The Bottom Line
Jul 6 2012 - Sony has carved out a niche with their VAIO L series all-in-one that will be great for some but not the best option for others. Specifically, Sony has taken their experience with HDTV's and basically attached that to the guts of their mobile computer. This makes it extremely versatile for someone that wants an HDTV as well as a computer. The HDTV functions aren't tied directly to the computer and the OS making it perfect for this role. It even has one of the best touchscreens available in the all-in-one market. The downside is that the features and performance beyond this are well below what can be found in similarly priced systems. Because of this, if you don't want or need the HDTV features, there are better options.
- Fast Responding Capacitive Touchscreen
- HDTV Tuner And Remote That Works Without PC Being On
- Lower Performance From Mobile Parts
- Integrated Graphics
- Cooling Fans A Bit Disruptive
- Intel Core i5-3210M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 24" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display With Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio With Stereo Speakers
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI (in), HDMI (out), 1.3MP Webcam, HDTV Tuner, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 23.2" x 16.2" x 6.2"
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Kaspersky Internet Security
Review - Sony VAIO SVL24112FX
Jul 6 2012 - Sony's last remaining desktop computer is the all-in-one VAIO L series that essentially melds an HDTV with their mobile computer systems. While this helps reduce the overall costs for Sony by being able to use the same parts that they do for their laptops, it does hamper performance compared to the majority of all-in-ones that use the new low power desktop processors. For the SVL24112FX model, an Intel Core i5-3210M dual core processor is used along with 6GB of DDR3 memory. This puts its performance well behind the majority of all in one systems. It would have been nice to at least see a quad core processor be used to keep pace with the competition. That said, most people who use their PC primarily for the web, media viewing and productivity software will have sufficient performance for a smooth experience.
In terms of the storage features, the Sony VAIO L comes with a pretty typical setup. A one terabyte hard drive provides storage for applications, data and media files. It spins at the full 7200rpm desktop rate which doesn't compromise on performance as with some others that use green or variable spin rate drives. If you need more storage, there are three USB 3.0 ports that can be used with high speed external storage. The one downside is that these ports are on the left side of the screen which is convenient but can cause cable clutter if you want to leave an external storage device connected at all times. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD and DVD media but it would have been nice to see this media focused system to come with a Blu-ray compatible drive on this base model.
The screen is what received the biggest improvement for the Sony VAIO L. The 24-inch display features a multitouch panel which now uses a capacitive display rather than an optical one. This allows for up to ten point multitouch and much more accurate interface than the majority of touch screens. The software right now is somewhat limited but with Windows 8 and its Metro UI coming soon, the system will definitely be a great touchscreen. The screen features a 1920x1080 resolution for full 1080p video support. This is important as the system also has a built in TV tuner and HDMI video input that both can be accessed via the supplied remote without the need for the PC to be booted in windows basically providing it with HDTV capabilities.
The graphics for the Sony VAIO L are somewhat mixed. Rather than using a dedicated graphics processor which many competing systems from Apple, Dell and Lenovo, it instead relies on the Intel HD Graphics 4000 that are built into the Core i5 processor. This is a nice step up from the past HD Graphics options in terms of 3D performance but it still is limited to older games or modern ones at lower resolution and detail levels. The more important feature of the graphics is the ability to quickly encode digital video through Quick Sync compatible applications.
At $1299, the Sony VAIO L series all-in-one is decently priced for those that are looking to get a system that also has digital TV capabilities. The closest competition in this area would probably be the Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 which is a bit more affordable and offers more performance but isn't styled as nicely. If you are looking for a touchscreen features, then the HP TouchSmart 520 once again offers more performance and a better software bundle. Finally, if you don't need the touchscreen or TV capabilities, there are a number of more affordable options including the iconic Apple iMac. This makes the Sony a very specialized system that excels well for its tasks but a bit outclassed outside of that role.