Thanks to its Intel 2.5-GHz Core 2 Duo T9300 CPU (a Penryn-class processor that we see in some desktop-replacement notebooks) and its nVidia 8400GS graphics card, the VAIO SZ smoked our WorldBench 6 performance tests with a score of 94. Among all-purpose notebooks, even Lenovo's ThinkPad R61 and Fujitsu's LifeBook A6120 couldn't match that number.

The 13.3-inch screen (with crisp 1280-by-800-pixel resolution) is vibrant and easy to view from various angles. Though not as gorgeous as its sibling, the backlit VAIO VGN-TZ295N, the VGN-SZ791N does the job. The display's aluminum backing gives the notebook a substantial feel, as does the smooth metallic wrist rest.

The laptop's worst feature is its mouse. Huge gaps act as trenches between the loosely fitting left- and right-mouse buttons and the case.

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