The latest Vaio TT has a faster processor and a solid-state hard drive. Would we buy it over Sony's own Z range though?
We’re no strangers to tiny laptops here at Stuff Towers, but we’ve rarely come across one that’s as discrete as the Vaio TT. In fact, for about 30 minutes this afternoon our Vaio TT was believed to be missing, only to be discovered in a pile of magazines right next to the keyboard this review is being typed on.
Although it has a reasonably large 11.1in screen, it's only 150g heavier than an 8.9in Asus EeePC 901.
No-one does small like Sony, though, and the matte finish absolutely reeks of style, too: it makes even the Fujitsu Lifebook P8020 look slightly tawdry by comparison, and blends in so well with its surroundings that it transcends any faint whiff of 'executive' design.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, there's even an optical disc drive built in. That's on top of the usual extras like Firewire, an ExpressCard slot, 3G modem, and both VGA and HDMI out.
It's a veritable marvel of miniaturisation that will make MacBook Air owners weep. There's even an option to upgrade to a Blu-ray player, if you happen to have had a rich crop from your money tree this year.
Z-series has X-factor
And there's the rub. Sony already has an ultra-portable office in your pocket, the Z-series. The TT may look and feel more modern than its squatter stablemate, but the weight difference isn't huge, and the Z has a bigger screen of even higher quality than the excellent panel here. The TT's keyboard is just a little bit too small for comfort, too.
More importantly, though, the Z-series has a processor that's almost twice as fast as the low-voltage 1.4GHz one in the TT. It may share its name with a motorbike challenge where the average speed is 100mph, but this TT definitely isn't a racer.
If you buy them both from the Sony Store website, the Z-series is £600 cheaper, too. The TT may be able to hide in plain sight, but the price tag gives it away every time.
Before it gets consigned to the P-series bin of shocking Sony pricing failures, the TT is available elsewhere for considerably less. Even when it's just £1,874, though, the Z-series is better value for money.
As good looking as the TT is, the only things it really offers that the also-ultralight Samsung X360 doesn't have is a 3G modem and a better quality screen, but the X360 is only two-thirds of even the best price we found for the TT.
Sony TT21WN review
An absolutely stunning little laptop, but the price is uncomfortably close to Sony's more powerful ultralights