I've been following this thread and doing some research on my own and have narrowed the field to a Sony VIAO S series or an IBM Thinkpad T series.
I've tried the VIAO S460 and thought it was great. The screen resolution and color is amazing. The keyboard felt good. My husband had a VIAO for his job several years back and really liked it. BUT I've read reviews that mention a problem with a very noisy fan. Any thoughts on this?
The Thinkpad sounds very solid but I haven't been able to find one in a store to try out. Does anyone know what retailer might carry them? I understand the screen isn't quite as nice as the VIAO but it is larger (14" vs. 13"). I'd really like to try one out before I make a decision.
I'm looking for a quality, very reliable, under 5lb computer with a screen between 13" and 15". Would one be recommended over the other? Is there something out there that's even better than one of these two?
Any help would be appreciated.
Good call on considering the Sony S series. I own an S360 and it makes all the friends of mine with Dells and even some Apple people jealous. The concern you are bringing up is with the fan noise. Sony has the fan come on at specific temperatures (55 C for the 360). You can easily control this by using the power management options and selecting your PC to be on low power consumption. Your battery should last (the 460 consumes more than the 360) about 3.5-4.5 hours which is better than most notebooks.
Additionally, if the fan is giving you problems, you can easily underclock your CPU to the point in which the temperature does not go over the threshold after which the fan turns on.
In my anecdotal experience, the Sony S series is as quiet as can be even with the fan on. I believe the complaint comes from the users that game with it, not that use it for office apps. Performance wise, it is perfect for law school. Heck, I'm even able to play the Battlefield 2 demo with the notebook (albeit on low settings).
I do not regret the Sony purchase one bit. The notebook is 4.2 lbs, the battery lasts a whopping 5 1/2 hours (regular battery with power management settings considered). Also, the screen is bright, clear, and can't be beat.
If you have any specific questions, PM me. HTH