We mentioned earlier that Sony minimized the bloatware on this system. We mean that in the sense that the desktop screen is blessedly free from advertising icons and it has only one lightweight system diagnostic application running on start-up. We should still point out, however, that Sony includes 23 extra applications with this system, from a gimmicky effects program for the Webcam to a tool for sharing content across your network. Some of them are useful, and with cleaner interfaces than we've seen from Sony in the past (the Sony wireless connection manager, in particular). Others need consolidating, for example, the Vaio Recovery Center and the Vaio Data Restore Tool.
As for Sony's new keyboard, it's clear that it used the new Apple keyboard as its primary inspiration, and we suppose that's fine. The Sony version is also made of brushed aluminum and rubber-feeling keys. It's not quite as sturdy as the original, but it's responsive and works well enough. We don't understand the puny mouse that came with the Vaio JS190J, though. It feels like a barely adequate laptop mouse, rather than a work-ready desktop tool.
For support, Sony backs the Vaio JS190J with its standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty. You get the usual array of online support tools, driver downloads, and the like, as well as a 24-7 toll-free phone line. And as stated previously, the system also comes with an array of useful restore, recovery, and diagnostic applications.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Apple OS X; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7700; 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics chip; 320GB 7,200rpm hard drive.
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E4600; 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics chip; 320GB, 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive.
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300; 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics card; 640GB 7,200rpm hard drive.
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5850; 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive.
Sony Vaio JS190J
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive.