There are things to be loved at first sight. You’re looking at it, fumbling it with your fingers, and are already absolutely sure you won’t be disappointed with it later – you are even ready to excuse some drawbacks and certain inconveniences. If it’s at all possible to apply this word to an unanimated object, I’d call this love, especially if this feeling is reciprocal. I could name a hundred of such love affairs – with various things, from cars to trivial articles of clothing.
When the Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP arrived to our test lab, I almost had a crush on it. Small, thin, light, stylish and elegant are the epithets that can be deservedly attached to this notebook which is going to be reviewed here.
Design and Ergonomics
The Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP notebook has elegant and exquisite looks. The black case with the manufacturer’s logo and the model’s name in the center of the lid (the letters VAIO made of shining metal) has a slightly elongated outline due to the use of a non-standard diagonal of the LCD matrix (13.3 inches). That’s why the notebook looks like a documents folder of A4 format or smaller.
The lid is quite conveniently and sensibly a little shorter than the bottom of the case, so as to make the system status indicators visible even with the lid closed. The top panel of this portable computer differs in color from the case: it is light gray with a slight effect of silver.
You don’t have to fumble for a spring-loaded latch to open the Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP – there’s no such thing here. You just lift the lid and set it at a convenient angle. When closed, the lid is held with a small magnet built into top of the screen bezel. The widescreen 13.3” LCD matrix with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a maximum resolution of 1280x800 has good viewing angles, contrast and brightness, and renders colors excellently. You can control the screen brightness (and the volume of the sound, too) by pressing appropriate functional keys. The setup range is quite wide: 8 grades of brightness and 20 grades of volume. At zero brightness you can still see everything well.
The LCD matrix of the Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP uses anti-flicker coating intended to reduce the reflection and refraction of light. But I think this coating only adds more mirror flares and reflections, so you can use the screen as a mirror if necessary.