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GADGET DAY: Got my new Subnotebook today
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 10.12.03 - 15:24:48 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 12209x
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Today is my very personal "geek's gadget day" and therefore I might be away from PPCW.Net for the next couple of hours... UPS rang my door bell this morning and brought my brand new Subnotebook - a Sony Vaio PCG-TR1MP... :-)

If you are a long time visitor of PPCW.Net you might remember this article I wrote February 2002 (hell, that's already 2 years ago): "NOTEBOOK: I need a new Notebook, I found it, but..." where I wrote about a new Notebook I was thinking about to buy. Well, I never bought that one but it took at least 2 more years to made the decision which one to take and last week I made it and decided to got with the Vaio PCG-TR1MP, even if I swear before never to buy a Sony Notebook again.

Since 2000 I've owned a Vaio PCG-C1XD (Picturebook) and I was annoyed about the support Sony provided with updates and upgrades. Also it was designed for Windows 98 only it was good enough to run Windows Me as well but with 2000 and XP it had serious problems. Anyway - that Subnotebook was a good investment, at least it worked 4 years for me.
But since it doesn't had Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth on board I thought about an upgrade anyway and therefore I found that Vaio. While the Sony Press Office never responded to my inquiries (Sony annoyed me again here but also Samsung, HP and Fujitsu Siemens were pretty silent) I thought about that the product manager, who developed this fine piece of miniaturization, and that he isn't (at least I hope) responsible for the Press Office behavior.

So here it is - my new Subnotebook - my new companion on future trips: the Sony Vaio PCG-TR1MP:


  • 10.6" Widescreen Onyx-black LCD
  • Built in CDRW/DVD drive
  • Built in 370k camera
  • Integrated W-LAN, Bluetooth
  • ULV Centrino® 900MHz-M
  • Intel® 855GM integrated with 3D up to 128MB meory
  • 30 GB hard disc drive
  • 256MB SDRAM
  • 2xUSB 2.0 ports
  • MagicGate Memory Stick slot
  • i-Link (IEEE1394) port
  • V92/V90 56k Flex Modem
  • Built in Ethernet RJ-45 10BaseT/100Base TX
  • Up to 5.5 hours battery life
  • Weight 1.4kg
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Most impressed I'm about the size. While many manufactures like HP, Toshiba and others build great "regular size" Notebooks (I've bought my girlfriend this summer a HP Notebook - see here how: "THOUGHT: Buying a new Notebook wireless and interactive", I'm addicted - for sure - to the Subnotebook class! :-) It's lighter, smaller and therefore easier to carry. However, because of this miniaturization, it often miss important features while that Vaio includes near everything I was looking for. A great screen resolution (1280 x 768 which is even more then I'm using on my PC), W-LAN and Bluetooth on board as well as LAN and a 56 k modem it seems to be the most perfect Subnotebook for me (okay, it doesn't includes IrDA what I really miss as well as it has a Memory Stick slot instead of a SD slot).
Also it's really great that it has a DVD drive includes and not an external one which means watching DVD on an airplane was never easier as well that the drive is also a CD-ROM Read/Write! :-)

So now it's time to uninstall everything useless like the one or the other Sony stuff ;-) and to install the real important stuff like Microsoft Office System aka Office 2003 and more and even more important - importing the data from my Desktop to the Notebook as well as synchronizing both as good as possible which brings me to the next point: Why isn't there a Desktop/Notebook kind of ActiveSync solution available from Microsoft? I already have LapLink but it's not that good and also the Briefcase isn't working that good. Here I miss a solution to sync my Outlook version like I do with my PC and my Pocket PCs/Smartphones.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Filip Norrgård on 10.12.03 - 19:53:24

Sounds like a cool gadget that you've got there... Hope that you got what you paid for. wink

Does anyone even use Memory Sticks? Here, where I live, the price for a Memory Stick is 3 times higher than for the same amount of storage in SD form! That is not good price-value relation, but luckily I don't have to buy it...

Posted by Arne Hess on 10.12.03 - 20:06:58

It's a cool gadget - yes! :-D And (is it?) worth every Cent I've paid.

An no - I don't have Memory Sticks, I don't plan to buy any (for what - at least that's the reason why I've never bought a Sony Digital Camera because of their Memory Sticks) but will use my CF and SD card with a PCMCIA adapter... Sorry Sony but you won't make a single buck on me and Memory Sticks... ;-)

Posted by msmobiles on 10.12.03 - 20:37:22

could you try to check if dial-up networking works with HTC Voyager over the Sony's Bluetooth implementation from this notebook? (and let us know here)

Posted by Nathan on 10.12.03 - 20:49:27


I know it's a bit late now, but did you look at the Fujitsu Lifebook P5000?

ULV Intel Pentium M 1GHz (1MB L2 cache and 400MHz system bus)

Intel 855 GM video

512MB RAM (up to 1GB)

40GB HD (60GB available)

10.6" wide screen display (1280x768 internal / 1600x1200 external)

VGA out

S-Video out

dvd/cdrw drive internal

56K modem / lan / wlan (all onboard)

Firewire port

2 - USB 2.0 ports

SPDIF optical digital audio out

Media slot that accepts both Memory Stick Pro and Secure Digital (very cool)

Compact Flash slot (very cool indeed)

PC Card slot

Less than 4 lbs.

