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Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZU review: Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZU

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The Good Incredible performance; good 3D; 1080p display.

The Bad High price; short battery life; heavy.

The Bottom Line The AR61ZU has a high price tag, but if you can afford it, you won't be disappointed by its performance. It may be big to carry around everywhere, but it's still smaller than a full PC

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8.3 Overall

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Want a laptop that can run the gamut of tasks with the greatest of ease? Look no further than the Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZU. It's unlikely to disappoint as it more than fulfils the role of desktop replacement, capable of doing almost anything an office-bound PC can. The AR61ZU is available for around £1,600.

Strengths
At 3.9kg, the AR61ZU is at the bottom end of the desktop replacement spectrum. It's also extremely powerful, thanks to its 2.4GHz Intel T8300 Core 2 Duo processor and whopping 4GB of RAM. As a result, it managed to score one of the highest PC Mark05 scores we've ever seen -- a massive 5,797. This number confirms that it's more than capable of handling strenuous applications and workloads, despite its semi-mobile form factor.

When it comes to gaming, the AR61ZU shines. It sports a powerful Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics chip. Running the 3D Mark06 gaming test, it managed a very respectable score of 3,826, which puts it among the top machines for graphics performance.

It's also an excellent entertainment machine. With the combination of its internal Blu-ray drive and its large 17-inch screen with a resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels, you can watch high-definition movies and 1080p HD content without having to downscale the image. If you'd rather watch movies on the big screen, then there's an HDMI port, making it simple to hook up to a flatscreen TV.

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