Despite the lack of image processing power, the TX2 has an impressive 11.1-inch screen which runs at a native widescreen resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. It delivers impressive image quality thanks to Sony's X-Black screen coating, which helps images appear well defined with good levels of contrast.
X-Black screens can be highly reflective and this can hinder usability. However the TX2's screen is a joy to use in most lighting conditions, and has an Automatic Luminance Sensor, which automatically controls the screen brightness depending on a room's light conditions.
Unlike most laptop screens, it uses LED technology instead of traditional liquid crystal. This uses less power than ordinary LCD displays and can help prolong laptop battery life. The screen isn't perfect though, like the TX1, it suffers from minor light bleeding. In other words, the pixels in the first 10mm starting from the base of the screen look marginally brighter than those above them. However, the effect is barely noticeable and it doesn't hinder the overall quality of the display.
We were very impressed with the 120GB hard drive in the VAIO S5VP. The TX2's 80GB offering isn't as impressive, but it should be capacious enough for most users. If you do run out of room, there's an integrated Matshita UJ-832D optical drive, which can copy up to 8.5GB of data to dual layer DVD discs at respectable 2.4x.
Like the rest of the VAIO laptop range, the TX2 has ample options for connecting to the wider world. It adheres to the Centrino standard, so it has an integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless adaptor, and you also get a built-in Bluetooth adaptor. The former lets you connect to the Internet via local Wi-Fi networks, and the latter is a great way of synchronising with or sending documents to and from a mobile phone.
Like the TX1, the TX2's keyboard is logically laid-out and is of a very good size, so we had no trouble churning out text documents at typing speeds we'd expect to achieve on full size desktop keyboards. We took issue with the mouse touchpad, though. Its buttons are small, fiddly and positioned awkwardly on the edge of the laptop. The pad itself was also unresponsive at times. For best results, we'd recommend using an external USB mouse.
The VAIO TX2's 1.2GHz processor is a bit of a slouch in comparison to most new laptops. It will happily let you surf the Web, perform minor image and video editing tasks, and run office productivity software such as Microsoft Office, but it slows down noticeably when running demanding applications. It achieved a fairly low PCMark 2005 score of 1,327.
Its gaming performance is nigh-on nonexistent. It racked up a paltry 3DMark 2006 tally of 49 and even at a low resolution of 640x480, it could only run Doom 3 at 7.2fps. Cranking up the resolution to 800x600 paints an even bleaker picture -- just 5.4fps.
The TX2's lacklustre processing performance isn't a major concern though. What it lacks in overall grunt, it makes up for in quiet operation and long battery life. It is barely audible during normal use, and though its fans do emit a whine when running demanding applications, it lasted a massive 4 hours and 53 minutes on battery power, which is the longest we've seen for any laptop.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield