The Intel GMA 950 graphics card also lacks the horsepower for gaming, and you'll be hard-pushed to play any recent titles.
Storage comes in at a reasonable 100GB from the Toshiba hard drive and there's also an internal dual layer DVD writer so you can burn up to 8.5GB of data at a time.
Sony has packed a fair bit inside the TX5XN, which is probably just as well since you're limited to two USB ports and a single four-pin FireWire for expansion. The card slot is also the older PC Card format, rather than ExpressCard -- while this is fine for now, it does limit its potential in the future.
Your wireless needs are taken care of by the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you shouldn't have a problem connecting it up to a wire-free Internet connection.
The 11.1-inch screen uses Sony's X-black technology, and while this means extremely vibrant colours, it does have the downside of making the display fairly reflective. The resolution stretches to 1,366x768 pixels so widescreen content will make the most of the display area.
The TX5XN is fully capable of running Vista's flashy Aero interface and you also get an assortment of bundled software thrown in, including a copy of Microsoft Works and Adobe Photoshop Elements.
To create a laptop this small, compromises have to be made and as a result the TX5XN was only reasonable rather than outstanding in our speed tests.
Its PCMark05 score of 1,508 isn't going to break any records but that doesn't mean that it's slow by any means. In general use, even with all the Vista eye-candy turned on, it was still quick to respond and it's more than capable of turning its hand to office tasks.
If gaming is your thing, however, you'll need to look elsewhere -- a 3DMark06 score of 111 just doesn't cut it for immersive gaming. MobileMark won't run under Vista yet, but according to Sony it should last for seven and a half hours from a single charge, a figure that is in line with our experience. Operating noise is extremely low, with the fan barely noticeable.
If you spend more time out and about than chained to a desk then the TX5XN is the perfect companion -- it's got enough power for everyday tasks and the screen and keyboard are usable on the road. The battery should keep going most of the day and the inclusion of an internal DVD writer means you don't have to cart around annoying external add-ons.
It's better than the Asus U1 in many ways, but then it does cost more, so which you choose will depend on your budget. If portability is more important to you than performance, then this is one of the smallest, most usable laptops on the market.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Macefield