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Sony VAIO VPC-EC25FX/BI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO VPC-EX25FX/BI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

Sony VAIO EC

©Sony

The Bottom Line

Jul 20 2010 - Sony's VAIO EC25FX brings a much more powerful yet feature rich desktop replacement laptop to the company's lineup. Performance is good even with the Core i3 processor and the media features including the Blu-ray compatible drive are a nice addition. The downside to this media focuses laptop is the price. While priced under $1000, there are similarly equipped laptops from the likes of Gateway and Toshiba that can be found for even less.
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Pros

  • Blu-ray Compatible
  • Solid Performance From Core i3 Processor
  • Glossy Display Coating Does Better Than Average Job With Reflections And Glare

Cons

  • Slightly More Expensive Than Similarly Equipped Laptops
  • Display Falls Short Of Full 1080p Video Support
  • Dedicated Graphics Best Suited For HD And Casual Gaming Only

Description

  • Intel Core i3-350M 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 Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5470 Graphics With 512MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Four USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, ExpressCard/34, Memory Stick Slot, SD Card Slot
  • 16.1" x 10.8" x 1.3" @ 7.3 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Sony VAIO Suite, Works, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Sony VAIO VPC-EC25FX/BI 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

Jul 20 2010 - Powering the Sony VAIO EC25FX laptop is an Intel Core i3-350M dual core processor. This is one step up from Intel's base Core i3 model and fares very well compared to the lower end Core i5 dual core processors thanks to its clock speed bump. It isn't going to perform anyone close to desktop replacements with the Core i7 processors but unless you are doing desktop video or heavy multitasking, this won't be an issue. The 4GB of memory should help keep multitasking issues to a minimum.

Sony is one of the major backers of the Blu-ray optical storage format. It is not that surprising to see the company include a Blu-ray compatible optical drive on the VAIO EC25FX. In addition to being able to play Blu-ray movies, the drive can also be used to record and playback CDs and DVDs. For the hard drive, Sony uses a fairly typical 500GB hard drive that provides plenty of storage space for applications, data and media files. Rather than a faster 7200rpm spin rate drive that is equivalent to desktop speeds, it uses the more sedate 5400rpm rate that does impact data access speeds somewhat.

Sony has elected to use a 17.3-inch display panel for the VAIO EC25FX model with a modest resolution of 1600x900. This is a good resolution compared to those found in smaller laptops but it falls short of the necessary pixels to fully support 1080p high definition video streams which is a bit disappointing. Like most laptops today, it uses a glossy coating but it didn't tend to produce as much glare or reflections as many others on the market. It still does produce glare and reflections compared to anti-glare coatings. The graphics are driven by an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5470 processor with 512MB of memory. This is a good processor for dealing with HD video or playing casual games but it falls short for anyone who wants to play 3D games seriously on the laptop. Most modern games will either need to be played at lower resolutions or details that those equipped with a 5650 processor.

The Sony VAIO EC25FX certainly has a relatively thin profile for a desktop replacement at just 1.3-inches. In order to achieve these dimensions, Sony uses a relatively small 3500mAh battery pack. The result is running times that are decent for the size of battery but not all that long. In my DVD rundown test, the laptop was able to run just over two and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This will translate to just around 3 hours of more typical usage.

Like many previous Sony laptops, the VAIO EC25FX uses an isolated key design. The feel is a bit softer than previous models but this may likely be by design so that it can accommodate a silicon based keyboard skin to prevent debris or liquid from getting inside the keyboard. The colorful designs may attract some to be willing to pick up the $20 accessory.

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