Review: Sony Vaio F Series VPCF23P1E

Our score: 3/5
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March 23, 2012 12:21 PM
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Published: March 23, 2012 12:15 PM
By Pierre Anzil
Translated by: Jack Sims
With its F Series, Sony is giving us a Vaio that contains all the most powerful components currently available. In contrast to the Z Series, size and weight aren't an issue here. This computer weighs in at 3.1 Kg and has been ‘designed to succeed’… though naturally, that's for us to judge!

Hardware

The Vaio F Series is supplied in several different configurations. For this test we used the VPCF23P1E.

The Vaio F Series isn't just a machine packed with powerful components. Plenty of attention has also been given to its finish. By going for a sober looking product, Sony isn’t really targeting gamers but rather a wider consumer base looking for a rapid machine. Although the basic material is plastic, several different types are used and the end result is a success, with a marked contrast between glossy and matte.

Powerful model that it is, the F Series takes up quite a bit of space. Weighing 3 Kg, it's not the sort of laptop you'll want to be carrying around a lot. As a transportable machine however, the Vaio F has been designed to give comfortable usage. The raised touchpad area means your wrists are at the same level as the rest of the keyboard. This gives the same typing sensation as on a standard keyboard but with a chiclet design. With its supple and silent keys, keying on this backlit keyboard is a real pleasure.

VPCF23P1E
 

A rugged edge borders the touchpad area but this doesn’t impact on the glide. The touchpad gives limited multitouch functionality (no scrolling with two fingers).
 

vpcz21v9e


The F Series is fitted with an Exmor HD (1280 x 1024) webcam. The camera doesn’t pick up much in a poorly lit environment but it’s a decent video conferencing tool in a bright room.
 

VPCF23P1E thermique

Temperature readings when the VPCF23P1E is pushed hard.
Readings taken using a Fluke Ti25 (Distrame) camera


The thermal imaging shows that the heat is well controlled and distributed across the laptop. Its fan is efficient, perhaps a little too much so during heavy processing.

 
VPCF23P1E
Raised touchpad area and SD card reader

VPCF23P1E From the top
 

VPCF23P1E
  Power supply, VGA, HDMI, RJ45, USB 3.0 (x 2) port

VPCF23P1E
  Headphones socket / SPDIF, mic, USB 2.0 port and Blu-ray/DVD rewriter

Performance

Sony has gone with the Intel i7-2670QM (index: 158) coupled with 6 GB of DDR3, which means the F Series can handle most of what you care to throw at it. Moreover, in this Vaio’s software suite you'll find applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Premier Elements 9, both of which put significant demands on processing power.

The graphics are from Nvidia, with the GeForce GT540M. Don’t expect any miracles on the latest video games that push the graphics envelope. This configuration has been designed for less demanding titles or older generation games.

Audio: nothing to write home about

There’s not much to say on the ins/outs on this laptop. They give a clean but unexceptional sound.

The speakers do well at low volume but as it increases, they start to saturate and then the chassis vibrates. Once again, the Dolby doesn’t add much to the sound.

Battery life: 2h45

As you can see, Sony hasn't designed the F Series to be carried around. In addition to weighing 3 Kg, its limited battery life means you won’t want to use it on the move.
3/5 Sony Vaio F Series VPCF23P1E DigitalVersus 2012-03-23 13:15:00

Pros

  • Nice design
  • Comfortable keying
  • Heat well managed
  • High performance

Cons

  • False screen colours
  • Low battery life: 2h45

Conclusion

Sony isn’t only setting its store by performance with the F Series. It also offers comfortable keying and the Full HD screen coupled with a Blu-ray player mean this Vaio covers all the bases… except perhaps when it comes to battery life. It isn’t a machine you'll want to carry around but then it doesn't set out to be.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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