Vaio X29 – the CAD-Reviews independent review

Could be X29 hard to resist

Vaio X29 review screenshot

Vaio X29 from Sony

The elegant Sony Vaio range has extended from the initially consumer focussed products into professional desktop replacement models.

The X29 packs a punch with a 750MHz Pentium III, 128MB SDRAM and 18.1GB hard disk.

The processor incorporates the Intel SpeedStep technology so that battery life is extended by dropping to 600kHz when disconnected from the mains.

The most obvious feature however is the display.

The brightness, sharpness and viewing angle make the 14.1″ TFT a pleasure to use.

The removable display filter is the full width of the lid providing a sleek elegant appearance.

As the lid is opened, a flap deploys under the back edge, exposing the rear connectors, opening a cooling duct and tilting the keyboard to an ergonomic rake.

The keyboard has a positive responsive feel and in addition to the standard touchpad pointer device the Sony jog wheel gives access to applications without using the Windows Start menu structure.

An internal drive bay can be used for the supplied DVD ROM or floppy drive or optional second battery pack.

Alternatively the floppy can be connected externally with a lead that also serves as a printer parallel port adaptor.

Built in connectivity includes monitor and audio output, microphone, USB Type II & III PC Cards and predictably for a Sony product, i.

LINK (IEEE1394) S400 for connecting a digital video camera or direct Smart Connect to another suitably equipped PC.

A port replicator is also supplied extending connectivity to optical out, parallel printer port, nine pin serial, S video, video out, line in / out, 2xUSB, mouse / keyboard, and an additional PC card slot.

The port replicator also incorporates a fan that is ducted through the moving flap for extended desktop use.

There is also an undock button to notify removal to the currently supplied Windows 98 OS.

To underline Sony’s multimedia credentials, Adobe’s Premier video editing package is supplied together with a number of Sony applications for video capture, memory stick management and word processing.

The X29 is certainly worthy of the desktop replacement title, breezing through solid modelling duties.

The recent transition from consumer machines is evident however with the lack of NT or Windows 2000 options at present.

It has also been made clear that the current return to base warranty terms will soon be extended to the professional level offered by other manufactures such as next day on-site repairs.

All this functionality and style is not light, weighing in at 2.8kg nor cheap at £3150 but if you need to take your desk with you Sony certainly deliver with a desirable machine.

Once the professional support is in place, the small like for like price differential could make the X29 hard to resist.