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The Sony VAIO VGN-TX1XRP is equipped with a widescreen 11.1” display with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels and a WXGA HDAR aspect ratio of 16:9. Subjectively, the viewing angles are sufficiently wide both horizontally and vertically. Like the previous model’s display, the new matrix features Sony X-BLACK LCD technology for better brightness, contrast and saturation of the image. The wideness of the screen allows having several windows conveniently visible at the same time. What’s important, Sony’s engineers have stretched the display out leaving the notebook’s base the same as in the T2 series.

The display is two times thinner than the one in the VAIO VGN-T2XRP/S. In conventional LCDs the electronics PCB is located behind the liquid crystal module, making the panel thicker. So, this part was relocated to the bottom of the panel and other measures were taken to redistribute the LSI packaging as well as to optimize the layout of all parts. The resulting PCB is 30% the size of conventional items!

Instead of ordinary fluorescent backlighting, the developer team employed white LED-based backlighting. White LED technology is not new, but has been around for a long time. However, it was only a popular choice for small displays of cell phones, PDAs and other small products because the light emitting efficiency of previous white LEDs were far lower than that of the fluorescent tube. Recent technological developments have overcome this setback, offering white LEDs with superb light emitting efficiency to the level that it successfully rivals the fluorescent tube. The new technology makes the display thinner and lighter, more economical, and improves its color range. The glass in the LCD matrix of the new notebook is also thinner and flexible and, as a consequence, is more resistant to cracks. As a side effect, the TX series doesn’t use mercury in the backlight lamps, so the new notebook is more environment-friendly.

As for drawbacks, the screen acts as a mirror under certain lighting, showing you the reflection of your own face even when the notebook is on. Keep this fact in mind when you’re choosing a place to work with your VAIO VGN-TX1XRP.

We measured the brightness and contrast of the screen using a Pantone ColorVision Spyder with OptiCAL version 3.7.8 software. These parameters don’t depend much on the power source as you can see:

  • AC power source: 81.1cd/sq.m brightness, 75:1 contrast ratio
  • DC power source: 79.8cd/sq.m brightness, 75:1 contrast ratio

The brightness seems to be low, but you don’t feel so subjectively when looking at the screen (the Spyder may have been wrong due to the LED-based backlighting; Sony’s measurements gave somewhat higher results; click here for details). The contrast ratio is quite normal.

The notebook has enough of I/O interfaces, even though without any extras. Two card-readers are on the left of the front panel: the upper slot is for Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Duo formats (the Media Access indicator on the left of it shines up when the memory card is being accessed) and the lower slot (it was not present in the T2 series) is for Secure Digital and MultiMediaCard.

A few connectors, indicators and additional buttons are on the right of the front panel:

  • Wireless switch
  • Sound Off button (it disables the audio controller altogether)
  • Two sound volume controls
  • Headphones socket
  • Microphone socket

Above them, Bluetooth, WLAN and Sound Off indicators are located that are invisible when the display is closed.

And these connectors are on the VAIO’s left panel:

  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • PC Card slot (for one card of Type I or II)
  • PC Card eject button
  • Modem port (RJ-11)

The modem port and one USB port on the right can be closed with a plastic plug to prevent dust from getting in.

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