I’ve had a bit of a computer saga over the last year or two. If someone wrote a play about it (and what a boring play it would be) they might call it “Death of a motherboard”. But it was also not powerful enough for decently running sound files, it took ages to load stuff, and it had a small hard drive which I was always running out of space on. I bought a Vaio SZ360 with grant money, so I thought I’d review it here.
It’s light. It’s a good size too; the screen is large enough to be workable onable but the machine as a whole is small enough to be portable.
The screen resolution is fantastic. Battery life is not quite as stellar as I’d hoped, but not bad. I got 4-5 hours on both flights. The keyboard is slightly angled so it’s comfortable to type on (I haven’t had much wrist soreness since I started working on it) and it has a very light touch.
The processer is extremely fast and I’ve had no trouble running any of the programs I usually run. For example I batch downsampled about 45gb of field recordings shortly after I got the computer and it was very speedy.
It feels a bit flimsy, though. I’m not sure how it’ll go on fieldwork (although people do take these comptuers to the field, to much rougher places than I go, so I assume it’ll be ok). The power adapter is annoyingly large. Accesories are incredibly expensive. $300 for a backup high capacity battery, for example. $90 for a second power adapter. And it’s not compatible with a lot of the generic ones. There was also a heap of junk software on it (although I think I’ve got rid of it all now). It’s got a fingerprint reader. Great.