Over the years, the personal computer's innards have changed beyond recognition, but most of the models still look, well, dull. However, Sony's Vaio series has always tried to make computers sexy; yes, that's the most appropriate adjective to use here-sexy.
The Vaio L series is the successor to the very beautiful Vaio W series, which was launched a few years ago, and which was one of the first all-in-one desktop PCs. But that machine didn't really look so sleek. The addition of a transparent plexiglass surround all around the system, with projected lights, definitely wins this machine points for style. Seriously, it is so good looking that you can just stare at it while it is switched off; it is that aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The vgc-la38g that Sony sent over had a brilliant 38 cm (15.4 inch) widescreen, an Intel Core 2 Duo t5600 processor running at 1.83 gigahertz, 1 gigabyte of ddr2 ram, a 120gb hard drive, Wi-Fi connectivity, an NVIDIA GeForce 7400 graphics processor, a built-in web camera and tonnes of connectivity, including slots for Memory Sticks and SD-Cards. Loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium and, thus, Windows Media Center, the best way to enjoy this machine is to slot in a DVD and watch a movie.
But, while this is undoubtedly one hell of a lot sexier than the dowdy black or beige boxes, this machine is not quite a laptop or a desktop. It is heavy, a lot heavier than a laptop, and the folding keyboard, while neat, does feel a bit flimsy and you definitely can't use the touchpad mouse for too long because it is irritatingly small; you will need to buy a portable mouse for this machine. And while you can carry it around, you really don't want to because the folding keyboard doesn't cover the entire screen when folded up. When Sony delivered the machine, the display was full of dust and fingerprints, thanks to the dusty Delhi summer and less than adequate method of transportation.
It's expensive. In fact, at Rs 89,990, this machine is massively expensive. And it isn't perfect either; the media player, for example, is a little jerky. Fair enough, the sound is brilliant, but you know it could be so much more-at least twice the memory would be nice as would a lot more space in the hard drive.
For this kind of money you would really expect a bit more. The form-factor is sexy, but it is also a limitation, restricting the number of modifications. And, there is this other teeny-weeny thing: in the us, for less money, you get the 47 cm (19 inch) screen-and a bigger screen is always better value-more ram and more hard disk space, all for $2,049 (Rs 84,009) for the top-of-the-line vgc-ls37e. That machine would be a very good buy.
Alternatively, you can get desktops from Dell and hp that come loaded with a lot more for a lot less. Actually, you can get a very, very good Thinkpad or Qosimo laptops from Lenovo or Toshiba, respectively, for less.
It's a good machine, but frankly, it could have been better. Having said that, Printed Circuit seriously hopes that pc makers take a cue from Sony and start making their machines better looking and with more interesting form-factors.
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