Sony Vaio VPCL118FG/B review: Sony Vaio VPCL118FG/B

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Typical Price: $2,999.00

Sony Vaio VPCL118FG/B

(Part #: CNETSony Vaio VPCL118FG/B)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Lots of included AV software. Blu-ray burner. Integrated digital tuner. Touchscreen. Stylish design.

The Bad Only a single tuner provided. Good touchscreen apps are still thin on the ground. Expensive.

The Bottom Line Sony's all-in-one PC isn't cheap and it could do with more storage, but otherwise it's a highly attractive option for those who crave simplicity.

8.1 Overall

Design

Sony's latest take on an all-in-one PC looks remarkably like something. It's just that the something in question isn't an all-in-one PC, but rather a small Bravia TV. That's undoubtedly a deliberate design decision and as with most all-in-one PCs, the point isn't pure grunt as much as looking good in a non-PC environment. The VPCL118FG/B does via stealth, as without a mouse and keyboard evident, you wouldn't pick that it was a PC.

The VPCL118FG/B can even be used sans keyboard and mouse, as it comes with a touchscreen panel installed. Unlike some touchscreen units, you're not left bereft of mouse or keyboard, but the examples shipped with the VPCL118FG/B aren't the most stunning looking creatures, with the boxy mouse in particular being a design lowlight. Perhaps it's a rule with all-in-one computers, be they PC or Mac, that they have to come with rather ordinary peripherals? At least on the plus side, the included Windows remote doesn't look quite so boring.

Features

Behind the screen, Sony throws in an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 (2.93GHz) processor, 4GB of RAM and a 512MB Nvidia GeForce G210M graphics processor. A 500GB hard drive is provided, which is a touch on the low side for a multimedia machine. On the optical front, the comparisons with TV continue, with a Blu-ray disc combo drive and integrated digital TV tuner. The display panel, besides being touch capable, is also full HD capable, which pinpoints this as a home AV machine.

On the software side, the VPCL118FG/B ships with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a whole raft of software: Vaio Movie Story, Adobe Premiere Elements 7, WinDVD BD for Vaio, Click to Disc, Click to Disc Editor, PMB (Picture Motion Browser), Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, Vaio Media plus, Roxio Easy Media Creator, Vaio Gate, Vaio Control Center, WebCam Message Board, WebCam Companion, Magic-i Visual Effects, Vaio Recovery Center, Vaio Update, Vaio Transfer Support and Vaio Data Restore Tool. On the trial side of the fence, you also get a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Professional 2007, a 30-day trial of McAfee PC SecurityCenter, a 60-day trial of Norton Online Backup and finally a 60-day free trial of Webroot Spy Sweeper. That's a lot of trial security software from different companies to stack together.

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