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Sony VAIO VPC-EF37FX/BI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO VPC-EF37FXBI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

Sony VAIO EF

©Sony

The Bottom Line

Jan 13 2011 - With the move to AMD's platform, the Sony VAIO EF becomes a much more affordable 17-inch laptop that offers features such as Blu-ray and Bluetooth. The problem is that it sacrifices too much in terms of graphics and performance compared to many other similarly prices laptops now becoming available in the same price range with similar or even better features.
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Pros

  • Blu-ray Compatible Drive
  • Glossy Display Doesn't Produce As Much Glare Or Reflections As Competition
  • Bluetooth

Cons

  • Display Does Not Support 1080p Video
  • Graphics Not Suited For Any Gaming

Description

  • AMD Turion II P540 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
  • 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Displau With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 Graphics With 512MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Four USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, Memory Stick Slot, SD Slot
  • 16.1" x 10.8" x 1.5" @ 6.7 lbs
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, VAIO Suite, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Sony VAIO VPC-EF37FX/BI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

Jan 13 2011 - Sony's VAIO EF is nearly identical to the EC series laptop except for the fact that is uses the AMD platform rather than Intel. In the case of the VPC-EF37FX, it is running the AMD Turion II P540 dual core mobile processor. This is a decent budget class processor that has a fair amount of performance but it does fall slightly behind the newer Core i7 processors from Intel in some applications especially video editing. The 4GB of memory allows the system to run smoothly in most cases.

The big storage feature of the laptop is the Blu-ray compatible drive. This allows the system to be used as a mobile HD movie platform. The drive also has the ability to record or playback CD or DVD media. Hard drive storage is fairly typical of many laptops with a 500GB capacity drive. The drive does spin at the slower 5400rpm rate that means it will be slightly slower than other desktop replacements that are using faster 7200rpm spinning drives.

Even though the system comes with Blu-ray, Sony has decided to use a 17.3-inch panel with a native resolution of 1600x900. This means that the system will not be able to fully support 1080p HD video playback. While it is unfortunate it is a compromise to make the system affordable. It uses a glossy coating but doesn't tend to produce as much glare or reflections as some others. It will still be difficult to use outdoors. Graphics are certainly the weakest point of the system. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 is a dedicated graphics solution that performs better than integrated solutions for HD media but it lacks any real performance for PC gaming, even casual games.

Sony continues to use their chiclet style keyboards they have been using for some time. The layout of the keyboard is the same as the EC series providing it with a spacious and comfortable feel not to mention a full sized keypad. The trackpad is large with a nice texture different to so there isn't accidental touches to move your cursor. Unlike many other budget classed laptops, Sony does offer Bluetooth integration.

Like most laptops, Sony has used a relatively small six cell battery pack for the VAIO EF series laptops. While this helps cut down on the size and weight of the laptop, it also reduces the overall running times. In DVD playback tests, the laptop is able to run just under two hours before going into standby mode. Blu-ray playback will have reduced times as it is more demanding of the system but more typical playback should yield around two and a half hours or so.

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