Sony’s VAIO F22M0E is certainly a distinctive looking machine with its slanted but still thick chassis. The 16.4 inch VAIO is one of the company’s mid range machines, offering elements of multimedia and abilities that pertain to more prowess, and it can be yours for under £800.
With an i7 processor and GeForce graphics chip it’s a well shod laptop, though at 3.1KG it’s not that light and more suited to life at a desk, over that on the move.
At 3.1KG it’s not too light either, and you probably won’t want to use it on the daily commute. Build quality, however, is quite nice, owing to its size and some quality materials. Looks wise, there is a slant of the aggressive to it and it’s a tad eye catching, exposing some LED lights along the side when its matte lid is closed – all of which is quite attractive.
The keyboard is of the island variety and also backlight. Keys are on the satisfying side of stiff, though bounce back in a solid manner in a similar way to that of a MacBook Pro. The raised palm rest at the bottom of the Sony is a nice addition and aids typing. Between the area is the touchpad, which is slightly rougher than the surrounding textures and offers precise gesture control, that felt fresh and accurate. However, the buttons below struggle with being part of the one piece of material and there is a dead space in the centre of both buttons, which can frustrate as you end up clicking on an unresponsive area, when engaged, watching the 1600×900 display.
The 16:9 ratio of the 720p display is quite regular, though the display itself offers above-average levels of light and clarity. For a 16.4 inch display, we would say we were fairly impressed with the daylight and found the matt finish on the screen appealing.
Colours were a little duller than expected, but this is the trade-off for having a matt screen you can watch during brighter light. The screen hinge’s position does limit the amount of tilt on the screen, but as the area of vision is good, adjustment isn’t required as much as it is on some machines. Audio is average, which for a multimedia machine such as the Sony, is a little disappointing. Performance dictates the level of visual ability in screen though for gaming and heavier tasks.
Intel’s i72630qm processor provides the horse power and though a 2GHz chip, can clock 2.9GHz if needs be. This is because of the Turbo Boost feature Intel has added to these second generation chips. The hyper threading abilities of these chips 4GB of RAM and the fact the computer has A Nvidia GeForce GT540M graphics chip means it is quite a capable machine for its price.
Gaming is definitely on the cards, though you may have to make a few in game adjustments and compromises on full settings according to games. The Sony can still perform though, and scored a respectable 8,394 in the 3DMark06 test ensuring a mixture of medium and high settings will equal playability.
The 500GB hard drive is as you would expect from a computer of this size and battery life wasn’t despicable either, and we got 5:27 minutes under light use conditions. Connectivity is average, though because of the slanting form of the computer, most ports are located near the backs of the sides. The machine has three USB ports, two of which are USB3.0. The addition of a HDMI, mini FireWire port and 1Gigabite Ethernet are also welcome, as is the memory card port and BluRay drive. Online connectivity is offered via a 802.11n wireless adaptor.
The Sony is a quite inexpensive desktop replacement and packs reasonable amounts of power allowing it to succeed at everyday tasks and also a bit of gaming if you’re in the mood. Though, we found a few objections with the weight, touchpad and the speakers, there’s not much serious to moan about, as this is a very solid machine.
It’s an affordable multimedia rig that holds its own against the likes of the MSI GE620 and HP Pavilion DV7 of similar size. If you want a unpricey all-rounder and don’t need a lot of portability, this could be it.