The Bottom Line
- Smaller More Portable Profile From 14.1-inch Display
- Decent General Performance
- Integarted Graphics
- Lacks Modern Peripheral Ports
- Poor Internal Speakers
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 14.1" WXGA (1280x800) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire, VGA, ExpressCard/34, Memory Stick Slot, SD Card Slot
- 13.2" x 9.6" x 1.6" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, VAIO Suite, Microsoft OneCare
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-CS230J/Q 14.1-inch Thin and Light Laptop PC
May 23 2009 - The Sony VAIO VGN-CS230J/Q is simply an updated version of their 14.1-inch CS laptop computer series. It upgrades features such as the processor and hard drive but it leaves the rest of the system the same. This is where the biggest flaw comes into play. The chassis design is somewhat dated and lacks many of the newer peripheral ports such as eSATA or HDMI. This puts the system at a big disadvantage for use with high speed external storage or digital displays such as an HDTV.
Performance is pretty good on the VGN-CS230J/Q thanks to the Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor. This does a very good job of balancing performance and power consumption. The 4GB of DDR2 memory allow it to run Vista and applications without any memory issues. This does put the system at a slight disadvantage compared to newer models that use DDR3 memory.
Storage was upgrade from the previous 250GB sized hard drives to 320GB. This is a good amount of storage on a laptop, but it is now average compared to other laptops in the same price range. The dual layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. Rather than a single multifuntion card reader, Sony uses two separate slots for Memory Stick and SD flash cards.
Those hoping to have some decent graphics performance will be sad to learn that Sony only equips the VGN-CS230J/Q with an integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics processor. This is alright for dealing with standard Windows graphics and 720p video sources, but it does not have the performance for handle any 3D graphics applications such as games.
With a price tag of less than $1000, the VGN-CS230J/Q is certainly quite affordable for a Sony laptop. The problem is that for the same price, one can get a better equipped 15-inch laptop for the same price.