Sony Vaio L117FX (Core 2 Quad Q8400s 2.66GHz review: Sony Vaio L117FX (Core 2 Quad Q8400s 2.66GHz

We wish Sony had included eSATA somewhere for fast external data transfers. We should also point out that if you did wall mount the Vaio on a fixed mount (as opposed to a movable arm), you'd lose access to the rear ports, which include both the HDMI and composite video inputs. As much as HP's TouchSmart 600 has glommed onto Sony's video input idea, it actually made the wiser decision to put the inputs on the TouchSmart's side. Sony might consider that for next time.

Sony included a few other useful features in a home entertainment-oriented all-in-one. There's a dedicated display power button on the top of the case, along with reasonably intuitive display menu buttons that let you adjust the PIP, the brightness, and other settings. You'll find volume controls on both the wireless keyboard as well as the remote control.

For the audio/video quality, we found Blu-ray playback smooth and crisp, although the audio volume was relatively weak, a typical criticism of all-in-ones. Because the screen is only 24-inches, chances are you wouldn't ask the Vaio to anchor the video entertainment of a large room, but if you intend to use it as a music hub, you'll need further amplification to really fill out a big space.

Juice box
Sony Vaio L117FX  
Off (watts) 0.64
Sleep (watts) 2.68
Idle (watts) 57.26
Load (watts) 129.57
Raw (annual kWh) 236.56818
Energy Star compliant Yes
Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $26.84

Annual power consumption cost

The Sony skews toward the power hungry side of recent all-in-ones, but, in relative terms, its energy consumption isn't so bad. The quad-core chip likely plays the largest role in demanding slightly more power than other all-in-ones. All told, it will add only a few extra dollars per month to your power bill--well within reasonable power draw levels.

Sony's service and support policies hew to the industry standard, granting you one year of parts-and-labor warranty coverage, and 24-7 toll-free phone support. There's plenty of support info on Sony's Web site as well, and you also get a few apps on the system itself for backup, restore, and general system maintenance.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Sony Vaio L117FX
Windows 7 Home Premium; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400S; 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 240M; 1TB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

Apple iMac 21.5-inch
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1; 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate Digital hard drive Apple iMac 27-inch
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1; 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive

Gateway One ZX6810-01
Windows 7 Home Premium; 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD4670; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive

HP TouchSmart 600
Windows 7 Home Premium; 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7450; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 230; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

What you'll pay

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