Comments on Sony TR5AP

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My Toshiba Libretto L5 has served me well for a year now, but it's
a little slow so I'm looking to replace it. My highest priorities
are small size and light weight, but also need decent processing
capabilities.

After quite a bit of research, I've narrowed down the field to a
handful of notebooks. They include:

Sony VAIO TR5AP
Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)

My dings are listed in parens, and it looks like the Sony TR5AP is
the one for me. It's pricey at $3000, but my second choice (the
Dynabook) is almost $1000 more. Also, the TR5AP is available in
the US (although I've had a good experience with Dynamism for my
Libretto).

Any comments on the TR5AP (or other suggestions) would be most
welcome.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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Theodore Heise wrote:
>
> My Toshiba Libretto L5 has served me well for a year now, but it's
> a little slow so I'm looking to replace it. My highest priorities
> are small size and light weight, but also need decent processing
> capabilities.
>
> After quite a bit of research, I've narrowed down the field to a
> handful of notebooks. They include:
>
> Sony VAIO TR5AP
> Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
> IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
> Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
> Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)
>
> My dings are listed in parens, and it looks like the Sony TR5AP is
> the one for me. It's pricey at $3000, but my second choice (the
> Dynabook) is almost $1000 more. Also, the TR5AP is available in
> the US (although I've had a good experience with Dynamism for my
> Libretto).
>
> Any comments on the TR5AP (or other suggestions) would be most
> welcome.

I'd be real careful before buying a Sony.

In addition to costly replacement parts, over the past few years
they've developed one of the worst reputations for after-the-sale
service.

It's too bad, 'cause they look great!

Notan
 
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Have you checked out the Fujitsu P7000 series? It is small enough and has
plenty of cpu power. I would check it out on their website. I'm using a
P5010D and it is an excellent small form factor laptop. The 7000 is
supposedly better in all aspects.
Ken
"Theodore Heise" <theo@heise.nu> wrote in message
news:slrncgoskq.cc1.theo@linus.heise.nu...
>
> My Toshiba Libretto L5 has served me well for a year now, but it's
> a little slow so I'm looking to replace it. My highest priorities
> are small size and light weight, but also need decent processing
> capabilities.
>
> After quite a bit of research, I've narrowed down the field to a
> handful of notebooks. They include:
>
> Sony VAIO TR5AP
> Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
> IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
> Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
> Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)
>
> My dings are listed in parens, and it looks like the Sony TR5AP is
> the one for me. It's pricey at $3000, but my second choice (the
> Dynabook) is almost $1000 more. Also, the TR5AP is available in
> the US (although I've had a good experience with Dynamism for my
> Libretto).
>
> Any comments on the TR5AP (or other suggestions) would be most
> welcome.
>
> --
> Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
>
>
 
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"Notan" typed:

> I'd be real careful before buying a Sony.
>
> In addition to costly replacement parts, over the past few years
> they've developed one of the worst reputations for after-the-sale
> service.
>
> It's too bad, 'cause they look great!

Furthermore, I have heard that one doesn't get distributer warranty
with new Sony laptops.

--
Ayaz Ahmed Khan
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 04:50:06 GMT,
Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
> Theodore Heise wrote:

>> Any comments on the TR5AP (or other suggestions) would be most
>> welcome.
>
> I'd be real careful before buying a Sony.
>
> In addition to costly replacement parts, over the past few years
> they've developed one of the worst reputations for after-the-sale
> service.
>
> It's too bad, 'cause they look great!


Hi Notan,

Thanks for the advice. I actually have a more specific question
for you, or anyone else.

The TR5AP and the TR3AP3 each use the same standard battery (Sony
part number PCGA-BP2T), but battery life is listed as "up to 5.5
hours" for the TR5, and "up to 7 hours" for the TR3. One of only
two hardware differences I find between the two is the optical
disc--with the TR5's listed as DVD-RW/CD-RW, and the TR3's as
DVD-RW. Except when the drives are in use, I expect there is not
likely to be a difference in impact on battery life?

