The first of the all-in-onesto show up in our lab, Sony's new Vaio L-Series gives this year's all-in-one crop a strong start. The design of this system is almost deceptively elegant. With swept back sides and minimal visual clutter on the front bezel, Sony has made sitting in front of this computer a pleasing experience.
Sony has also taken the touch-screen trend a step further than other all-in-ones with integrated touch commands to launch an application, zoom in on an image, and others at various points around the front bezel. This feature is more novelty than transformational, but it shows that Sony is also considering those who might like to use the wall-mountable Vaio L-Series without a mouse and keyboard.
Our reservations about our $1,999 system come mostly because of its price. With a non-Sandy Bridge mobile Core i7 and mobile Nvidia graphics card, this PC can't outpace its sub-$1,000 all-in-one competition that uses desktop parts. You can instead spring for a less-expensive $1,699 L-Series, which, aside from sacrifices to hard-drive space and system memory) includes the same features as the high-end model, including the same Blu-ray burner and separate HDMI input and output ports.
Sony's new all-in-one is not for those who simply want a self-contained day-to-day computer, but for anyone looking to incorporate a Windows-based digital entertainment solution into a den, a dorm room, or a small office, it's one of the best-equipped, best-looking options available.