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Sony Vaio FW480J/T review: Sony Vaio FW480J/T

Juice box
Sony Vaio FW480J/T Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.59
Sleep (10 percent) 1.33
Idle (15 percent) 18.75
Load (15 percent) 61.76
Raw kWh 110.06
Annual energy cost $12.49

The Sony Vaio FW480J/T's battery ran for 3 hours and 31 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, using the included 12-cell battery. That's better than average for this category of laptop, and despite a beefy battery, the system isn't that heavy. That number outperforms HP and Asus' configurations by at least a half hour. In our power consumption tests, the FW480J/T also came out on top, costing only an estimated $12.49 a year to run. While it's only a few dollars of yearly savings, Sony's Vaio is the more power-efficient machine.

Annual energy cost
Sony Vaio FW480J/T
$12.49 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
$16.18 
Asus G71GX-RX05
$22.75 


Sony includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the system. While retail shops are happy to sell you an in-store extended warranty, they are often expensive and hard to use, so we don't recommend them. Vaio support is accessible through a 24-7 phone line (but it's not a free call), and a well-laid-out Web site, with an online knowledge base and driver downloads.

Note: while this machine comes with Windows Vista, many retailers, including Best Buy, and some hardware manufacturers are offering a free upgrade to Windows 7 for systems purchased after the end of June.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio FW480J/T
929 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
931 
Asus G71GX-RX05
949 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio FW480J/T
137 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
142 
Asus G71GX-RX05
154 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio FW480J/T
160 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
161 
Asus G71GX-RX05
185 

Unreal Tournament 3 (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280x800, 0X AA, 8X AF*  
1,440x900, 4X AA, 8X AF  
Asus G71GX-RX05 @ 1280 x 720
100.6 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX @ 1,280x768
53.1 
Sony Vaio FW480J/T @ 1,280x768
47.8 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio FW480J/T
211 
HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
184 
Asus G71GX-RX05
159 


Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Asus G71GX-RX05
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700; 6,144MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm.

HP Pavilion dv7-2185DX
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q9000; 6,144MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm.

Sony Vaio FW480J/T
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350; 6,144MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650; 400GB Toshiba 5,400rpm.

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