Aside from the discs, it looks like the two models use different
CPUs, so this may be a factor in battery life. The TR3 is
reported by Sony as using the Ultra Low Voltage Intel® Pentium® M
Processor 1.0GHz. This seems to match up with the 723 in Intel's
website. The TR5 is reported to have the Ultra Low Voltage Intel®
Pentium® M 718 with 1MB L2 Cache and 1.10 GHz Processor Speed;
however, this does *not* match up with anything for the Pentium M
on Intel's website:

Pentium M Name Arch. Cache Clock Speed Front Side Bus
Low Volt. 738 90 nm 2MB L2 1.40 GHz 400 MHz
Low Volt. 718 130 nm 1MB L2 1.30 GHz 400 MHz

Ultra LV 733 90 nm 2MB L2 1.10 GHz 400 MHz
Ultra LV 723 90 nm 2MB L2 1 GHz 400 MHz
Ultra LV 713 130 nm 1MB L2 1.10 GHz 400 MHz

Given the description, my guess is the real CPU number for the TR5
is 713, but I suppose it could be any of them. I'd welcome any
insight on what to really expect, and more importantly whether
there is likely to be a noticeable performance difference. Most
of my use is large Word documents (frequently with large images in
them), but I also need to be able to look at (and project) medical
imaging such as cine clips.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 11:05:09 -0500,
Ken Wolf <kwolf8380@comcast.net> wrote:
> Have you checked out the Fujitsu P7000 series? It is small enough and has
> plenty of cpu power. I would check it out on their website. I'm using a
> P5010D and it is an excellent small form factor laptop. The 7000 is
> supposedly better in all aspects.
> Ken

Good suggestion, thanks. I hadn't seen that one, and it does look
promising. The drawbacks look to be slightly greater weight (3.3
vs. 3.1 lbs), and no DVD burner. On the other hand, it's priced
considerably less. Now I've got a tougher decision than I did.
But it's good to have more options. :)

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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Theodore Heise wrote:
>
> On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 11:05:09 -0500,
> Ken Wolf <kwolf8380@comcast.net> wrote:
> > Have you checked out the Fujitsu P7000 series? It is small enough and has
> > plenty of cpu power. I would check it out on their website. I'm using a
> > P5010D and it is an excellent small form factor laptop. The 7000 is
> > supposedly better in all aspects.
> > Ken
>
> Good suggestion, thanks. I hadn't seen that one, and it does look
> promising. The drawbacks look to be slightly greater weight (3.3
> vs. 3.1 lbs), and no DVD burner. On the other hand, it's priced
> considerably less. Now I've got a tougher decision than I did.
> But it's good to have more options. :)

Well, as long as you're open to other brands, you might want to
take a look at Dell's Latitude X300.

Notan
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 16:47:43 GMT,
Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:

> Well, as long as you're open to other brands, you might want to
> take a look at Dell's Latitude X300.

Everything about the X300 looks great, except the life of the
standard battery. With my current Libretto L5 I bought an extra
standard battery as well as a larger extra-capacity battery. I
learned that I will carry along an extra regular battery and swap
as needed, but that I am not willing to lug along the bigger
battery (either in place of or in addition to the regular spare).
So for me, I need a standard battery that will go 3 hours fairly
reliably.

Thanks for the suggestion though, I do appreciate it.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 04:37:03 GMT, Theodore Heise <theo@heise.nu>
wrote:
>My Toshiba Libretto L5 has served me well for a year now, but it's
>a little slow so I'm looking to replace it. My highest priorities
>are small size and light weight, but also need decent processing
>capabilities.
>
>After quite a bit of research, I've narrowed down the field to a
>handful of notebooks. They include:
>
> Sony VAIO TR5AP
> Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
> IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
> Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
> Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)
>
Of the list above, I don't like any. The TR5 hasn't impressed me
much as the replacement for the C1, and the X505 and X40 have poor
battery life and small hard drives due to their thin designs. In a
similar situation, I went back a generation and got an X3* series
Thinkpad. Good battery life, good-sized display, and good prices now
that they aren't cutting edge. If that's not to your taste, I'd
suggest taking a look at the Fujitsu series.
Emanuel
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 20:06:52 GMT,
E Brown <epbrown01@att.net> wrote:

>> Sony VAIO TR5AP
>> Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
>> IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
>> Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
>> Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)
>>
> Of the list above, I don't like any. The TR5 hasn't
> impressed me much as the replacement for the C1, and the X505
> and X40 have poor battery life and small hard drives due to
> their thin designs. In a similar situation, I went back a
> generation and got an X3* series Thinkpad. Good battery life,
> good-sized display, and good prices now that they aren't cutting
> edge. If that's not to your taste, I'd suggest taking a look at
> the Fujitsu series.
> Emanuel

Someone else suggested the Fujitsus. I had looked at the P1000
and felt it would probably have an inadequate CPU and battery
life. After the other recommendation I looked at the P7010D. It
looks like a real contender to me. It would be nice to read a
review and get a good close look at the keyboard, but it seems to
be new enough that there's not much information out there yet.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 18:04:03 -0500,
Theodore Heise <theo@heise.nu> wrote:
>
> Someone else suggested the Fujitsus. I had looked at the P1000
> and felt it would probably have an inadequate CPU and battery
> life. After the other recommendation I looked at the P7010D. It
> looks like a real contender to me. It would be nice to read a
> review and get a good close look at the keyboard, but it seems to
> be new enough that there's not much information out there yet.

