Sony VAIO VPC-SE16FX/S Review

Posted by The Best Review Sunday, October 16, 2011 0 komentar
The Sony VAIO VPC-SE16FX/S ($1,249.99 direct) is a 15-inch laptop that will appeal to shoppers tempted by sleek, thin chassis and high-end parts like a Blu-ray player and AMD discrete graphics. With a lustrous design, a gorgeous high-definition display, and a potent combination of processing and graphics hardware that would put the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) ($2,199 direct, 4 stars) to shame, the Sony VAIO offers itself up in a light 4.4 pound package, without the Apple price tag. Those seeking the same rich feel and polished design of an Apple product, however, will be left a bit disappointed, with details like the keyboard and mouse feeling oddly unrefined.

The VPC-SE16FX/S utilizes what Sony calls a "full flat" design, meaning that the laptop is flat with no degree of slope and no hint of a wedge shape in the profile. With a magnesium alloy skeleton inside and brushed aluminum covering the lid and palm rest, the VPC-SE16FX/S uses a combination of metal and plastic to keep the weight down to 4.4 pounds. It's actually a hair thinner than the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) , which is 1-inch thick and weighs 5.5 pounds. Even with the optional sheet battery attached, the VPC-SE16FX/S is still a close match in weight, coming in at 5.6 pounds. The enviable slimness disappears, however, as that battery adds nearly half an inch to the laptop.

One of the key features of the VPC-SE16FX/S is the 15.5-inch screen that displays in 1,920 by 1,080 HD resolution. The quality is better than what either the Dell XPS 15z (Microsoft) ($999 direct, 4 stars) or Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch have to offer, and looks great whether you're watching HD movies via the Blu-ray drive or streaming shows on Netflix. An anti-glare coating also provides a slightly matte finish to the screen, reducing reflections and improving visibility indoors and out. An ambient light sensor measures the light in the room and adjusts the display brightness accordingly, without the user having to give it any attention at all.
The keyboard is done in the same chiclet style we've seen on other laptops like the HP Envy 14 (Sandy Bridge) ($1,079.99 direct, 4 stars), but it can't quite match the comfortable feel of the Dell XPS 15z (Microsoft). The keys on the keyboard and adjacent numeric pad have a platinum silver finish that used throughout the laptop. The keyboard is backlit but, like the display, the backlight brightness is automatically adjusted according to the lighting conditions of the room. And while the self-adjusting backlighting is a great concept, in practice it's less than perfect. When the backlight is off, the letters are a dull grey that is nearly washed out against the keys' silvery finish. With the backlight on, a fair amount of light seeps out from around the keys, proving to be more distracting than helpful. And though you can rely on the ambient light sensor to turn it on and off, it would still be nice to have a control on the keyboard to turn it on and off as needed. The accompanying multitouch trackpad features two oversized mouse buttons, but the surface of the touchpad tends to stick, and I found myself wishing that the trackpad had some texture to it.

Sony didn't hold back when it put together the feature set of this laptop. The VPC-SE16FX/S is filled to the brim with top of the line features, like a speedy USB 3.0 port, a Blu-ray player, and WiDi 2.0, Intel's wireless technology that lets you stream HD content to any HDTV, provided you have a Netgear Push2TV ($99) reviver. HDMI and VGA outputs are also available for those who want to take the wired route.
The VPC-SE16FX/S also features a fair amount of security, with a case lock slot, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) available, and the new Semantic VIP Access, which allows secure VPN connections without requiring any sort of security token. Two card readers let you pull files from most any form of flash media (SD, SDHC, MMC, MS/Pro, HG, MagicGate), and two more USB 2.0 ports are available for any peripheral devices you want to use. The integrated webcam uses an Exmor HD image sensor—a little goodie picked up from Sony's camera and imaging department—and Bluetooth Stereo means that you can use a variety of devices wirelessly, including a Bluetooth stereo headset or sound system. The Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi can be turned on and off with a physical switch, and a Gigabit Ethernet port provides wired network access when there's no Wi-Fi available.
The VPC-SE16FX/S is equipped with a 640GB 5,400rpm hard drive, and while it's not as big as the 750GB one in the MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt), it's larger than the 500GB drive found in the Dell XPS 15z (Microsoft), and the typical user should find 640GB to be more than enough storage space. There are a few programs that come already installed on the hard drive, like Microsoft Office Starter 2011, a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security, and a few free programs, like Skype, Evernote, and a Bing branded toolbar. Sony does throw in several proprietary VAIO utilities, but overall, there's little bloatware on the VPC-SE16FX/S.

Type Desktop Replacement
Processor Name Intel Core i5-2430M
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor Speed 2.4 GHz
Weight 4.4 lb
Screen Size 15.5 inches
Screen Size Type Widescreen
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 6630M
Graphics Memory 1024
2nd Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 3000
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 640 GB
Rotation Speed 5400 rpm
Networking Options 802.11n
Primary Optical Drive Blu-Ray Disc
Wireless Display Capability (WiDi) Yes
WiMax No
Battery Type 63 Whr (Watt hours)
MobileMark 2007 – Standard Battery Productivity Load (hrs:min) 4:11
MobileMark 2007- Extended Battery - Productivity Load (hrs:min) 10:33
MobileMark 2007- Performance score 287
PCMark7 1881
3-D BENCHMARK TESTS - 3DMark06 - 1,024 x 768 - Default 8010
3-D BENCHMARK TESTS - 3DMark06 - Native – 0X/4X 4533
Crysis - Medium quality - 1,024 x 768 - AA/AF=Off/Off 64.7
Crysis - High quality - Native - AA/AF= 0X/4X 7.2
Lost Planet 2 (DX9) - Middle quality - 1,024 x 768- AA/AF=Off/Off 49.7
Lost Planet 2 (DX9) - High quality - Native - AA/AF= 0X/4X 18.2
MULTIMEDIA TESTS - Handbrake 1:51 min:sec
MULTIMEDIA TESTS - PhotoShop CS5 4:05 min:sec
MULTIMEDIA TESTS - CineBench 11.5 2.6

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