar price and put a pound sign in front of it. That's right. We pay double for everything. Fuck that shit indeed.

So it would be more like $2000 on your side of the pond.

Re:$4000? (0)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959515)

$2,000 is still awfully expensive. I'd rather spend that on a top-of-the-line "gaming" laptop or even better would be some SUPER awesome desktop.

Re:$4000? (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959925)

$2,000 is still awfully expensive. I'd rather spend that on a top-of-the-line "gaming" laptop or even better would be some SUPER awesome desktop.
Then you are clearly not the target demographic :-)

Re:$4000? (1)

ForMeToPoopOn (584061) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960303)

Amen!

According to TFA you spend that much for a solid state drive and save a whoooooping 0.04 KG in weight compared to a traditional hard drive - and you get much much smaller storage capacity. The weight difference is less then a feather!!!!!

Unless the solid state drive increase the battery life significantly, I see no sense at all in buying this kind of machines...

Please excuse the drool (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959119)

Dear god that looks amazing.
The cylindrical battery in the hinge is inspired.

Maybe I should get out more.

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

XSforMe (446716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959303)

If my memory serves me right, Compaq Armadas were the first laptops to place the battery there.

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

Sczi (1030288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959643)

My Armada had the battery in a floppy drive slot, and I could actually remove the floppy and add a 2nd battery. They did make armadas for quite a while, though, so maybe they had several designs?

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960261)

My Armada M300 (which I still use) has a cylindrical battery which attaches to the rear of the laptop, covering the rear ports. When the lid is closed, it might, very remotely, look like (part) of the hinge. Here's the HP/Compaq page with an illustration [hp.com] , and a here's a photo with the docking station and the battery visible [impress.co.jp] . It's also possible to replace either the floppy or the CDROM in the docking station with a battery, but I was never able to find one.

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960227)

I'm not sure which came first, but I have a 10+ year old Sony Vaio laptop with a hinge-battery like that. From the wikipedia article, it looks like they were very close together.

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959405)

Just from a quick glance at the article, I couldn't figure out how long the battery actually lasts. Just that it has improved over some other model. How many hours does this thing actually get? I am not going to spend a lot of money on a laptop, till I get one with reasonable battery life. Something over 8 hours would be really nice. Until then, $4000 for a laptop is just too much. Sorry if I'm expecting too much, but with all the advancements they've made in laptops in the past 10 years, they still haven't made one that has a longer lasting battery. That seems to be the one killer feature that is missing.

Re:Please excuse the drool (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959647)

The article said battery life was somewhere around 7 hours.

but (5, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959121)

Will it run linux?

Re:but (1)

Chikenistheman (992447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959407)

If by run you mean boot, run, restart and use all the buttons then . . . No.

Re:but (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959451)

I run Ubuntu on an old VGN-S270P Vaio. I know someone who put in on a later SZ series Vaio, but had wireless card issues. (Otherwise it worked ok.)

Re: wireless issues (5, Informative)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959551)

The two greatest resources I've found for finding Linux wireless card drivers are:

http://linux-wless.passys.nl/ [passys.nl]
http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.ph p?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/id,list / [sourceforge.net]

Between those two, I've never had a problem finding drivers. Maybe you could point your friend in that direction.

Re: wireless issues (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959587)

I think he gave up and used an old Thinkpad he had lying around.

Re: wireless issues (2, Informative)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960107)

The two greatest resources I've found for finding Linux wireless card drivers are:

http://linux-wless.passys.nl/ [passys.nl]
That site is awesome. Thanks for the link! I've been hoping for a searchable database of linux-friendly wireless cards for a while (even thought about making my own)!

Re:but (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959759)

Parent post makes a completely legitimate question, whether or not it was intended that way.

Does Sony actively support running Linux on its hardware, or have they resigned themselves to being just an Apple clone with black plastic?

But (1)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959799)

Will it blend?

DRM (1)

Aleksej (1110877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959839)

The real question is: does it play .ogg? -- By which I mean Vorbis, FLAC, Theora, and any other Ogg and non-ogg non-DRM free formats.

Will it run GNU/Linux? Yes. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960283)

One day, it will. You might wonder if it will ever run Vista well [bayimg.com] . My bet is on GNU/Linux.