Sorry, should have looked more closely before posting.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.aspx?newsID=1950

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 23:07:04 GMT, Theodore Heise <theo@heise.nu>
wrote:
>Someone else suggested the Fujitsus. I had looked at the P1000
>and felt it would probably have an inadequate CPU and battery
>life. After the other recommendation I looked at the P7010D. It
>looks like a real contender to me. It would be nice to read a
>review and get a good close look at the keyboard, but it seems to
>be new enough that there's not much information out there yet.

Now that Sony seems to have "lost the plot" a bit, a lot of VAIO
owners seem to be going with Fujitsu models lately. They get raves,
but I tend to pick a ThinkPad when I don't get a VAIO.
Emanuel
 
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On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 11:05:09 -0500,
Ken Wolf <kwolf8380@comcast.net> wrote:
> Have you checked out the Fujitsu P7000 series? It is small enough and has
> plenty of cpu power. I would check it out on their website. I'm using a
> P5010D and it is an excellent small form factor laptop. The 7000 is
> supposedly better in all aspects.

I've checked out the information available, and am starting to get
excited about this ultraportable notebook. I have a couple of
questions:

First, does the P7000 suspend and unsuspend quickly?

Second, I've heard that the standard 4200 rpm hard drives may be a
little slow, and that some people are replacing them with a 7200
rpm HD. Is this an option available from Fujitsu, and if not
where do I find a replacement? Will a 7200 rpm drive shorten
battery life over a 4200?

Any other impressions of the 7010D (or immediate predecessors) are
very welcome!

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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>
>looks like a real contender to me. It would be nice to read a
>review and get a good close look at the keyboard, but it seems to
>be new enough that there's not much information out there yet.

Theo, go to www.leog.net .. they have forums dedicated to these laptops. All
your questions can be answered there and there are threads with pics and
reviews of the P5000 and P7000 series.

The DVD is swappable with a battery so you can get over 10 hours of battery
life. A DVD burner will be an option late 4th quarter so you can buy it at that
time if you really need one.

3.3 vs. 3.1 lbs are you serious? You REALLY think you will even notice this?
Come on! lol
 
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Hi Theo;
I am using a 5010D right now with a replacement hard drive; a 40 gig 5400
rpm 8 mg cache Fujitsu drive that seems to make a noticeable difference in
access speed compared to the original 40 gig 4200 rpm drive.
I also highly recommend www.leog.net for tons of info on the 5000 and 7000 P
series. I actually bought my 5010D from someone on the forum. Also Portable
One store has a great selection of laptops and accessories. They are good
people to deal with.
As far as suspend/unsuspend speed, I think it is fairly quick to do both.
The difference in weight is a non-issue. You can't tell the difference!
I read on the forums that someone has replaced his CD-RW with a DVD burner
very easily. Again, check the forums. Avoid the P1000 and P2000 series if
you need speed. They are both slowdue to their Crusoe cpus. I had a 2040 and
sold it within a month for this reason.
Hope this helps.

"Theodore Heise" <theo@heise.nu> wrote in message
news:slrncgt6b2.h91.theo@linus.heise.nu...
> On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 11:05:09 -0500,
> Ken Wolf <kwolf8380@comcast.net> wrote:
> > Have you checked out the Fujitsu P7000 series? It is small enough and
has
> > plenty of cpu power. I would check it out on their website. I'm using a
> > P5010D and it is an excellent small form factor laptop. The 7000 is
> > supposedly better in all aspects.
>
> I've checked out the information available, and am starting to get
> excited about this ultraportable notebook. I have a couple of
> questions:
>
> First, does the P7000 suspend and unsuspend quickly?
>
> Second, I've heard that the standard 4200 rpm hard drives may be a
> little slow, and that some people are replacing them with a 7200
> rpm HD. Is this an option available from Fujitsu, and if not
> where do I find a replacement? Will a 7200 rpm drive shorten
> battery life over a 4200?
>
> Any other impressions of the 7010D (or immediate predecessors) are
> very welcome!
>
> --
> Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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Ted,

Please give the Thinkpad X40 a second look. The 8 cell battery gets up
to 7.5 hours of runtime.

==============
Posted through www.HowToFixComputers.com/bb - free access to hardware troubleshooting newsgroups.
 
