Home' LAPTOP Magazine : February 2012 Contents entertainmentNOTEBOOKS
the Sony VaiO F delivers impressive performance with
Core i7 muscle, nvidia graphics, and a full HD display.
The $1,399 Sony VAIO F is all lights, camera, and
action. Boasting a large 16.4 -inch 1080p display,
a Blu-ray player, and a healthy stable of multime-
dia software, Sony’s latest entertainment media
machine is sure to impress.
The VAIO F is a collection of understated design
and sharp angles. A large chrome VAIO insignia
is the only decoration on the black plastic lid.
We especially like this machine’s ability to resist
fingerprints and smudges.
Measuring 15.7 x 10.7 x
1.7 inches and weighing 6.6
pounds, the VAIO F easily
outweighs the HP Pavilion
dv6t (5.8 pounds), but this
notebook has a larger 16.4 -
There are many things to
like about the VAIO F’s island-
style keyboard, including a
full number pad and bright
backlighting. The large flat
keys had a nice spring, and we were able to hit
our usual 50-words-per-minute average on the
Ten Thumbs Typing Test. However, we did notice
a slight flexing of the keyboard as we typed, and
we took issue with the undersized left Tab, Caps
Lock, and Left Shift keys.
Although the raised palm rest looks off-putting,
we found it to be quite comfortable, though a little
warm. Integrated into the palm rest is a Synaptics
touchpad comprised of a series of small raised dots.
The added texture felt good against our fingers,
and it responded quickly to various mulititouch
gestures. The touchpad buttons were fairly stiff,
which was a small distraction.
Surrounded in a glossy black bezel, the VAIO
F’s 16.4 -inch matte 1920 x 1080p LED backlit
display delivered crisp detail with vibrant color. We
saw clear, distinct text on CNN.com and Joystiq,
while Michelle Billingley’s webcomic series Joe!
gave us bright reds, greens,
Thanks to a quad-core 2.2-
GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM
processor with 6GB of RAM,
the VAIO F has some serious
power under the hood. The
notebook posted 9,608 on
PCMark Vantage. That’s 1,326
points above the desktop re-
placement average, and it also
beats out the XPS 15 L502X,
which has a 2-GHz Intel Core
i7-2630QM CPU and 8GB of RAM.
During the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, the
VAIO F duplicated 4.97GB of mixed-media files
in 2 minutes and 38 seconds for a transfer rate
of 32.2 MBps, slightly slower than the desktop
Because it’s a multimedia notebook, we
expected the Sony VAIO F to have nice amount
of get-up-and-go, and we weren’t disappointed.
The notebook’s Nvidia GeForce GT540M GPU
with 1GB of VRAM scored 8,403 on
3DMark06, which failed to meet the
12,515 category average, but kept
pace with the Gigabyte P2532 (8,816;
Nvidia GeForce GT550M, 2GB of VRAM)
and beat out the XPS 15 L502X (8,101),
which has the same GPU.
With the resolution at 1080p and
effects set to Good in World of Warcraft, the
VAIO F snagged a respectable frame rate
of 74 fps. That’s nearly half of the desktop
replacement average, but only slightly below
the P2532 and the XPS 15 L502X.
During the LAPTOP Battery Test, the
Sony VAIO F lasted 3 hours and 48 minutes.
That’s 29 minutes longer than the desktop
replacement category average.
The VAIO F comes with a few
multimedia-creation tools. With ACID
Music Studio 8.0, we were able to create
and import music tracks and mix to our
heart’s delight. From there, we could
upload our tracks to the Sound Forge Audio Studio
10.0, where we were able to add other effects. Vegas
Movie Studio Platinum 10.0 gives filmmakers the
tools to create professional-looking products.
There’s a lot of win in the $1,399 Sony VAIO F.
In addition to a vibrant 16.4 -inch 1080p display,
it packs a solid performance punch, and has a
Blu-ray DVD burner. Still, it can take a toll on your
wallet. The Dell XPS 15 offers the same processor
and GPU—but 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard
drive and arguably better sound—for $1,099.
Overall, though, the Sony VAIO F will be a hit for
those who create or consume multimedia.
— Sherri L. Smith
CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM Operat-
ing System: Windows 7 Home Premium
(64-bit) ram/expandable to: 6GB/8GB Hard
Drive Size/Speed: 640GB/7,200 rpm Opti-
cal Drive: BD-R Display Size/resolu-
tion: 16.4 inches/1920 x 1080 Graphics/
Video memory:Nvidia GeForce GT540M/1GB
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Ports: Two USB 3.0,
one USB 2.0 , HDMI , VGA, Ethernet, headphone,
mic, Kensington Lock slot Card Slots: 4-in-1
memory card reader Size: 15.7 x 10.7 x 1.7
inches Weight: 6 .6 po un d s Warranty/Support:
One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone
Vibrant 1080p display
Good graphics muscle
Comfortable backlit keyboard
Stiff touchpad buttons
Undersized keys on keyboard
A little chunky
PCMark 07 2,579
LAPTOP Battery Test
LAPTOP Transfer Test
Boot Time (min:sec)*
(autodetect/max) 74/38 fps 167/74 fps
Far Cry 2
(autodetect/max) 93/29 fps 107/56 fps
* Lower is better
The dots on the VAIO F’s touchpad have a nice feel.
Laptop | February 2012
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