Sony Vaio FW
The Sony Vaio FW is definitely a laptop for people who want something that looks nice and performs well. It weighs in at an affordable $1,499, and like the XPS 16, it can be configured $200 cheaper by going with the P8600 instead of the only slightly faster T9550. Also, you can save an additional $100 by choosing the standard 1600x900 screen instead of the 1920x1080 add-on.
The most notable feature of the Vaio FW is its keyboard. While it isn’t backlit, it has nearly the exact same “pebble” design as the MacBook Pro (Sony had the style first, so don’t say Sony stole it from Apple), and perhaps most importantly, it has little to no flex, which plagues so many notebooks. The second thing you’ll notice about this laptop is the gorgeous lines and curves and tranquil matte-white finish (I personally like white the best). It really stands out as an elegant machine. Performance takes a negligible hit because the computer is limited to DDR2 memory, but DDR3’s benefit is mostly its power savings, although with the nine-cell Li-Ion, it, can achieve up to eight hours of run time, and weighing 6.5 pounds, you can stay mobile.
Unfortunately, you can’t expect perfection to come at such a low price. The Vaio FW lacks a few things compared to the MacBook Pro, especially when it comes to build quality. Having a plastic chassis may keep the cost down, but it does make the notebook feel less stable when torque is applied. Also, there are those unique looking hinges, which are reportedly fragile, although I personally had no trouble with them.
The Vaio FW gets top marks in aesthetics, as well as high marks in performance and battery life, but the plastic construction just can’t cut it, yielding low points for build quality.
|Sony VAIO FW|
|Processor||Core 2 Duo T9550 (6 MB cache, 2.66 GHz)|
|Memory||4 GB DDR2-800|
|Hard Drive||320 GB 5,400 RPM|
|Video Card||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 512 MB|
|Display||16" LCD 1920x1080|
|Relevant I/O Ports||3x USB, HDMI, SD/MC reader, 34 mm, Express Slot, IEEE 1394a|
|Dimensions||15.1 x 10.3 x 1.14-1.46"|