CNET First Look
Sony Vaio VPCF115FM/BWith great processing power, Blu-ray, and a 1080p display for $1,349, the Sony Vaio VPCF115FM/B is one of the best high-end all-around laptops we've seen in a while.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior associate editor at CNET.com. And this is the Sony Vaio F115 FMB laptop. Now, a couple of times a year we do these retail roundups to show you some great values that might be out there. And in our high-end section and our Spring 2010 retail roundup, we found this model. This retail-only configuration caught our attention because in addition to having some great specs -- Core i7 processor and a video G4S GT 330M graphics inside -- in addition to a Blu-ray drive and a full 1080p 16.4 inch screen, the total cost comes to $1,349, which is really not bad for everything that you're getting. You also get a 500 gig hard drive -- unfortunately 5400 RPM instead of a faster 7200 -- and 4 gigs of RAM. Now, the best features that we found of course, were the considerable graphics, the addition of Blu-ray, paired with the 1080p Screen, which doesn't always happen, and a really nice expansive keyboard and number pad that certainly isn't cramped at all. And like is the case with a lot of high-end Sony Vaio laptops, a great selection of ports as well. You've got eSATA, HDMI, you've got USB ports, you've got ExpressCard, you've got pretty much everything that you'd need, and even mini-FireWire for those who might still want to use it. Now, the speakers were not that fantastic. They sound a lot like loud TV speakers as opposed to any sort of booming, room-filling noise. And the design is not tremendously exciting. It's a pretty straightforward, straight-laced type of a Vaio. On the other hand, the design isn't getting away, and the weight's not bad. It's about eight pounds, so it's certainly not backpack friendly, but we've seen bulkier. The battery life is not fantastic. It's 102 hours, in fact. On the other hand, with this much horsepower, you're probably going to keep it chained to your desk most of the time. Now, the Core i7 processor, you get quad-core processing and some really great multitasking. And the NVIDIA GeForce graphics that are in this model are actually really great for gaming -- now, maybe not always at 1080p level, but you're going to play most mainstream games really well on a laptop like this. So just to let you know, this is a laptop that's suitable for gamers. I wouldn't really call it a gaming laptop, but it's a great combination, especially paired with its high-end Blu-ray features. In general overall, it's a pretty great purchase, and it's one of the best we've seen at the high-end level in the retail space so far this year. I'm Scott Stein, and this is the Sony Vaio F115 FMB.