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.
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).
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.
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.
Raised touchpad area and SD card reader
Power supply, VGA, HDMI, RJ45, USB 3.0 (x 2) port
Headphones socket / SPDIF, mic, USB 2.0 port and Blu-ray/DVD rewriter
PerformanceSony 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 aboutThere’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: 2h45As 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.
- Nice design
- Comfortable keying
- Heat well managed
- High performance
- False screen colours
- Low battery life: 2h45
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.