Sony's multimedia powerhouse: The 16-inch Vaio F Series

Fighting the urge to go bigger, with 17- and 18-inch laptops, Sony's latest Blu-ray multimedia machine is a 16-inch system, called the Vaio F.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

Fighting the urge to go bigger with 17- and 18-inch laptops, Sony's latest Blu-ray multimedia machine is a 16-inch system, called the Vaio F.

It features a 16.4-inch 1080p display, and is one of the only laptops to offer an optional Blu-ray recordable drive, as opposed to the usual play-only drives. Graphics come from Nvidia's GeForce GT300M chip, and the CPU on the three preconfigured builds we saw was the very high-end Intel Core i7 720QM.

Sony always trumpets its custom media creation and playback software as an alternative to similar apps such as Windows Media Player or iTunes. The latest version of Sony's Media Gallery software offers features such as taking imported photos, video, and music and automatically stitching them together into a movie. Also new is an "assist" button on the system tray, automatically connecting to the system's built-in Vaio Care troubleshooting software.

Perhaps the most interesting development is the inclusion of Sony's new Transfer Jet technology. This promising component allows you to transfer photos from a digital camera wirelessly, just by placing the camera on a specified spot on the wrist rest. It's a great idea in theory, but at this point is restricted to only Transfer Jet enabled cameras that use Sony's Memory Stick (the company's proprietary flash memory card format).

The F Series will start at around $1,000 and is available for preorder now.