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You know, twins look alike but may have completely different tempers, behaviors, thoughts. It’s the same with twin computer products. Sony’s VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C models from the new SZ notebook series, which has come as a replacement to the older S series, resemble one another visually, but there is a price difference of almost $500 US between them. How can this be explained? It’s just that the similar appearance conceals great differences in the “tempers” of these two notebooks.

Well, they do have somewhat different color schemes because the manufacturer is offering them in many colors, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It is impossible to see how the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B differs from the VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C unless you check this out with special programs or by opening them up. All the discrepancies will be discussed throughout this review, though, but right now I’d like to draw your attention to one special innovation from Sony.

Mobile users have long wanted to have the option of choosing high performance at the expense of battery life and vice versa, and now Sony offers a solution. There are two graphics processors inside the VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and the VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C: a discrete GeForce Go 7400 GPU from Nvidia and an integrated GMA 950 core from Intel. This two-in-one solution offers you the opportunity to flexibly choose between high performance and long battery life.

The switching between the two graphics cores is done by means of a special slider. You are asked to reboot the system, and then the selected graphics core starts working. The discrete Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 GPU with support of TurboCache technology and with 128 megabytes of dedicated memory gives you high performance in 3D gaming and graphical applications whereas the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 is just fast enough for office applications but consumes much less power than the discrete core. So, the choice between performance and battery life is now just a matter of moving a slider.

Now I will proceed to give you a more detailed description of the exterior and the internal configuration of Sony’s VGN-SZ1HRP/B and VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C notebooks and will test them with both their graphics cores.

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