X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Sony VAIO LT VCG-LT28G review: Sony VAIO LT VCG-LT28G

We're still trying to work out who the target market for the highly expensive LT VAIO is. Design-crazed multimillionaires, perhaps.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
4 min read

Design
It's tough not to look at the VAIO LT VCG-LT28G and think two things. Firstly, that Sony has once again outdone themselves in making a product that's probably superbly easy to track through shipping warehouses, but impossible for consumers to actually pronounce. Secondly, that it looks somewhat like an iMac. Then again, in the current marketplace, there are precious few design-centric, flat panel, all-in-one PCs, so the comparison is rather inevitable. Not that this stops Sony from claiming that the VCG-LT28G is "unconventional, unprecedented and ready to streamline your lifestyle". Whatever that means.

7.4

Sony VAIO LT VCG-LT28G

The Good

Inbuilt Blu-ray. Attractive design. Good performance.

The Bad

Ugly mouse. Poor rear shield. Expensive.

The Bottom Line

We're still trying to work out who the target market for the highly expensive LT VAIO is. Design-crazed multimillionaires, perhaps.

From a design perspective, though, it's clear that Sony's designers haven't just sat down with an iMac, a ruler and a CAD program, having been told "make us one of those". In real terms, the VAIO LT VCG-LT28G has more in common with Sony's own Bravia TV lines; the panel itself is surrounded by its speakers, which themselves "float" in a glass frame. The keyboard is wireless, not quite as flat as Apple's offering, but with a flip-over cover that both hides the keys (when being used as a media centre) and works as an impromptu mouse pad. The wireless mouse shares another factor with the iMac; it's a rather plain model that technically works but ultimately fails to excite.

Features
If you were to tear into the VCG-LT28G with a Stanley knife, you'd ruin all that fine design, and kiss your warranty goodbye. You might also slice off some fingers — we really don't recommend it. Regardless, once you'd thrown away all the metal and plastic and cleaned up all the blood, you'd eventually find yourself face to face with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T8100 (2.10GHz), 2GB of RAM, a 500GB 7200rpm SATA drive and a 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT graphics card. Networking comes in the form of a Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The optical drive in the VCG-LT28G is a Blu-ray writer with the following speeds: BD-R: x2 (single layer), x1 (dual-layer) / BD-RE: x2 (single layer), x1 (dual-layer) / DVD+R: x8 (single layer), x2.4 (double layer) / DVD-R: x8 (single layer), x2 (dual-layer) / DVD+RW: x4 / DVD-RW: x4 / DVD-RAM: x5 / CD-R: x8 / CD-RW: x8.

The floating display on the VCG-LT28G, despite its impressive size (643x418x178mm), is a 22-inch WSXGA+ (1680x1050) panel with an embedded 1280x1024 pixel webcam. As the VCG-LT28G runs Vista Home Premium, it's Media Center capable, and Sony includes Dual HD tuners on-board to take advantage of that.

On the software side, the VCG-LT28G comes with Windows Vista Home Premium, VAIO Movie Story 1.1, VAIO Content Exporter 1.2, Click to Disc 1.0, VAIO MusicBox 1.1, ArcSoft Magic-i Visual Effects 1.0, DSD Direct Player 1.0, Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0, WinDVD for VAIO 8.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0, and Roxio Easy Media Creator 9.1 as well as trial versions of Norton Internet Security 2008 and Microsoft Office Professional 2007.

Performance
Installing the VCG-LT28G is simple enough, although it is worth noting that the majority of the important ports (including power) rest behind a flimsy plastic cover of the style you'd find on a cheap LCD monitor. As the connection button for the wireless keyboard and mouse hides behind this shield, and we found that the mouse and keyboard didn't always automatically reconnect to the PC, we tended to leave it off.

With an asking price well in advance of the iMac, we wanted to see some good results out of the VCG-LT28G, and largely it didn't disappoint. Its PCMark score of 5,380 was in line with what we'd expect from the internal components. In gaming terms, a 3DMark score of 2,585 means it shouldn't disappoint for most gaming chores. On the home entertainment front, the inbuilt speakers do a passable job with most DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and likewise the display is crisp enough for HD detail to show through nicely.

On a design level, the VCG-LT28G is a lovely bit of kit, and it's also a machine that's quite capable of dealing with Vista's quirks and working as a solid and capable media centre machine to boot. We're still stuck, however, with that large asking price, and as such, perplexed as to who exactly the target market is. Those who want a design-centric machine could set-up even the highest end iMac with Vista Home Premium for cheaper than this. Those who want a cheap media centre PC won't be able to afford it. Even those who do want a media centre will probably want something with a larger screen than this. There's no denying the "cor blimey" appeal of the VCG-LT28G, but who's actually going to buy one?