I purchased this to replace a 4 year old Packard Bell laptop with a 1.3GHz Celeron processor.
It's worth noting that the processor suplied with this Sony is in fact a 2.0GHz Pentium, and NOT a 2.1GHz Pentium as stated by Play.com. Not a huge difference in performance between the two, I'm sure, but a slight discrepancy nonetheless.
Anyway, what's it like?
The first thing you'll notice is the build quality - it's excellent. This looks and feels like an expensive laptop. The textured surface area at the back of the screen and around the keyboard look very nice indeed, and I'm sure will help to hide any knocks and scratches that the laptop may pick up in the future, keeping it looking as good as new.
The screen image is bright, and extremely clear. DVD playback is very good quality, too.
The sound, considering the small speakers, is decent. As with most laptops, don't expect too much in the way of bass, but for most applicatons, they should be more than adequate.
With the exception of the ethernet and modem ports, which are around the back, all other connections are located on the sides and front, including 2 USB 2.0 ports on either side - very useful.
Note that there is no bluetooth facility, and no HDMI socket on this model.
After the first boot (which always takes a little while as Windows does its stuff), I was pleasantly surprised to see that there wasn't the usual huge amount of pre-installed rubbish to remove.
There were some pre-installed programs, of course, including McAfee, the Google Toolbar and Google Desktop, and a few others, but this was very easy to remove in a few minutes.
There is an 'AV Mode' button above the keyboard which brings up an 'XMB style' scrolling menu to quickly launch music, video and internet software, and so on. I've not found much use for it so far, but it's a nice addition, and you could always disable it if you wish.
Another nice inclusion is the wireless 'on/off' switch located at the front of the laptop, which, as you would imagine, allows you to quickly turn the laptop's wireless facility on or off.
Battery life is good, I got well over 3 hours on the first charge, and was using my wireless connection during all that time.
Performance-wise, the machine seems very competent. Full-screen streaming internet videos don't seem to suffer from any framerate problems, and I've not encountered any situations where things have slowed down. It handles the pre-installed Windows Home Premium with ease.
Conclusion: If you're after a laptop capable of 3D gaming, then look elsewhere, but if you're a casual user who wants a good quality machine for surfing the internet, e-maling, watching movies, editing images, and so on, then I would highly recommend the Sony Vaio NS30.
For the price (£449.99 at the time of writing), 5 stars.