Sony VAIO F Review

by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (76,539)
Editor's Rating
7.29

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 8
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 7.29
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Great performance
    • Nice backlit keyboard
    • Decent speakers
  • Cons

    • Boring design
    • Noisy fan
    • Loud touchpad buttons
    • Subpar screen

Quick Take

The VAIO F is a powerful multimedia  notebook that accomplishes most of what Sony designed it to do.

Buy Direct From Manufacturer


The Sony VAIO F is a high-end multimedia notebook. Our powerhouse test unit features an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and Nvidia GT 425M graphics card. What’s wrong with it? Read our review.

Our Sony VAIO F (VPCF136FM) review unit has the following specifications:

  • 16-inch 900p (1600 x 900) glossy display with LED backlighting
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-740QM quad-core processor (1.73GHz~2.93GHz Turbo Boost, 6MB L3, 2.5GT/s QPI, 45W TDP)
  • Intel PM55 chipset
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 425 1GB graphics
  • 6GB DDR3-1333 dual-channel RAM (1x 4GB, 1x 2GB)
  • 640GB 5400RPM Toshiba hard drive (MK6465GSXN)
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6250 AGN wireless LAN
  • Internal Bluetooth
  • Blu-ray reader (PIONEER BD-ROM BDC-TD03)
  • Internal backlit keyboard w/ separate numeric keypad
  • Weight: 7.07 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 15.69 x 1.34~1.79 x 10.69 inches
  • MSRP: $1,299 (starting price: $869)

The specifications definitely place our VAIO F in the upper percentile in terms of performance vs. most 15.6/16/17.3-inch notebooks on the market. The GT 425M graphics card has more than enough power for the latest games. The only exception to the rule is the rather pokey 5400RPM hard drive; a 7200RPM model should be standard on a performance-oriented notebook.

Build and Design
The VAIO F has a run-of-the-mill look; the only notable physical features are the backlit keyboard and the green power button on the right side of the notebook. The F is constructed of all plastic and doesn’t pretend otherwise. An all-plastic construction is not necessarily a bad thing, however; the VAIO F feels quite sturdy if a bit hollow. Gripping the chassis by the corners and twisting produces minimal movement in the chassis, which is what I like to see; this prevents the internal circuit boards from bending.

The display flexes easily when twisted by the corners. No ripples appear on the screen when pressure is applied from the back, which indicates there is a decent amount of protection. There are a number of buttons above the keyboard area; my favorite is the ?Display Off? button, which turns off and on the display instantly. The VAIO F is missing volume control buttons, which is strange given the multimedia focus of this machine.

Those looking to upgrade the VAIO F will find it relatively easy to do; there are separate compartments on the bottom for the RAM and hard drive. Both RAM slots are occupied in our test notebook.


Ports and Features

The VAIO F sports a solid array of useful input/output ports including eSATA, HDMI, and ExpressCard/34. It has two USB 3.0 on the right side but lacks DisplayPort. All picture descriptions are left to right.


Front: Status lights, wireless on/off switch, MagicGate reader, SD reader


Back: Battery pack


Left: AC power, Kensington lock slot, cooling exhaust vent, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port, ExpressCard/34 slot, IEEE 1394a mini-Firewire


Right: Optical out/headphone jack, microphone jack, 2x USB 3.0, optical drive, power button


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