Goodbye Sony VAIO T, Hello VAIO TX Part 1

(Nearly) Ideal Status Indicator And Instant-on AV Use

The Vaio VGN-TX1XP makes numerous status indicators and supplementary multimedia control buttons available above the keyboard.

Five LEDs above the keyboard keep users informed about laptop status.

All of these indicators are nicely done, and are complemented by clear, readable symbols. Shutters between individual elements prevent the light from any LED from lighting up the symbols on either side, which prevents incorrect indicator readings.

As the battery power level drops near zero, the power button starts blinking, which is easy to recognize.

Status indicator labels for the wireless components on the front of the case are easy to read - at least, once you can see them. The Audio status LED also lights up brightly.

The front edge of the laptop case is where you'll find status indicators for wireless and audio components.

The multimedia buttons help manage audio and video player software under Windows, but also do more. If you depress the A/V mode button for at least seven seconds when the laptop is powered off, a special audio/video player that runs outside Windows launches itself. This software runs from a small Linux partition on the hard disk, and can handle both audio and video content from the hard disk, optical media, or the card reader without having to boot up Windows.

Use of the multimedia buttons turns this Sony sub-laptop into a standalone media center.

One fly in the ointment is that the rounded-off form of the media buttons makes their labels somewhat hard to make out, especially because low ambient light tends to make these elements blend together.