On the surface, Sony's VAIO TT is a real marvel of engineering. Here's a few thoughts on the beast-in-a-netbook's-body:
- Unlike Lenovo's IdeaPad U110, the gloss factor wasn't an issue, as the matte keyboard and only slightly shiny display kept glare to a minimum.
- Man, is this thing ever light. The carbon-fiber chassis makes it so you barely notice that this machine is even in your carry-on.
- The keyboard is vastly better than that of the U110. The spacing is adequate, and your fingertips don't slip and slide all over. Sure, the keys themselves are small, but it's nothing you can't adjust to (and even enjoy) after a few hours of typing.
- The port selection is quite robust given the size, but then again, we'd expect nothing less for nearly $4,500.
- The trackpad is a delight to use, though the left / right click buttons don't have enough "give" for our tastes.
- During basic testing of real-world use (web surfing, multimedia playback, word processing, etc.), it was as zippy as we could hope. We've got no benchmarks to prove it, but anyone worried about sluggishness here in basic computing shouldn't be.
- The XBRITE display is magnificent. Clearly viewable from every angle, images are crisp and brightness is fantastic.
- We really appreciate the screen's ability to recline to nearly flat. A big boon when typing in those awkward spaces (like in the rear of a cramped taxi).
- Too much bloatware -- Sony loaded on a myriad of programs that really bogged things down when first entering into Vista. We'd prefer these applications on a disc for the user to install if he / she sees fit.
- Sexy, but subtle design. Truth be told, the all-matte external finish makes this less of a looker than we originally anticipated, but the chrome accents and diminutive footprint still makes it drool-worthy. In fact, we'd wager that most folks out there willing to shell out a few Gs on this will prefer the subdued look over the garish -- not that we don't adore the Envy 133's flashy exterior or anything.