No, I don't work for Fujitsu smile  This is the laptop I've been drooling about for a while now.  Congrats on the new purchase.


Posted by Arne Hess on 10.12.03 - 21:35:04

@Jacek aka msmobiles: Already tried and posted as a comment to my previous article about using a Notebook with the E200 together with Bluetooth (

"As you can see here (, today I got my new Notebook which includes Bluetooth by default now - so no more Anycom card anymore! 

However, for sure one of the first things I did when I've installed everything was testing Bluetooth dial-up with the Sony Vaio and the i-Mate Smartphone2 (aka SPV E200) and it worked like charm. Bonding and dialing - no problem with the Vaio."

So well, this configuration was easy doing and I've posted this comment wireless with this combination also!

@Nathan: Grrr... ;-) Yes, that's a little bit late... Do you have a link - I want to find anything which isn't equal or better to my latest gadget! ;-)

Posted by pe_tit on 10.12.03 - 22:37:36

Hi Arne, Congtratulation on ur new Sony Vaio notebook smile. My boss is a very fan of Sony Vaio. All his notebook are from Sony Vaio. Actually my boss was planing to buy the same computer soon. So I will get to see first hand how this computer works;). Concerning the IrDA. That is one of the thing that Sony should bring back. They have it before but they took it out I don't know why. We still use his old Sony (he has 3 now but will be adding one more soon tongue) just for the use of the IrDA.  Again Congratulation smile.

Posted by msmobiles on 11.12.03 - 10:52:26

Thanks. Good to hear that it works without problems over Bluetooth with HTC Voyager... (E200, imate2,etc).

BTW: isn't 256 MB RAM a bit too little nowadays? is it OK for your applications?

Posted by Arne Hess on 11.12.03 - 11:19:27

Yes, it's good fun using it via BT with the Smartphone. I've spent around 1.5 hours yesterday evening online through BT and GPRS and it was fast and stable!

Regarding the RAM - you are right. That's what I thought about also and therefore I've already ordered a second 256 MB RAM with the Notebook. So in total I have 512 MB running (this happens if you just copy & paste specs). While 512 MB are better - my experience is that even 256 are good enough for Office, FrontPage and some basic image editing.

Posted by msmobiles on 11.12.03 - 21:44:54

just one last question: does the Bluetooth implementation in this notebook has HID profile? (HID = Human Interface Device; it allows to connect over Bluetooth mouse, keyboard and joystick; in the wizard to set up the new Bluetooth device it should be visible)

Posted by Nathan on 12.12.03 - 01:10:20


Here's the site:

With the Sony you get the camera and the integrated bluetooth.  The Fujitsu doesn't offer those.


Posted by fjpchina on 14.12.03 - 14:37:44

I hope you had a nice discount as the PGC-TR2C is already out with a P-M 1Ghz and 512Mb memory for the same price.

Posted by Ray on 14.12.03 - 15:37:08


I looked at both but got the Fujitsu P5020D.  It has a 60gb hard drive and a 1Ghz CPU with 512Mb of memory.  Built in 802.11B & G, as well as CF, SD and MS reader.  I carry a 4mp camera, but bluetooth would have been nice.

The 802.11G was the decision maker for me as I went that way in my home.

I've had it for two months now and really love it!


Posted by Arne Hess on 14.12.03 - 15:54:20

@Nathan: The most important point for me was Bluetooth for sure. I'm using my Notebooks a lot for wireless communication with BT enabled cell phones and I prefer not to use a cable to connect both and therefore the BT implementation was the killer for me (I'm already writing this comment with the Notebook and a GPRS/BT connection). So Notebooks without BT are out of the focus for me. The camera is nice, especially for video conferencing (for instance I had a video chat with a colleague 2 years ago when I was on the GSM congress and connected via Wi-Fi) while my colleague was in the office in Germany and I walked around the conference and showed him what was new.

@fjpchina: Well, the follower isn't released in Germany at all and the TR1MP is the latest model. Therefore it's hard to get a discount since it's the newest model.

@Ray: As I already said above, BT is the important part for me. Since I don't have any G W-LAN today it wasn't that important. Also thankfully most G equipment is B compatible so I hadn't any problems in the past to connect to HotSpots in the past with B equipment "only" and I'm sure I'm on the secure site for the next couple of years, even with my old B only connection type. But Bluetooth gives me the option to make Internet connections while I'm abroad/on the road and therefore it was more important for me to have it included.

Posted by fjpchina on 17.12.03 - 15:17:33

I understand you as I also use a lot BT.

But I prefer looking at all the other features as a good BT USB dongle with a widcomm stack (very stable) and also support with the headphone profile is now very cheap and small -> you can add it to any computer.

I know that for me the screen / keyboard / trackpoint  are decisive wink

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