Sony VAIO F review: Sony VAIO F

Despite being a bit on the bulky side, the Vaio F did well in nearly every department--until we got to the battery test. It used to be common for big-screen multimedia/gaming laptops to run for only about an hour, but since Intel's current-gen Core i-series CPUs hit last year, scores have risen across the board. So, it was disappointing to see this 16-inch laptop run for only 1 hour and 44 minutes on our video-playback battery-drain test.

The Sony Vaio F Series is backed by an industry-standard, one-year mail-in warranty. Upgrading to a three-year mail-in plan is an extra $179, or $329 with accidental damage protection. Support is accessible 24-7 via a toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base, and a Web site with driver downloads. Sony's support sites are clean and easy to navigate.

For a den or dorm room, the big-boned Vaio F could find a good home as a Blu-ray or gaming center, but the large footprint and premium price also mean that the potential audience is somewhat limited, and you may be better served by a thinner high-end 15-inch laptop or an even larger desktop replacement.

Benchmark testing by Julie Rivera

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video-playback battery-drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Sony Vaio VPC-F236FM
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 540M + 64MB Intel HD; 640GB Toshiba 7,200rpm

Dell XPS 15Z
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 525M / 64MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Lenovo Ideapad G770
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 410M; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

HP Pavillion dv7-6b55dx
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB Intel HD 3000; 750GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite P775-S7320
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB Intel HD 3000; 750GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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