Sometime in the near future, I want to replace my aging Thinkpad R51 and dying Compaq Presario laptops with a new one. Ideally I would like a Thinkpad T-series with a Blu-Ray burner and HDMI out but such a beast does not exist.

The only light notebook that I can find with a blu-ray burner is the Sony FZ series, which is nearly a pound lighter than it’s competition. So I go to configure this to see what it costs and voila, I’m presented with the most amount of software that I’ve seen pre-installed with no way not to have it. Then I looked at reviews online and found that the machine itself is fantastic but out of the box it runs slow as molasses thanks to all the preinstalled software!

What it says – What it means
Microsoft® Works – Microsoft® Works SE 9.0 with 60-Day Trial Version of Microsoft® Office
Photo Standard – Corel® Paint Shop Pro® 30 day Trial
Video Standard – Click to Disc Editor ™, WinDVD
QuickBooks Simple Start – QuickBooks Simple Start – Free Edition for Windows
Norton 360™ All-In-One Security (60 Day Trial)

Also for a little bit of extra money at each option you can get even more crapware installed. Out of all the software mentioned above only WinDVD is a reasonable addition because it is required to play Blu-Ray discs. Maybe Sony can charge 5$ extra at each option not to install anything. I will gladly pay Sony 20$ more to not have to cleanup all this bullcrap later on.

Some of these things such as Norton 360 are notoriously difficult to remove and might even require that you download a removal tool from the Norton website. I’m guessing Sony makes money by forcing these down your throat and that might be the reason for the decent pricing for a great machine. But can we have the option of just paying extra please? Plus I’m pretty sure this is the stuff that Sony mentions on it’s website but there will be other stuff that is not mentioned such as trials to internet services, media players etc.

Maybe I need to consider Dell with their “limited” bloatware? But I hate the dell website. What do they care if I am a home user or a small business user? Just show me all your damned laptops. I don’t want to go to three different sections of the site to spec out the same laptop three times and get three different prices.

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