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Tech Culture: Sony Vaio JS190J

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Tech Culture: Sony Vaio JS190J

3:49 /

The Sony Vaio JS190J is our editors' top desktop pick for the 2008 Holiday Gift Guide. Sony finally gives the Windows camp a worthy iMac challenger, with a versatile all-in-one that starts at $999.

>>Thinkin of getting someone a desktop PC as a gift? Really, not a laptop? Why? I kid, though the laptop has surpassed the desktop in sales there are still some very good reasons to give a desktop as a gift. You can get a tricked out gaming rig, a media center PC or a handy dandy convenient all in one like this one. Let's shine the product spotlight on the Sony Vaio JS190J, our pick in the desktop computer category for this years holiday gift guide. ^M00:00:28 [ Silence ] ^M00:00:34 >>Wait a minute, this isn't a Mac. No it's better, in some ways. Our desktop reviewers at CNET made this our Editor's Choice desktop, as a matter of fact. Here's why, power, features and price. The power comes from the full size desktop processor in here. This isn't a laptop crammed into a desktop form factor like some all in ones. Ours here is configured with a 3 gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 gigabytes of ram and well, a 128 megabyte Intel integrated graphics card. The real proof of the features is that it whipped the competition in our benchmark test. Getting back to that 4 gigabytes of ram for a second though, one complaint I often have with all in ones is that their convenient form factor is not so convenient for things like replacing ram. Now 4 gigs is a lot but if you need to Sony makes it easy to pop off this panel and get the ram in and out. Good on you, Sony. It also has a 500 gigabyte hard drive in here, half a terabyte, plenty of space to roam around and download. A lot of good uses for these types of computers are kitchens, dorm rooms, bedrooms and they get a lot of video watching so you need that hard drive space. You have 5 USB 2.0 ports plus a FireWire 400 port so you can add some external drives though not a high speed FireWire 800 drive and while we're on connectivity, SD card, memory stick, analog mike and headphone jacks, SPDIF, an gigabit Ethernet port, b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth round out your options. Like almost all major manufacturer machines it comes with crapware, 23 programs to be exact. Some of them are actually useful but some of them are decidedly not. The nice thing is that only one of them, a system diagnostic application, actually runs on start up. Plus they didn't litter the desktop with advertising icons pointing to the extra programs. Not bad. So let's talk about the elephant in the room, it's Windows Vista. Home premium SP1 64 bit, really folks the only thing troubling here is the 64 bit. Some of your old 32 bit programs may not run on this but this is the version of Vista that works and it's a brand new computer so stop your worrying. Call it Mahovey[Assumed spelling] if it makes you feel better. Another ding our reviewers gave it was the 20 inch screen. Not the smallest but 2 inches shorter than a HP or a Veritech, whatever. Think of it as efficient space saving. It has 1680 X 1050 pixel screen resolution after all and do those other all in ones come with Blu-ray? I think not. It's from Sony so of course this one comes with a Blu-ray disc player. Everybody seems to be upping it's points for that. Personally I don't really see it. It's a nice thing to have, don't get me wrong. But I don't need to pay a lot extra for that. Thankfully, you don't. Without Blu-ray the list price is around $999 dollars. With it and a few other options like the one we have here, it's still only $1,499. Those are pretty good prices for an all in one desktop. So the upshot is if you're looking for a desktop PC to brighten up someone's desktop, our pick is the Sony Vaio JS190J, despite the ridiculous product number. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com. Happy computing. ^M00:03:44 [ Music ]

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