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The 16.1-in Sony Vaio PCG-GRX670 is a Big step towards abandoning your desktop.
by Zack Bryce, Tech Lab Manager
March 20th, 2003

It was simpler a number of years ago, when it came to looking at notebook computers to purchase. The majority of portable brands focused on a single issue and that was to take single design and either scale it up with price being no issue to the customer, or strip the notebook down for the budget minded. Most notebooks were fairly close in overall dimensions and TFT display size.

Granted, there were a few brands like Sony and Toshiba that had “specialty” mini notebooks; but most companies battled it out for what we’ll call the traditional 14-inch display notebook consume to business market.

With the growing sophistication in hybrid electronics, nearly anything is possible in notebook capability design and the price of manufacture is considerably cheaper comparatively. The technical savvy world wants more, and those users want to be able to take it with them wherever they go. Since it is often impossible to drag along your fully capable desktop to remote locations or even just to your home, the “desktop replacement notebook” has really become the fashionable marketing item.

Many brands claim to have them and most fall far short for one reason or another. Remember that the days of “lunch bucket” portables with accessible PCI card slots are long gone, so a true desktop replacement must be fully equipped from the factory. External USB-Firewire-PC CardBus add-ons that are required

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to make up for missing built-in capabilities detract from a notebooks true designation as a desktop replacement portable.

So, when the Sony Vaio GRX670 arrived with it’s marketing claims of being a contender in the roll of the best desktop replacement notebook, we scrutinized it with a fine tooth comb. Fresh on the heals of our “Life with only a Notebook” article, we wished the high end Vaio GRX670 had been available for direct comparison with the other top brands.
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" . . lots of desktop area, great contrast and pinpoint sharpness, . . "
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The Vaio GRX670 comes with a stunning 16.1-inch TFT display that is more than competitive to Gateway’s like 600XL and Apple’s highly touted 15.2-in G4 Titanium or new 17-in aluminum cased G4 PowerBooks. With lots of desktop area, great contrast and pinpoint sharpness, the Vaio GRX670 makes working on multiple windows as easy as a desktops flat panel display. Maximum resolution is an amazing 1600x1200 pixels, however a setting of 1400x1050 is more realistically usable and readable.

  The new Vaio GRX design looks slimmer than it really is.


Inside this much improved looking Vaio GRX (the 570 was a slab sided snoozer), is a hotter 2.0GHz mobile Intel P-4, 512MB of DDR RAM, a Toshiba MK4018GAS 40GB HDD (in a removable bay), a 1X DVD-RW/CDRW drive and 8 speakers. While the 2.0GHz P-4 is a speedy capable processor, there were other 2.2 and 2.4GHz notebooks out at the same time. The Compaq Presario 1510US in our “Life with only a Notebook” article even sported a 2.2GHz desktop P-4 processor, which was much faster. I suspect that by the time you read this, Sony will have upgraded the processor in the Vaio GRX series.

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