The first thing you notice when holding the C1VN is just how small the unit
is. But at about 2 lbs, the first VAIO notebook to market with a Crusoe
processor is a powerhouse with many interesting features. Thermally, the unit
has one very small cooling vent and fan off to the side. Unlike many Celeron and
Pentium III class notebooks, the C1VN only becomes warm to the touch, and this
after about 5 hours of use. It is unknown how much of this heat is created from
the Crusoe processor, and how much is derived from the battery use.
Booting up the VAIO, which was loaded with WinMe brought us to the desktop
quickly. From there, the user is in a native Windows desktop and can use the
system as they normally would. For those of you interested in running Win2k or
Win98SE, a special driver disk is necessary to load the OS properly, no doubt
also loading the Long Run power management software as well.
The Long Run power management software is a unique feature for all
Crusoe-based notebooks. The interface sits on the control tray and can be
brought up at any point for configuration. Essentially the user sees a graphical
display of the CPU speed, which for the most part is polarized at either 600Mhz
or the lower power consuming 300Mhz. The Long Run power management software also
enables the user to configure the system in four ways.
Users who are looking for performance with their VAIO C1VN can set this
feature in the menu, enabling the unit to still save power, but be geared
towards the performance side of things. Users who are doing simple tasks can opt
to set Long Run to the economy setting, which will offer more conservative
performance settings, and longer battery life. Where continued performance is an
issue that cannot be left to chance, Long Run offers the ability to force the
Crusoe processor to stay at 600Mhz speeds at all times.
Conversely, the user can opt for consistent 300Mhz operation. The choice and
battery times are up to you, with all changes being represented by Long Run's
graphical display. The display graphically illustrates the need for 600mhz
operation when loading programs, and demonstrates the throttle back of processor
speed, and power consumption in the many moments of idleness between mouse
movements and keystroke.
With VAIO's special software and embedded camera the Picture Book can take
still images or movies. Battery use rises during these procedures. Battery life
can range from 2 to 5 hours depending on the users patterns. If the camera is
used a lot then battery life will be shortened, if however the user is mostly
typing, expect substantial increases in the amount of time you can spend on the
Still more Crusoe developments to come from COMDEX 2000 this week.