The Bottom Line
- 4GB of Memory
- Excellent Array of Peripheral Connectors
- Nicely Styled Laptop
- More Expensive Than Similarly Equipped Alternatives
- Could Really Use an HDMI Connector
- Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.4-inch WXGA (1280x800) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, FireWire, VGA, ExpressCard/34, Memory Stick Slot, SD Card Slot
- 14.2" x 10.6" x 1.5" @ 6.4 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, VAIO Suite, Windows Live OneCare
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S 15.4-inch Budget Laptop PC
Apr 27 2009 - Sony's VAIO VGN-NS235J/S barely makes it into the budget laptop category. While the manufacturer price is $780, it is possible to find units for sale at retailers for just under $750. This makes it one of the most expensive of the laptops in my budget category but at a component level, the system is not that much different from laptops ranging as low as $650.
The VGN-NS235J/S is powered by an Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400. This does a decent job of dealing with basic computing tasks such as Internet browsing, productivity software and basic multimedia. The real advantage that the Sony system has is the 4GB of memory that let it run applications without much need for virtual memory that can really slow things down. The downside is that Sony is using slower PC2-5300 DDR2 memory compared to PC2-6400.
Storage and graphics are typical of the budget market. The 250GB hard drive and dual layer DVD burner are found on most laptops now. The 15.4-inch screen is a typical size and uses the Intel GMA 4500MHD that is fine for HD video but not for any 3D gaming.
At least the VAIO VGN-NS235J/S makes up for some of its cost by providing a wide range of peripheral connectors. Many budget laptops have started to drop the FireWire port to save a bit on costs. Sony manages to keep this on their laptop and include four USB ports compared to most offering just three. About the only downside is that Sony does not include an HDMI connector for use with new digital TVs and monitors.
Sony does build a much nicer overall laptop than many of their competitors. The system has a nice feel to it all throughout and the rounded edges give it a much more stylish appeal. Some of this style is lost though from the use of a black keyboard on the silver NS235 unlike that shown in their press pictures.