The Bottom Line
Jan 16 2013 - Sony's revised L series all-in-one mainly makes the move to Windows 8 rather than any major upgrades. It still remains one of the few truly integrated desktop systems that will double as a media center which is great with the ability to use the TV tuner and HDMI input without the PC parts functioning. The downside is that Sony still relies on its old parts lineup that means the system doesn't have the same level of performance as the competition. It does have a slight edge in storage space but they missed the opportunity to include Blu-ray which would really have added to the total package. The net result, still a great system for those looking at integrated a PC and media station into a single platform but there are more affordable and better performing options for those that don't need these features.
- HDTV Tuner and Remote Work Without PC Being On
- Larger Hard Drive
- Fast Responsive Touchscreen
- Windows 8 Lacks Media Center Features Of Past Operating Systems
- Lower Performance From Mobile Processor
- Really Needs Blu-ray
- Intel Core i5-3210M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 24" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display With Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HD Audio With Stereo Speakers
- Gigait Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 3.0, Three USB 2.0, HDMI (in), HDMI (out), HDTV Tuner, 3-in-1 Card Reader, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- 23.2" x 16.2" x 6.8"
- Windows 8, Office Starter, Kaspersky Internet Security
Review - Sony VAIO SVL24125CXW
Jan 16 2013 - Sony's VAIO SVL24125CXW is not a major upgrade but more of a slight modification of their previous model for the new Windows 8 operating system. This means it has the same base design and objective to be a media focused all-in-one that its predecessor was. In fact, it is one of the few all-in-one systems that still integrates media features like an HDTV tuner and an HDMI input that can be utilized without needing the computer portion to be turned on. This is actually quite important features since Microsoft has removed the Media Center features from Windows 8 that used to exist in Windows 7.
The processor remains unchanged for the VAIO SVL24125CXW which is disappointing. The Intel Core i5-3210M dual core processor is designed for mobile computers and the result is a less powerful system for those that might also consider using it for editing video rather than just consuming. It is not uncommon for mobile processor to be used in a desktop all-in-one but Intel has made huge strides in terms of reducing power and heat from select desktop parts that most of Sony's competitors offer quad core desktop processors at this price point. It will provide enough performance for most people's computing needs but it lacks for those that want to do a bit more. At least Sony has bumped up the memory to 8GB to provide a smooth overall experience in Windows 8.
Storage features have been upgraded but not as much as would have been desired for its media focus. The hard drive is now a two terabyte model that provides twice the storage space of the average all-in-one system. This is very critical for anyone that might want to store a lot of high definition video movies on their computer for viewing. The downside is that it does use a slower spinning 5400rpm drive that is slower than a traditional desktop 7200rpm model. Boot up performance and application loading doesn't suffer as much when compared to the faster drives with lower capacities though. If you do need additional storage, Sony provides three USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. The only downside is that Sony like many other companies puts all of these on the left hand side of the display which is not as useful for hooking up a permanent external drive and hiding the cables. The one area that really could have used improvement was the optical drive. A dual layer DVD burner is nice but with its focus on being used as a TV as well, they really should have put in a Blu-ray compatible drive which aren't that much more expensive now.
The 24-inch display remains unchanged which is good considering that the capacitive panel now really shows off the capabilities of the Windows 8 interface. Multitouch gestures worked flawlessly with the panel. The panel features full 1080p high definition video support thanks to the 1920x1080 native resolution. The picture is bright with a good deal of contrast that is great for watching video. The downside is that the color doesn't appear to be as dynamic for those that might consider doing graphics work. The graphics themselves remain unchanged with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 built into the Core i5 processor. This is fine for watching media and all but doesn't really have the 3D performance for more than casual PC gaming at the lowest detail levels and resolutions. What it does offer is improved media encoding capabilities with Quick Sync compatible applications which is useful for encoding your video collection for viewing.
With a price tag of $1300, the Sony VAIO SVL24125CXW is certainly on the more expensive end of the all-in-one market. The big difference here is that there is little competition at this point for the integrated computer and media center market in a single package. The closest competition would be the Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 series systems but they use a larger 27-inch panel with higher performance parts which means a higher price. If you aren't interested in the integrated HDTV tuner, than there are options from Dell, HP and Samsung. Dell's Inspiron One 23 features a quad core processor but doesn't come with as much unwanted software installed. HP's Envy 23 TouchSmart use a quad core processor but also features a dedicated graphics processor and a bit less expensive than the Sony. Finally the Samsung Series 7 is much more affordable and compact but still offers better performance from its dual core processor.