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Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI 13.3 Inch Ultraportable Laptop

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Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI Ultraportable Laptop Review
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The Bottom Line

Jun 11 2011 - The Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI is an ultraportable notebook that can be used for casual gaming thanks to a dedicated video card. With a 13.3-inch 1600x900 display and an included Blu-ray player, the Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI is a versatile laptop that is thin and light for users on the go. Although I'd like to see 8GB of memory included for the $1,600 price, this minor flaw can be remedied with an upgrade at a later time as the system supports 8GB.

Pros

  • High Resolution Screen
  • Lightweight and Thin
  • Blu-ray Player

Cons

  • Only 4GB of Memory
  • Expensive

Description

  • Intel Core i7-2620M Dual Core Processor
  • 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  • 13.3 Inch LED Backlit Display
  • AMD Radeon HD 6630M 1GB Graphics Card
  • 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • Blu-ray Player
  • HD Web Cam
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 Ports, Bluetooth
  • 13.04" x 0.92" x 8.84" @ 3.65 Pounds

Review - Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI 13.3 Inch Laptop

The Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI is a 13.3-inch ultraportable notebook. While it may not seem like this laptop is geared for gaming, it does hold its own in a casual gaming environment. And as gamers are increasingly looking for a more portable solution (carrying around a 12 pound 18-inch laptop isn't very feasible), the Sony S Series fills a niche market.

At first glance, this Sony VAIO thin and light notebook gives off the understated elegance typical of Sony laptops. At under an inch thick, it's nice and thin for transporting. Perhaps you travel for business and would like a system that can game casually during downtime in a hotel. Or maybe you're a student who spends more time running from class to class than hanging out in the dorm room. That's where the Sony VAIO VPCSA2CFX/SI shines.

Since Sony is known for having excellent displays, there is a lot riding on this 13.3-inch screen. Luckily, the display features 1600x900 resolution which offers nice crisp imagery due to the screen's smaller size. The laptop also has a backlit keyboard, which is nice if you are gaming at night or in a dimly lit environment.

Packed in this lightweight chassis (the system weighs under 4 pounds), is an Intel Core i7-2620M processor. While this Sandy Bridge chip is a dual-core model rather than a quad-core processor, it does offer a clock speed of 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.4GHz and 4MB of cache. All in all, this chip is a more economical model, but it is suited for ultraportable notebooks due to its lower maximum TDP.

The Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI also sports 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory, which is a little on the low side for a notebook in this price range (retail price is $1,599). If the laptop had 8GB of memory, it would definitely enhance performance and add to the value. Luckily, the system supports 8GB so you can add additional RAM yourself if need be.

As noted above, the Sony VAIO VPCSA2CFX/SI is suited for casually gaming. How so you might ask? Well, the laptop features a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6630M video card with 1GB of video RAM. This card has 480 pipelines and works well in ultraportable systems. While you'll most likely have to run games at reduced settings (medium for many titles), it is nice to have the option to play your favorite game on a thin and light laptop.

When you think of a Sony laptop with a high resolution screen, does watching Blu-ray movies come to mind? It should as the Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI includes a Blu-ray player for a high definition multimedia experience. Storage space, however, is merely adequate on the notebook. But considering most users don't expect a large amount of disk space on an ultraportable laptop anyway, the 500GB 7200RPM hard drive is fine.

In summary, the Sony VAIO S Series VPCSA2CFX/SI is an excellent choice if you're seeking a small laptop that is great for traveling, yet offers the chance to game lightly and watch HD movies. The only downside is the lack of 8GB of memory, which can be upgraded at a later time if you so choose. Combine the 1600x900 screen with a decent graphics card (for the low power segment), and you have a system that offers good battery life and peppy performance.

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