Sony VAIO VGX-TP1E review
Some of the TP1E’s foibles can be forgiven. The lowly 1GB of RAM is unlikely to cause any problems running Windows Media Center, and the keyboard is fine for tapping out emails or entering web addresses. And there are plenty of good points: the design is excellent, performance is more than adequate, and the large hard disk and integrated WLAN will be big advantages for anyone with a modern media network at home. The inclusion of HDMI is another major plus point over DVI, if only because it carries an audio signal, meaning less cable clutter.
However, the lack of twin TV tuners is a major downside – especially when you can buy a twin tuner Freeview box, complete with 160GB hard disk, from online retailers for less than £100. This highlights the Sony’s other problem: price. Although competitive with other Windows-based media centres, it’s too expensive for a device with this many restrictions. If you’re looking for a media centre that will give a spare room a touch of class, and will actually be used as a PC, we can’t argue with the TP1E’s excellent design, but it’s too expensive to be given pride of place in the average living room.
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