Sony Vaio TX56c has arrived
When I was working for a global company in the mid 2000's, I travelled a lot across the Asia Pacific region (APAC) and also globally as the APAC IT Manager. I was rarely at home - maybe 2 months in a year for 4-5 years.
It was an amazing piece of kit for the time, with onscreen keyboard, stylus, built in mouse pointer and very compact dock and external foldable USB keyboard (as shown above), but it was quite underpowered with small memory and hard disk.
I got this one from Japan and it is in very good condition. It is a 2005 era Sony Vaio TX56, which actually originally came from China, rather than Japan. So this laptop runs Windows XP in Chinese and has a standard English keyboard rather than a Japanese one.
Actually, it appears clear this machine originally came bundled with Windows Vista and the previous owner decided to downgrade to Windows XP, which was very common at the time, as Vista was very slow and buggy.
The network port and one usb port is hidden behind a sturdy pull out cover. This means they are covered when not needed, which was often, since the wireless networking worked great.
Sony at that time loved having custom buttons on their computers, and this Vaio is no different, with a AV Mode button and music/video control buttons above the keyboard (rather than functions tied to the function keys as is more common).
Battery, HD, caps lock and other indicators are on the left side of those buttons:
Sony squeezed a lot into this laptop - DVD burner, Fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth, wireless lan, microphone and headphone ports, Memory stick and SD card ports up front too.
I also picked up a brand new in box Port replicator/docking station for the Vaio TX56 to sit on. This also came from Japan. I never had one back in the day as I was travelling to too many countries to make it worthwhile to have one. But I could hardly say no to a $50 brand new one! :-)
Here is a few close ups of the docking station:
By docking station standards of the day, this one is pretty basic, missing a lot of common ports for the era like firewire, parallel, serial ports. Plenty of room for them, but I know Sony didn't generally include a lot of "legacy" port support in the Vaio laptops.
The laptop sits nicely on the dock, but nowhere to lock in place, so you can take it off at any time - a good and bad thing I suppose!
The screen is perfect, the DVD drive works well too. But, ahem, it's all in Chinese and I can't read Chinese at all. What to do...
Google Translate to the rescue. I use the app on my iPhone with the real time camera function to translate what was on the screen into English (not well I know but better than nothing).
Anyway, the installation went well, I installed the drivers I backed up, and all the the devices work perfectly, now in English!
I set to work installing AVG Antivirus (still supports XP), Windows system updates, applications like Office 2003 and games from that era, keeping in mind this is not really a gaming laptop at all. But things like Age of Empires work well on this machine. I used to play it on the long flights overseas :-)
Anyway, I just wanted to share the re-build of the laptop in case it was of interest to anyone!
I am on the hunt for some other rather special Sony Vaio models released only in Japan. If I manage to get one I will certainly cover it here!