Bulky laptop sacrifices size for power

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 January, 2004, 12:00am

Product: Sony Vaio PCG-GRT40ZP
Price: $25,000
Pros: Large screen, fast
Cons: Will leave a hole in you wallet, heavy

Space is a consideration in a city where most people have to squeeze into apartments of 600 square feet, and owning a computer that can be tucked away on a shelf saves a valuable amount.

The problem in the past, though, was that notebook processing power usually lagged behind that of its desktop counterparts.

Sony's newest Vaio GR series notebook, however, gives desktop PCs a run for their money.

Into it, Sony has packed a fully fledged Intel 3.06-gigahertz Pentium 4 processor, 512 megabytes of main memory, 64MB of video memory and a 60-gigabyte hard disk.

The beautiful 16-inch display presents clear, bright and sharp images, and an NVIDA GeForce 5600 video card brings gaming to the level of that on most desktops.

There is also built-in wireless LAN, a DVD rewriteable drive, a memory stick slot, three USB 2.0 ports and an iLink port, and the standard complement of PCMCIA, audio and networking slots.

All these fancy embellishments come at a price, however. The unit is bulky at 4.8?x?35.8?x?30.2 cm and weighs an arm-dislocating 3.5kg. The AC adaptor unit that connects to the wall socket is so big it resembles a 1980s Motorola mobile phone, only it's heavier.

This makes the system more suitable for keeping at home rather than taking on the road.

If it was a car, this notebook would be a sports utility vehicle - big, heavy and with lots of power under the hood.