The Bottom Line
- Blu-ray Burner
- Very Large Hard Drive
- Well Priced
- Uses Slower DDR2 Memory Instead of DDR3
- Larger Screen Makes The System Less Portable
- Fewer Peripheral Ports Than Competition
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2
- 5000GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 4x Blu-Ray Burner
- 18.4" WUXGA (1920x1080) Wide LCD With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT Graphics With 512MB Memory
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless and Bluetooth 2.1
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire (iLink), HDMI, ExpressCard/34, 5-in-1 Card Reader, Fingerprint Reader
- 17.2" x 11.4" x 1.6" @ 8.2 lbs
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, VAIO Suite, Microsoft OneCare
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-AW235J/B Entertainment Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
1/15/2009 - Sony's VAIO AW line of laptops was a major step up for a company that prides itself as being a media focused company. The initial models brought larger 18.4-inch display panels and Blu-ray drives to the desktop replacement market. Now that more companies are emulating these features, Sony has gone and updated their product to make it more relevant.
The new VAIO VGN-AW235J/B boosts performance over the previous generation by moving the processor to a high Core 2 Duo P8600 processor. While not quite as fast as the newer 9000 series CPUs, it still is quite respectable. One thing that Sony did not update was the memory. It still uses the older DDR2 memory standard rather than newer DDR3. This will put it at a disadvantage in terms of memory intensive applications.
The big upgrades to the VAIO AW235 are in the storage. Hard drive space has increased from 320GB of space to a much larger 500GB drive. This gives the laptop roughly 50% more space to store programs and data. Sony also moved the system to using a new Blu-ray writer drive. This means that the system can actually burn high definition media to the new storage format. It is fully compatible with DVD and CD media as well.
One odd aspect of the VAIO AW series is the limited peripheral connectors. Most desktop replacements tend to have four USB 2.0 ports due to the popularity of the peripherals. Sony still only packs the AW laptops with just three. In addition, they do not support any eSATA peripherals which is becoming popular with laptops recently.
The big surprise from Sony though is the price. While the VAIO AW235J/B may be fairly expensive in the existing market, this entry level system is actually very well priced for the features and performance coming in with a $1699 MSRP.