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Sony VAIO VGN-SR420J/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO VGN-SR420J/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sony VAIO SR

©Sony

The Bottom Line

Sep 17 2009 - Sony's VGN-SR420J/B is an update to their low cost 13-inch ultraportable that does some things right but suffers from older technology and too much software clutter. The graphics are the key selling point of the laptop with an excellent LED backlit display and a dedicated graphics processor, a rarity in this market class. Sony also provides a wide range of peripheral ports including FireWire and an ExpressCard slot. Its too bad that Sony didn't see the need to also upgrade the memory or reduce the amount of software that hampers performance.
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Pros

  • Dedicated Graphics Processor
  • Very Good Display
  • Wide Variety of Peripheral Ports

Cons

  • Uses Older DDR2 Memory
  • Lots of Trialware and Resident Applications That Impact Performance

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 13.3" WXGA (1280x800) LED Backlist Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 Graphics With 512MB Memory
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem, Fast Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Two USB 2.0, FireWire, ExpressCard/34, VGA, HDMI, Memory Stick, SD Card Slot
  • 12.4" x 9.2" x 1.3" @ 4.4 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, VAIO Suite, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-SR420J/B 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sep 17 2009 - The VAIO VGN-SR420J/B is an update to their previous low cost SR lineup of 13-inch laptops. It does a fair job of upgrading some components and keeping the prices down for Sony, but it fails to keep pace with offerings from other companies in the $1200 price range. Most notable of these in the continued use of DDR2 memory rather than newer and faster DDR3.

Performance is a bit lower as a result especially for a laptop in this price range and size. Battery life is not going to be as long as the new class of long lasting systems but the performance is better especially for the graphics. Expect roughly 3 to 4 hours of typical usage and around 2 to 2.5 hours with video playback.

What Sony does continue to do well on their laptops is the graphics. The SR420J/B is a bit of an odd man out for the company because it uses a 1280x800 or 16:10 ratio display instead of the more media focused 16:9 displays. Still, the LED backlighting provides it with a very bright and colorful display with some of the best viewing angles available. The use of a dedicated AT Radeon HD 4570 graphics processor also allows this to have some superb HD video playback and even modest PC gaming ability and not typically found in the ultraportable segment.

One thing that Sony really needs to reconsider is the software on the SR430J/B. There is a large amount of software loaded into the system that tends to bog down the system compared to many other laptops with similar specs. With Vista's overhead and the memory resident applications, expect a slower loading experience.

Overall, it is a good choice for those looking for a high caliber graphics and display in a relatively affordable price range but not as concerned about its weight or battery life.

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