In the mean time, you can keep the $3,800 price difference and get something like this [engadget.com] , that weighs 2lbs and comes with gnu/linux installed.

What was that prediction about a $200 price point for PCs? Oh yeah, that's right - non free software won't be able to compete when the price point drops to $200. The world is looking better every day.

SSDs (4, Insightful)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959129)

It's good we're finally starting to see SSDs starting to ship as an option in notebooks. Mechanical hard drives have served us well but I for one can't wait for the speed and reliability increases we're going to see in the future with Solid State.

How much time do you spend each day waiting for your drive to stop churning? The hard drive is certainly the weakest link in my system when it comes to performance!

Re:SSDs (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959711)

How much time do you spend each day waiting for your drive to stop churning?
Install more RAM

The hard drive is certainly the weakest link in my system when it comes to performance!
See above

Seriously, for most people, 512MB of RAM isn't enough on a laptop.
My computer savvy friends all have >1GB
My non-savvy ones sit around waiting for their HD to stop churning.

Re:SSDs (1)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959913)

I'm currently running at 2GB!

Sure, I could go to 4GB or higher (It'll take 16 but there's little chance of me being able to afford that for a long time!) however I don't think much more is going to be all that useful for me, most of the time when I glance down at the RAM meter approx 1GB is being used by applications and the remaining 1GB is cache.

I've got quad (Dual Dual-Core) Xeons, so there is no CPU bottleneck either.
The hard drive is still the weakest link in my system!

Re:SSDs (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959977)

More RAM generally doesn't help the initial boot and app start-up times. Your suggestion would help speed up app switching or starting up more apps than you can fit in your RAM.

BTW: I have a 1GB system and it's only using 380MB.

Re:SSDs (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959793)

Current SSD drives are a little faster than the 1.8" drives. 2.5" drives are still faster than SSD drives.

Maxing out the RAM helps too.

£ or lb? (5, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959167)

Either this is a very cheap, or a very light laptop.

Light, not cheap (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959195)

The price is £1,786.38 or (£2,099.00 as reviewed).

Re:£ or lb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959253)

accessories include a 10 lbs weight chained to it for better stability

Re:£ or lb? (1)

My name is Bucket (1020933) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959467)

Whether it weighs 2 pounds and costs 2000 pounds, or costs 2 pounds and weighs 2000 pounds, I think you'd be getting the same relative value for your money.

Re:£ or lb? (2, Funny)

Gojaroo (987220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959507)

At ~2000 pounds, its actually either really expensive or really heavy.

light and cheap alternatives (2, Informative)

lumierang (881089) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959525)

As for light and cheap laptop i have to point out the Asus EEEhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asus_Eee [wikipedia.org] . 2lb, 7inch LCD, 900 MHz Pentium M , 512 MB DDR2-400, 4 or 8 GB flash Solid state drive, Starting at $200, perfect for portable needs

Knowing Sony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959737)

It's a 2.4lb laptop that feels like a 2.4£ laptop!

Re:£ or lb? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960127)

Wow, the cost per weight is almost 875 (unitless).

Just a little too spendy at the moment... (3, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959199)

Glancing through the description, I saw the prices quoted, and thought "heck....that's not too bad...".

Then, I noticed that the thing in front of the numbers wasn't a dollar sign...it was a pound sign. :(

(Just for reference, the current exchange rate is: 1.00 GBP = 2.05749 USD.)

Re:Just a little too spendy at the moment... (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959401)

Glancing through the description, I saw the prices quoted, and thought "heck....that's not too bad...".

Then, I noticed that the thing in front of the numbers wasn't a dollar sign...it was a pound sign. :(

(Just for reference, the current exchange rate is: 1.00 GBP = 2.05749 USD.)

Yes, but that's not the effective exchange rate, which we all know is 1.00 GBP = 1.00 USD.

Welcome to rip-off Britain. </bitter>

Re:Just a little too spendy at the moment... (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959509)

(Just for reference, the current exchange rate is: 1.00 GBP = 2.05749 USD.)
Hardware prices don't necessarily exchang along with the cash exchange rates.

For example (using another Sony product) the PS3 released at GBP 425 for the same unit that cost USD 599 in the US. Exchange was more along the lines of 1.9 at the time, but even so, the US-purchased machine was far cheaper after currency conversion.

I expect the US pricing for this laptop to be significantly under $4000 USD.

