Sony sells the VPCCW15FG in three colours. The black model looks pretty much like any other notebook, and not surprisingly, there's a hint of MacBook in the white model. The pink version manages to just about out-pink any notebook we've ever seen, and that's what we reviewed. You certainly wouldn't buy it if the colour didn't appeal to you, but if you did, you'd be in awestruck love. Sony certainly seems to think that you will, as the notes for the pink variant read as follows: "Favourite feminine fashion pink suggests blooming flowers and smiling lips." Presumably this means you're meant to kiss this notebook at some point during ownership.
No matter which colour VPCCW15FG you buy, underneath its shiny plastic you'll find an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6600 (2.20GHz), 3GB of RAM, 320GB of hard drive space and a DVD Multi burner. Graphics duties are handled by the competent but not entirely exciting 256MB Nvidia GeForce G210M GPU. On the networking side, you get gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The VPCCW15FG comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition and a lot of bundled applications. Trialware packages include a number of differing security/backup solutions, including a McAfee PC SecurityCenter 30-day trial, Norton Online Backup 60-day trial and Webroot Spy Sweeper 60-day trial. So a month or two after installation, you'll have to get another package or pay a lot of subscriptions all at once. Microsoft Office's trial version also stops after 60 days. On the more fully featured software front, you get Media Gallery, Quick Web Access, Vaio Movie Story, Adobe Premiere Elements 7, Click to Disc, Click to Disc Editor, PMB (Picture Motion Browser), Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, Vaio Media plus, Roxio Easy Media Creator, Vaio Gate, Vaio Control Center, Vaio Presentation Support, WebCam Companion, Magic-i Visual Effects, Vaio Recovery Center, Vaio Update, Vaio Transfer Support and Vaio Data Restore Tool.
Depending on how you look at it, that's either a whole lot of bundled value, or a very long list of applications you'll have to uninstall to get back to a fresh machine.
One of the definite high points of the VPCCW15FG is the excellent keyboard. Keys are well spaced apart, unlike the cramped configurations of other systems and even the small cursor keys are isolated away from the main keys, minimising mistakes. The one thing we will say about the bright pink casing on a performance level is that its brightness is amplified in bright light, where it'll glare up at you if you look down while typing.
The VPCCW15FG display screen's WXGA (1366x768) resolution was never going to be stunning, but for the sort of video most commonly played back on laptops it's perfectly adequate, and an HDMI port on the side does offer flexibility for higher resolution fun.
The VPCCW15FG scored 4541 in PCMark05 and 3493 in 3DMark06, marking it out as a capable enough machine but not really a gaming powerhouse. It does make sense of a number of the supplied utilities that come with the unit, as it largely plays to its strengths.
The standard battery that Sony ships with the VPCCW15FG surprised us on two levels. Firstly, it's even more unpronounceable than the unit itself, as it's the VGP-BPS13B/Q. Good luck remembering that. Anyway, the more pertinent surprise is that Sony doesn't rate its battery life terribly highly, with a claimed battery life of only two hours. An optional battery pack — the equally impossible to recall or recite VGP-BPL13 — will give you a claimed four and a half hours instead. We ran the VPCCW15FG through our standard battery test, playing back DVD content at full screen brightness with all power-saving measures and eked out one hour and 46 minutes of battery life. It's surprisingly honest of Sony to admit that the battery on the VPCCW15FG isn't much to write home about, but at the same time it is a large disincentive if you're planning to use this particular model in a mobile capacity to any great degree.