Sony Vaio Eco VPC-W212AX and the Toshiba Satellite T135D-S1324
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Are you interested in helping to save the environment with your electronics purchases? Or do you have specialized needs in your portable devices that fall somewhere between a netbook and a laptop? Then at least one of the two devices we're reviewing today -- the Sony Vaio Eco VPC-W212AX and the Toshiba Satellite T135D-S1324 -- should fit the bill for you.
Sony Vaio Eco VPC-W212AX netbook
Proponents of "going green" in need of a netbook will definitely want to keep an eye on the Sony Vaio Eco VPC-W212AX. This 10.1-inch netbook is made of recycled parts and keeps the environment in mind. It also has a good feature set and decent performance.
It is a bit on the pricey side as netbooks go, though, at $480. Sony pairs the Eco with a one-year warranty on parts and labor and technical support via telephone or through the company's website.
The Vaio Eco comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor. The N450 is part of the most recent generation of Atom processors and is an upgrade over the N270 and N280 processors previously found in many netbooks. The N450's main improvement over its previous generation is that it manages power more efficiently, increasing battery life, which will be discussed in a bit.
The N450 does provide decent overall performance for a netbook, although it pales in comparison to other netbooks that employ dual-core processors. That said, the Eco will suffice for most common computing tasks such as web surfing, checking email, instant messaging, and some multimedia. If you are looking for a high-powered machine, though, look elsewhere.
The Eco's core components continue with its 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, which is pretty much the bare bones standard and not as good as competitors that have 2 GB or more of RAM to help with multitasking. A 250 GB hard drive is included to give you an adequate amount of storage for all of your important data. Graphics are supported by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 card.
Battery life on the Vaio Eco is very good thanks to the N450 processor's improved power management. Its battery is said to provide up to eight hours of usage when fully charged. This lengthy battery life makes the Eco a viable companion for those who travel a lot or for students who need to use the netbook for a good amount of time away from an electrical outlet. The operating system that comes pre-installed is Windows 7 Starter, which is a step down from the Windows 7 Home Premium that comes with many competing netbooks.
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