The Bottom Line
- Blu-ray Combo Drive
- Above Average Hard Drive
- Well Priced
- Large LCD Doesn't Support 1080p Video
- Fewer Peripheral Ports Compared to Competition
- Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 400GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-Ray Reader and DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 18.4" WSXGA+ (1680x945) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT Graphics With 512MB Memory
- v.92 56kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI, ExpressCard/34, 5-in-1 Card Reader, Fingerprint Scanner
- 17.2" x 11.4" x 1.6" @ 8.2 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium, Works, VAIO Suite, Norton Internset Security 2009
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-AW310J/H 18.4-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jul 21 2009 - Sony's AW series of VAIO laptops brought a large LCD display and Blu-ray drive to their laptop lineup. The problem is that Sony's pricing is a bit high for a down economy. Enter the VAIO VGN-AW310J/H, a new lower cost version of the AW series laptop. It still features a fairly high $1300 price tag, but for a number of the features, this is reasonable especially for Sony.
The system reduces the cost by scaling back a number of the components. A lower grade Core 2 Duo T6500 processor replaces the P8000 series models. It still uses the same 4GB of DDR2 memory that keeps the performance at a reasonable level. The hard drive has also been reduced from a 500GB size to a more modest 400GB. While this is smaller, it still provides roughly 20% more storage space than the average desktop replacement 320GB drive size.
While previous versions came with a Blu-ray burner, the VAIO AW310 instead comes with a Blu-ray combo drive that can read Blu-ray discs while being able to playback or record to CD and DVD media. This isn't much of a downgrade though as blank Blu-ray media is still fairly difficult to find and quite expensive.
The big problem comes with the display. While it retains the Blu-ray capability, the screen resolution has been reduced to 1680x945. This falls short of the full 1080p high definition video capability. With a large 18.4-inch screen, this is really something that they should not have reduced. Sure, it still plays the movies back, just not as well as they could.
Sony also decided to keep the external peripheral ports the same as the previous AW models. This means it features fewer USB ports and lacks newer interfaces such as eSATA for high speed external storage. At least the system is still one of the less expensive avenues for those wanting to get Blu-ray in a larger media focused laptop.