Review of Sony VAIO NR
Review of SONY VAIO NR
The Sony VAIO NR is the latest family of stylish, colorful, consumer friendly notebooks from Sony.The VAIO NR is available in three colors (brown, white, and silver) with a full range of Intel processors (from the 1.46GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor T2310 to the 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450) starting at $799. The only screen offering is the 15.4" WXGA but the notebook can take up to 4GB of RAM. Built-in wireless 802.11 a/b/g is standard.
The following is the detailed specification:
- Processor: 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250
- Hard Drive: 160 GB hard drive (SATA, 5400RPM)
- Memory: 1GB RAM (PC5300, 667 MHz, DDR2 SDRAM, 2 x 512 MB) -- 4GB max memory
- Screen: 15.4-inch screen WXGA (1280 x 800) with XBRITE-ECO (glossy finish)
- Optical Drive: DVD+-R Double layer / DVD+-RW Drive
- Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g)
- Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
- Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (965 Express chipset with up to 251MB of shared RAM)
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
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Build and Design
This notebook is really portable with a weight of 6.2 pounds and its thickness is 15.4". The notebook is made upof thick plastic. The VAIO NR lid does not have a latch to hold it closed, but the hinge mechanism works well and firmly holds the lid in place. There is some flex to the screen lid but it’s just enough to keep the LCD from being too rigid.
Keyboard, Touchpad and Other Input Buttons
The keys on the keypad are little flat. The keys are well cushioned and responsive to light touch though there is a somewhat noticeable degree of travel. If the user was using traditional type keypad then he will fell little awkword while working on this. The keyboard is quite solid.
The touchpad is large enough and really responsive. The mouse buttons are likewise nicely sized, the buttons have a reasonably deep feedback with noisy clicks. Along the top of the keyboard is a dedicated “AV Mode” quicklauch button that lets you activate the media player functions without booting Windows.
The 15.4" glossy screen is a WXGA 1280 x 800. The color contrast is excellent. The display features fairly bright and even backlighting with eight levels of brightness. Horizontal viewing angles are excellent, makes it efficient for watching DVDs. However, vertical viewing angles are far from impressive for a notebook in this price range.
Different angular views
left side view
right side view
back side view
front side view
Various ports available
Front side: Memory Stick reader, SD card reader, indicator lights, and WiFi on/off switch.
Back side: Nothing except the battery, DC power jack, and the modem and Ethernet ports.
Left side: Kensington lock slot, optical drive, and two USB 2.0 ports.
Right side: ExpressCard 34 slot, two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire port, headphone and microphone jacks, VGA out, and heat vent.
In the specification Sony claims the battery life of the standard 6-cell battery at 2.5-4.5 hours. But after using it I obtained 3 hours and 2 minutes of battery life using the notebook at half screen brightness, wireless on, and a mixture of web browsing and idling.
One issue of note regarding the battery is the unusual amount of “battery wiggle” in our test unit, similar to what we found in the Sony VAIO CR. Even with the lock switch in the “locked” position the battery is loose in the back of the NR and makes an audible shaking sound as it moves inside the battery compartment. If the locking switch is set to the unlocked position the battery is so loose that you can accidentally disconnect the battery from the power connectors just by picking the notebook up and tilting it backward.
The Sony VAIO NR is a stylish, and economical notebook. Due to its sturdy look it will be liked by students and mobile users. But lack of media button and non-functioning AV Mode, and some designing fault in battery somewhat dissapoint the users.
Overall, the Sony VAIO NR is a genuinely impressive notebook for Sony, in no small part thanks to the low selling price. That said, there is room for improvement.
- Good horizontal viewing angles
- Solid build quality and sturdiness
- Stays cool and makes little noise
- Good keyboard
- Very nice looks with a variety of colors you can choose
- Bad vertical viewing angles
- Unacceptable amount of battery wiggle
- Flat keyboard keys
- AV Mode doesn't work
- Too much bloatware installed