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I think Sony’s designers and engineers should enjoy a deserved and long applaud from all of us. The company’s VAIO VGN-SZ1HRP/B and VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C notebooks are not just impressive products as they are, but also offer an innovative solution of the long-standing problem the users have had to solve by themselves, i.e. which graphics core to choose. These two models from the SZ series each offer you two graphics solutions at once. If you don’t need high 3D graphics performance, you can switch the notebook into an economical mode with a touch of your finger. Switching back to the max performance mode is that easy, too.

The VAIO SZ series notebooks also bring the A4 paper format to the computer industry, offering you an optimal balance between compactness and functionality. Most briefcases are designed for folders and documents of A4 format, and an SZ notebook will easily fit into them, too, which means you don’t have to wear an extra bag for your notebook.

Thus, the reviewed notebooks are well-balanced machines designed for demanding professionals, just as they are positioned by the manufacturer. I’m now looking forward to seeing what Sony will come up with after the next-generation Merom-core Centrino is released. More surprises to come?

The two models reviewed in this article share many common features, so here’s a common list of highs and lows for them.


  • Portability and mobility
  • Good performance in gaming applications (in the Speed mode)
  • Two graphics solutions on board
  • Exquisite design with new materials (Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C)
  • Web-camera (Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C)
  • Integrated fingerprint scanner (Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1XRP/C)
  • Impressive battery run-down time for such an advanced configuration
  • Bluetooth module
  • Large software bundle
  • Card-reader included as an accessory


  • Expensive
  • Mirror reflections on the display
  • No bag or pouch included to carry the notebook in
  • No recovery discs
  • Inconvenient optical drive tray with a small eject button
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