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Sony Vaio F series: Just call it 'The Beast'

The Sony Vaio VPCF11Z1E/BI is so powerful and awkwardly named that we're just going to call it The Beast. With a quad-core Intel Core i7 chip and 8GB of RAM, it'll knock your socks off

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Jason Jenkins
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Super-powerful laptops are like Ferraris -- no-one buys them, but we all like to drool. Sony's new beastly Vaio F series is aimed at those who want to edit HD video or raw image files.

There are three models -- top of the range is the VPCF11Z1E/BI (those letters must mean something to someone at Sony HQ) with a quad-core Intel Core i7-720QM processor running at 1.6GHz and 8GB -- yes, 8 -- of memory. There's a Blu-ray writer and an Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics chip with 1GB of its own memory -- impressive specs for a laptop.

The screen is designed to show off the laptop's HD capabilities -- it's a 16.4-inch behemoth with a Full HD resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. A light sensor adjusts the backlight to match the brightness of the room, and there's a 'display off' button, in case you're inclined to use this as a hi-fi and don't want to stare at your Windows desktop.

A large screen means a large keyboard, and this 'laptop' is so large there's room for a number pad on the right, as on a normal desktop keyboard. At 3.2kg, it's probably best to think of the machine more as a desktop you can fold up and put away in a drawer, rather than a portable computer.

802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, as you might expect for something at this end of the market, along with a 500GB hard drive. Sony claims a 3-hour battery life.

It will pop into shops from 18 January -- no pricing has been announced, but we'd be surprised if it comes in well over £2,000.

If this ends up being too expensive for your tastes, there are two other models coming along at the same time. The VPCF11S1E/B has less memory and a Blu-ray reader rather than the writer, and the VPCF11M1E/H has a dual-core chip and smaller memory still.

All the models ship with Windows 7 64-bit and a bunch of Sony software packages designed to organise movies and pictures.

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You get HDMI, eSATA and Express Card slots, but this isn't a thin machine.
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A view of the keyboard next to a Sony camcorder.
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That's where the Blu-ray drive is.

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