Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN
- Stylish design, minuscule size and weight, good battery life, well built
- Not very powerful, limited specifications
The VAIO TZ17GN is an ideal ultraportable thanks to a compact, lightweight frame, good battery life and solid, if not outstanding performance. A stylish design sweetens the deal.
Price$ 3,599.00 (AUD)
The Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN is an ultraportable notebook that features a stylish design, excellent battery life and a weight of just 1.2kg. The TZ17 is ideal for mobile professionals who require a decent level of performance while on the road.
The VGN-TZ17GN has a tiny 11.1in screen with a 1366x768 resolution and weighs in at just 1.2kg. It has an excellent viewing angle, is bright and clear and offers reasonable colour - so it's fine to watch a DVD movie on. The screen is glossy though, so if you're working in an office environment, fluorescent lights reflecting off the display can become annoying.
At the heart of this notebook is an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 CPU running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 2GB) and a 100GB hard drive. Despite the small size, Sony conveniently manages to squeeze in a DVD-RW/RAM drive. Overall, these specifications aren't outstanding, but suit the target market of this notebook; an ideal solution for frequent travellers who would only be e-mailing, browsing the Internet and editing Office documents.
We encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files to test the system's performance. The encoding time of 3min 30sec is fairly slow, although somewhat expected considering the specifications. As it's aimed at business users, a biometric fingerprint scanner allows the system to be locked and adds security to the Windows Vista log-in process, as well as many applications. A VGA port is also available to output presentations to a larger screen or projector.
The VAIO hasn't been designed for extensive graphics use, so it's no surprise to see it only uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950. This scored a low, but completely expected 2454 in our 3DMark2001 benchmark. Multimedia is notable though, with a media card reader supporting MagicGate, MS/MS-Pro and SD cards, a fingerprint reader sitting neatly between the mouse buttons and a set of media controls residing on the front edge of the chassis. There's also a VGA MotionEye camera built into the top of the display, and headphone and microphone jacks on the front.
For connectivity, a pair of USB 2.0 ports joins an Express Card slot, one gigabit Ethernet port and a 56Kbps modem port, in addition to a FireWire 400 port. Built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 are also offered.
Aesthetically, the VAIO is extremely stylish. It is finished in 'Sanity Black' and the flat, black matte scissor keys on a glossy base is a nice touch. The cover has a silver VAIO logo etched into the top, while the cylindrical design is practical and feels sturdy. Although the VAIO is small, it feels solid enough and isn't fragile. The screen exhibits a little flex, but this is natural as it's very thin.
We tested the battery life by looping a DVD until the notebook has no charge left. The DVD loop test is considered a worst-case scenario, as it utilises the optical drive and speakers, as well as the screen, CPU and other core components. The VAIO lasted 2hrs 42min before the battery died, which is a strong result. Keep in mind though that all our tests were run using maximum performance battery profiles. Longer battery life can be achieved by selecting a number of other power profiles through Vista's control panel.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- CCTest LeadQLD
- FTSenior IT Business Analyst - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- CCSOE EngineerACT
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - Six Sigma Black BeltVIC
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD