Sony has upped its already impressive desirability stakes with its latest super-slim, dinky notebook – the VGN-TX1HP, or TX for short. Like the T2 before it, the TX packs an amazing amount of technology into an implausibly small space.

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Other than the eyecatching 4mm-thick screen, the design is fairly faithful to the T2, with the odd millimetre shaved off here and there.

The righthand side is taken up by the built-in DVD writer. Unfortunately, the drive isn't the easiest to open, since the eject button is tiny, recessed and difficult to see. Round the front you'll find a useful hardware switch for wireless activity, while over to the left is no doubt a first for a Sony bit of kit: an SD card slot.

The TX's trump card is the X-black LED screen, which stretches to a widescreen resolution of 1,366x768 – wider than the T2's 1,280x768 – and offers an incredibly clear, bright display. If you thought the T2's display was vivid, you'll be amazed by this.

But while the TX may be the T2's successor, it's by no means its superior. Firstly, the processor has dropped 100MHz in speed, contributing to a fairly pitiful WorldBench score of 56. And while it may be lighter and slightly smaller, it can't match the T2's 335-minute battery life, managing only 282 minutes in MobileMark.

Sony Vaio VGN-TX1HP: Specs

  • 1.1GHz Intel Pentium M 733
  • Windows XP Pro
  • 512MB RAM
  • 60GB hard drive
  • 11.1in 1,366x768 TFT display
  • 24x/24x/12x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • 8x/4x/4x/2.4x/2.4x/2.4 (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • 802.11b/g-enabled
  • Bluetooth
  • Adobe software bundle
  • Microsoft Works 8.0
  • Symantec Internet Security 2005
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • 272x195x29mm
  • 1.25kg
  • 1.1GHz Intel Pentium M 733
  • Windows XP Pro
  • 512MB RAM
  • 60GB hard drive
  • 11.1in 1,366x768 TFT display
  • 24x/24x/12x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • 8x/4x/4x/2.4x/2.4x/2.4 (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • 802.11b/g-enabled
  • Bluetooth
  • Adobe software bundle
  • Microsoft Works 8.0
  • Symantec Internet Security 2005
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • 272x195x29mm
  • 1.25kg

OUR VERDICT

It's cheaper than the T2 was when new, but shop around and you can pick the latter up for around £1,200 – making the TX more expensive for less power and battery life. Unless you're completely won over by the display, you'd be better off with the earlier model.

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