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On 04 Aug 2004 04:23:00 GMT,
JCBlueEyes <jcblueeyes@aol.com> wrote:
>>
>>looks like a real contender to me. It would be nice to read a
>>review and get a good close look at the keyboard, but it seems to
>>be new enough that there's not much information out there yet.
>
> Theo, go to www.leog.net .. they have forums dedicated to these laptops. All
> your questions can be answered there and there are threads with pics and
> reviews of the P5000 and P7000 series.

Thanks, great site!


> 3.3 vs. 3.1 lbs are you serious? You REALLY think you will even
> notice this? Come on! lol

Well, keep in mind that I'm replacing a 2.4 pound Libretto L5. I
doubt I could tell the difference between 3.1 and 3.3, but every
little bit helps.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On Wed, 4 Aug 2004 20:12:20 -0500,
Ken Wolf <kwolf8380@comcast.net> wrote:
> Hi Theo;
> I am using a 5010D right now with a replacement hard drive; a 40 gig 5400
> rpm 8 mg cache Fujitsu drive that seems to make a noticeable difference in
> access speed compared to the original 40 gig 4200 rpm drive.
> I also highly recommend www.leog.net for tons of info on the 5000 and 7000 P
> series. I actually bought my 5010D from someone on the forum. Also Portable
> One store has a great selection of laptops and accessories. They are good
> people to deal with.
> As far as suspend/unsuspend speed, I think it is fairly quick to do both.
> The difference in weight is a non-issue. You can't tell the difference!
> I read on the forums that someone has replaced his CD-RW with a DVD burner
> very easily. Again, check the forums. Avoid the P1000 and P2000 series if
> you need speed. They are both slowdue to their Crusoe cpus. I had a 2040 and
> sold it within a month for this reason.
> Hope this helps.

Yes quite a bit, thanks! I went ahead and ordered the P7010 with
the 60GB 7200 rpm HD.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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On 4 Aug 2004 23:07:12 -0400,
JHEM <James@thinkpads-dot-com.no-spam.invalid> wrote:
> Ted,
>
> Please give the Thinkpad X40 a second look. The 8 cell battery gets up
> to 7.5 hours of runtime.

Thanks for the info. As it happens though, I just ordered the
Fujitsu P7010 yesterday.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
 
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> After quite a bit of research, I've narrowed down the field to a
> handful of notebooks. They include:
>
> Sony VAIO TR5AP
> Sony VAIO X505 (small HD, no CD)
> IBM ThinkPad X40 (short batt life, no CD)
> Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 (slower CPU, less RAM)
> Toshiba Dynabook SX (poor review, batt life)

Here, we've assumed you've examined all of the Japanese options (eg.
through www.dynamism.com) for models they've got not available here.

Well, besides the Sony U50/U70 series at ~1lbs which can fit into
any pocket, you'll be in the same place as me -- looking for a fast,
lightweight, mini-notebook, hopefully with built-in CD because we both
know how annoying it can be to have an external one.

I currently have three choices after looking through the entire
BestPC Japanese magazine that recently compared all of the available
mini-notebooks (I can scan and email to you if you want to look at it --
compares wieght, size, AC adapter size, battery life, screen resolution
& brightness, etc.).

Right now, it's like this:

Cheap, but not so light:
* Averatec ~4lbs 12" selling for as low as $699 at Staples
* Dell 700m ~4.5lbs 12" widescreen that is killer fast (almost as
fast as the eMachines Athlon 64 bit processor M6805 PC magazine tested
as their "fastest notebook ever tested" back in March) for ~$1200-1500.

Light, but not so cheap:
* Fujitsu P5000 series, or better, the Japanese model T70H
http://www.fmworld.net/product/hard/pcpm0404/biblo_loox/lt/
* Sony TR series.
* Panasonic W2/etc. series.

Here, if performance was the key, the Dell 700m for sure! It's so
fast, it's amazing by benchmarks on pcmag.com and elsewhere for such a
little monster. It runs about 2x+ faster than the above other choices.

Here, if budget was the key, the Averatec.

Otherwise, for compactness, I'd pick Fujitsu T70 myself over the Sony.

Why?

Don't need the webcam built into the Sony TR series, and because the
Sony uses yucky smaller 1.8" HDs, you can only get a max of 40GB hard
drive storage space (60GB when Toshiba releases their just announced
1.8" model later this year) of internal storage.

On the other hand, the T70H uses a 2.5" HD, so you can easily swap
it out for the upcoming 100GB Toshiba 2.5" HD. Also, the optical drive
is swappable for repairs or upgrades. The screen opens up a full 180
degrees (the Sony can't). Otherwise, about the same weight & size as
the Sony TR series.
 

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