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Sony VAIO VGN-NR160E Review

When you think of Sony notebooks, "budget" doesn't often come to mind. Apparently with their new VAIO VGN-NR160E they wanted to change that point of view. This straight to the point laptop leaves all the bells and whistles behind and gives you just what you need to get by and still sport the Sony logo.

The VGN-NR160E has a very crisp 15.4 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel, Xbrite Eco LCD display. This is probably the one place this notebook puts its price tag in question. You won't find a set of multimedia controls or even a webcam on this VAIO regardless of how they market the rest of the brand, but you will find two fairly decent speakers on the body itself. They had to have realized that this is going to be an in-between system as it hosts a variety of connects including four USB ports, a FireWire port, ExpressCard/34 slot, multicard reader, and VGA port. Although you can't burn DVD's in the equipped drive, you can store plenty on its 160 GB 5,400 rpm hard drive, so space shouldn't be an issue when on the road. Under what little of a hood there is, the VGN-NR160E is home to a 1.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 processor, GMA X3100 graphics card, and 1 GB of RAM. You’re not going to be playing games anytime soon or utilizing this machine on long road trips, but basic graphics functions including Vista's Aero and almost 4 hours battery life is more than most expected.

This won't be your main computer, but you already knew that. Perhaps a good on the road device if all you need is to do some quick work here and there. Overall, you’re paying for a name brand device and subpar performance even for that price. Save your $800 or so for what's coming this year.

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