I know, everyone jokes about the 1.0000 exchange rates for electronics (and beer, FWIW) -- but they don't necessarily mention the wage exchange rate. As a percentage of income, the pricing on electronics is similar in the US and the UK.

Re:Just a little too spendy at the moment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19960225)

I know, everyone jokes about the 1.0000 exchange rates for electronics (and beer, FWIW) -- but they don't necessarily mention the wage exchange rate. As a percentage of income, the pricing on electronics is similar in the US and the UK.
Income in the US is higher than in the UK, so as a percentage of income the difference is even bigger.

Re:Just a little too spendy at the moment... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960281)

It's listed at £2,099.00, but that's after VAT. Before VAT it's £1,786.38 which should be it's MSRP price. That said after doing the before-VAT conversion, the US MSRP should be listed at $3,664.22 dollars. It's not 4 grand, but it's up there.

Yowza!

Yummy slashvertisement! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959317)

Someday I will be trusted to tag stories on my own... Until then, where the 'slashvertisement' tag for this story?

Re:Yummy slashvertisement! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959463)

For that matter, isn't Sony on our list of evil companies (with others such as Microsoft) after the rootkits they placed on their audio CDs? Why are we running ads to bring business to them? What's next, an article singing the praises of Vista?

Answer me this (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959689)

This is a tech site. Techies are interested in new technology. New technology is sold, not given away. Is Slashdot simply not supposed to mention any new technology? What is the difference between a "Slashvertisement" and an interesting story about new technology?

No "print" version? (-1, Offtopic)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959329)

That advertising conveyance device (ie, "article") has 7 pages, and I don't see a "print" link anywhere. That sort of thing is very annoying.

Re:No "print" version? (1)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959521)

Seems like everyone has forgotten about Sony and it's affinity for screwing over it's customers with proprietary hardware, poor support, and malware. Am I the only one who refuses to buy anything made by Sony, including entertainment devices, computers, music and movies?

Re:No "print" version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959735)

No,
I am like you, not only that but I think they also are screwing you on price.
But I wouldn't buy one from Sony anyway, better check it for root kit right from the factory. >(

Re:No "print" version? (1)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960149)

They're totally screwing you every chance they get.

I was more putting the question out there into the blue nowhere rather than disagreeing with your comment. ;)

Super Sexy?! (0, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959487)

Last week Sony finally launched its super slim, super sexy TZ series of laptops in the US.
Yes, super sexy! So much so that I instantly achieved an erection. Now let's not even get into why "slim" and "sexy" seem so interchangeable and how that reflects upon our shallow, media-fed images of the ideal beauty.

Re:Super Sexy?! (4, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959981)

Give it a rest, fatso.

My Question is (0, Redundant)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959493)

Does it run Linux?

umpaloopa edition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959617)

is the guy in this pic 'manhands' from seinfeld, or could this laptop use a quarter as a rotating table?

http://www.trustedreviews.com/images/article/inlin e/4985-IMG6435s.jpg [trustedreviews.com]

design . . . (0, Troll)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959625)

I'm not an Apple fanboi (honest!) but this new Sony looks very similar to the black MacBook - the keyboard etc - but slightly less elegant and less tidy looking. I think it shows how good the Apple industrial design is now when companies like Sony really can't come close on the aesthetic factor. I'm sure it's a really good machine but dropping that kind of money on a portable has got to be foolish in my experience.

Re:design . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19959743)

The design is based of the old TX ultraportable laptop (which had the same weight, but this has more processing power) and actually Sony had the keyboard first, but nice try.

Re:design . . . (2, Interesting)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959745)

I know, this is Slashdot and no one RTFA, but the article did state that Vaio had a lot of those features first, and Apple later copied them. Is this really a surprise?

Additionally, the specs for this laptop, what with the solid state drive, the led backlighting, and the carbon fiber construction, Apple has nothing that compares, their machines are different, but they'd be at least as expensive if they used all these features, and I'm sure more.

Keep in mind I'm typing this from an iMac and I have a boycott going for Sony. ;)

Re:design . . . (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959945)

fair enough - I only looked at the pictures in a bit of a hurry. I'm a typical /. poster yada blah. Apple have started with LED backlighting too though (3 months ago?) and any lapper could be retrofitted with, say, the Samsung 32Gb SSD that's available now with the 64Gb following later on in the year. I do think, purely aesthetically, the lines of the Sony aren't as good but of course it's about more than design principles.

