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Sony VGN-FJ1SR

It may seem strange, but it is indeed a very rare occasion to find a notebook that it’s impossible to find fault with. And when you do get one, it is a real pleasure to describe it in a review. Users’ pleas for a perfect notebook have been heard to by at least one manufacturer. The Sony VGN-FJ1SR is an example of a thing perfectly made.

 

The low-key classic design of this notebook with a mirror-like VIVO logotype is among the best in this class. The slim, light and robust case is equipped with a metal lid that keeps the screen safe against physical damage. The overall quality of manufacture is superb, but it’s expectable since Sony takes great care about quality assurance. And users appreciate this, even if they have to pay somewhat more than for competitors’ products. The VGN-FJ1SR costs about the same money as the other participating notebooks, but has a humbler configuration. It lacks a Bluetooth adapter and a discrete graphics core. The latter isn’t a serious drawback because an integrated graphics core is quite enough for a computer of this class whereas a Bluetooth adapter would have been appropriate, especially as it wouldn’t have made the notebook much more expensive.

There are not many connectors here, just an optimum selection for a business notebook. The front panel seems to be empty except for the card-reader:

But this is just at first sight. Besides Sony’s traditional MS/MS Pro card reader, there’s a row of system status indicators on the left, and a Wi-Fi switch.

The indicators are designed in such a way that they are only visible when shining. If the notebook is turned off, they merge into the front panel.

Not a single connector on the notebook’s back:

And this is quite right. There’s a docking station if you use the notebook as a desktop computer while in “traveling” mode it is just inconvenient to use back-panel connectors. The rest is on the notebook’s sides. Modem and LAN ports, a FireWire connector, connector for an external monitor, one of the USB ports, and PCMCIA slot are on the left panel:

On the right side of the notebook there are headphones and microphone connectors, TV output, two USB ports, DVD-burner, Kensington lock and a power adapter connector.

Sony’s exclusive TV output is implemented as an ordinary jack connector.

The company doesn’t include an appropriate adapter, making you take your soldering iron in your hands – it’s going to be cheaper and faster than purchasing a ready-made adapter from Sony. The soldering scheme can be found on the Web, but frankly speaking, few people ever use the video output of such notebooks.

 
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