Sony Vaio GRT715M

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Sony Vaio GRT715M

Laptops capable of editing video are now widely available, and many are reasonably priced, including - perhaps contrary to expectations - Sony's Vaio GRT715M

Sony's new GRT710 series Vaios are aimed squarely at consumers with multimedia interests, and take in three models with multi-format DVD burners - the GRT716S, GRT715E and the GRT715M, reviewed here.
The 715M - featuring a 2.8GHz P4 processor, a 15in screen (1024x768 pixel resolution), 512MByte RAM and a 40GByte hard disk - sits in the middle of this trio. The range-leading 716S has a larger screen (16.1in, with a resolution of 1400x1050 pixels) and hard disk (60GByte), while the 715E has a slower processor (2.66GHz) and less RAM (256MByte). Otherwise, the specs and selling points are largely the same.
One much-touted feature is the Vaio's Onyx Black LCD screen technology - something that intrigued us, because laptop screens can easily be a big let-down. Although Sony has long incorporated FireWire ports in its laptop PCs (masquerading under the name of i-Link), the software it typically supplies for video editing - the company's own DVgate suite - hasn't impressed us. So, it was good to see that Adobe Premiere 6 - albeit the lite, LE, version - was also installed as standard. Adding to the software armoury is another Adobe product - the image editor Photoshop Elements.
It's hard to fault the 715M either as a lifestyle accessory or as a fully-fledged mobile video editing workstation. The absence of a FireWire cable grates a little, and the otherwise excellent screen can be difficult to position for best viewing, but these are minor gripes about an otherwise highly capable PC that is, truly, edit-ready out of the box. The software suite is good, and hardware design is up to the high standard one likes to think is typical of Sony. To top things off, unlike many previous Vaios, the 715M sits at an affordable level - something that is certain to significantly boost sales.

Hugo Frazer

Read the full feature in November 2003's Computer Video magazine.


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Sony Vaio GRT715M

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Greater Contour control
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