Re:design . . . (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959753)

TFA mentioned specific models / features sony put out before mac, stating most people / fanboys would think it was a copy.

Re:design . . . (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959995)

Oh FFS! I wasn't trolling just putting forward my impression of the design unsupported by reading the article. I hate the -1 modding that goes on here sometimes.

Re:design . . . (1)

JacksBrokenCode (921041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960125)

Well, if you put forth an incorrect opinion because you didn't educate yourself prior to posting, why shouldn't you deserve a -1 mod?

Re:design . . . (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960299)

Well, if that's the case then 90% of posts should be modded -1 troll. After all /. is infamous for people not RTFA'ing.

Anyway, my opinion is not incorrect - it was my opinion about the design of the thing. I still stand by it. Why did you think I was incorrect?

FTFA (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960147)

I'm not an Apple fanboi (honest!) but this new Sony looks very similar to the black MacBook - the keyboard etc ...

From TFA:

And once again let me make it clear that Sony has not copied the MacBook style of keyboard in fact the MacBook copied Sonys iconic VAIO X505, which preceded it by a couple of years.

American price = 3199 (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959649)

Sony's MSRP on the website is 3199, no extended warranty, etc. I was more impressed by the carbon fiber body than the SSD, can always just buy the SSD and throw it in any laptop. Now all i need to do is find a way to get a contract job with that plus wages as my fee.

Re:American price = 3199 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19960341)

I was more impressed by the carbon fiber body than the SSD

The sexiness of "carbon fiber" is a marketing ploy. Carbon fiber composites are little different than silica fiber composites (ie fiberglass). Nothing more than a carbon cloth embedded in polyester.

Tiny Laptops (1)

pant (814786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959677)

This looks like a cool machine. I wish I could get a more reasonable priced one though. I'd kill for a dayplanner sized laptop, but $4000 us is too much. I don't even care if it doesn't have an integrated cd/dvd drive, but a tiny comp would be great for email/reference/basic web browsing for internet searches. Kind of like a pda on superstrength steroids. I don't need a tiny laptop for truly intense application like gaming or compiling a kernel. The solid state drive would only sweeten the deal. Alas, tiny laptops are always too expensive.

Buttons on the Front? (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959693)

Uhh... my sources tell me that a laptop with projecting front buttons is asking for them to break. EVidently, the most common injury to a laptop is a hard landing. Since we tend to carry them with a thin side pointing down, they land there. And buttons break.

Or so I'm told. I always break my laptops through heat death, which cooks connections and fries batteries, resulting in cancer of the motherboard before the third birthday. So my questions are: A) how hot does it get? and B) how long does it last on a (fresh) battery?

Sony (1)

Qfour20 (181633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19959853)

Rootkit pre-installed for your convenience.

-q

Does it come with a rootkit preinstalled? (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960045)

It'll be a cold day in hell before I hand my money to Sony.

state of solid state hard-drive file systems? (1)

my_alias_was_already (1132001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19960333)

Though slightly off topic, this article prompts me to ask the following question:

With solid state disks (SSD) becoming ever more abundant, is there any utility to optimize file systems for the new hardware? By this I am driving at the point that many file systems presume they are witting with a traditional hard disk. They assume things like tracks, cylinders, and heads are down there somewhere. These assumptions are present in the structuring and subsequent optimization of the file system's source code.

Do current SSDs use the cylinders & heads metaphor in their hardware controller? Do they implement something new?

Presumably, people are all over this issue (or possibly not, this may be a non-issue). Who are these people, and where do I read about their work?

Goodbye PCG-SRX99, Hello TZ12VN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19960355)

Now I don't have to write sony a letter saying how they "had" the best laptops around cause it looks like they do still! The feature I like is the computer-screen angle that is almost 180 degrees. Something Apple doesn't have... a subnotebook you can set on your leg (with the screen almost plush with the keyboard...like this _._ or |). I might just get a SS.HD for my SR series cause its still the sexiest laptop around, even compared to those new smaller ones! Good job sony! (I admit I've been bitchin about the psp and memory sticks but you guys still know how to design laptops better than anyone!!)
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