Sony VAIO VGN-S260 Review

Sony doesn’t really make powerhouse computers, but seriously with this system at it’s price could of been a lot nicer. I know what you all are thinking. This is going to be some hate review that busts on this poor machine, but it’s not. I just want to let everyone know what they are in store for when they purchase this notebook. Sony is one of the leading manufacturer’s of electronics, and computers are definitely one of there high points now a days. The look is what catches most people’s eyes when they first see a Sony Computer.

First things first. The thin and light feel of the S260 is what makes this a nice system. At a little over 4 pounds, you can’t go wrong. Now with this light feel to it, comes the limited hardware. How much hardware do you think this system can handle with it’s 4 pound base? The S260 lacks graphics, so any gamer would have a very hard time playing games on even the lowest settings. This wouldn’t be the kind of computer you would want to give your highly active gamer of a grandson, let’s put it that way. If you are going to college or a new job, this is probably a good machine for that, as it runs on a Pentium M processor at 1.7 GHZ, which is very good for this chipset. Of course with the lighter laptops that feature the Centrino or Mobile technology, comes complete with a four hour minimum battery life, which happens to be great for anyone traveling, etc.

Taking a look at the graphics though, really disappoints me. 32 MB of video RAM is horrible and embarassing. Computers over five years ago had this amount of RAM, and even though this machine wasn’t built for the high end gamer, 64 could of been the minimum. At 1280 x 800 resolution, there is not much to view on the 13 inch widescreen. Sure the visuals are nice when you are using Native Resolution, but don’t get overly excited, because at 114 pixels per inch at 32 MB’s isn’t too shabby. Watching a movie, or just using the computer at it’s minimum is fine, but anything over active would be too much for the S260. Going into the sound very briefly. Sony didn’t do too bad on there speakers. The sound doesn’t distort when you turn it up loud. It just lacks some bass, so if you want to put some boom into the music, this wouldn’t work too well.

Connections are simple, yet some are available that aren’t for most lightweight computers. The S260 features two USB 2.0 ports, a 56 K modem, and an Ethernet port, that all come covered for protection when purchased. The S260 comes prebuilt with one PCI Card slot, which normally is limited to two, but is limited to one this time, which was kind of weird. The laptop comes with a Firewire port, which is very nice. A lot of laptops do not have Firewire capability, which add’s points to the S260. Another neat entertainment feature is the six pin port that allows you to connect a camcorder or such to it, so digital editing, etc is not a problem. I liked this a lot, and it really made me look at this system. The system ships with XP Home Edition, which in my opinion is the weaker version of professional, but that’s just me. Home just doesn’t give me the kind of condition I like in an OS, so Professional should have been the main OS.

A top point that gives Sony a great reputation is the service they offer. I don’t care what anybody says, Sony is probably the best in service. Dell really didn’t too well in the service field, Compaq or HP has limited service, but Sony is just great. You can call up customer service, and they will have an answer for you every time. I like that in Sony, and always have, so keep up the good work there.

Getting back to hardware information, the S260 is prebuilt with a RAM slot filled with 512 MB of RAM backed by a 333 MHZ bus. That is pretty nice in a system like this, as there really isn’t a lot of power to use. At 1.7 GHZ, you can’t really burn out a machine like this, so there is more than enough RAM in this baby to get you going where you need to go. Average processor speed for a Pentium M processor is 1.5 GHZ, and the leading brand goes up to around 2.0 GHZ, with that not being really needed with 512 MB of RAM backing you up, it still makes some sort of difference. 1.7 GHZ is fine for the Sony S260, and I didn’t see any problems when running the OS, and any programs along with it.

All in all the S260 is a nice system set packed for the average computer user. If you want to play games, I highly recommend another system, but if you are off to college, or using this for work or just an around the house laptop, this is a machine fit for you. 7 out 10 is my rating for this.

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