Sony Vaio VPCL118FG/B

Sony's all-in-one PC isn't cheap and it could do with more storage, but otherwise it's a highly attractive option for those who crave simplicity.


8.1
CNET Rating
1.0
User Rating

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Design

Sony's latest take on an all-in-one PC looks remarkably like something. It's just that the something in question isn't an all-in-one PC, but rather a small Bravia TV. That's undoubtedly a deliberate design decision and as with most all-in-one PCs, the point isn't pure grunt as much as looking good in a non-PC environment. The VPCL118FG/B does via stealth, as without a mouse and keyboard evident, you wouldn't pick that it was a PC.

The VPCL118FG/B can even be used sans keyboard and mouse, as it comes with a touchscreen panel installed. Unlike some touchscreen units, you're not left bereft of mouse or keyboard, but the examples shipped with the VPCL118FG/B aren't the most stunning looking creatures, with the boxy mouse in particular being a design lowlight. Perhaps it's a rule with all-in-one computers, be they PC or Mac, that they have to come with rather ordinary peripherals? At least on the plus side, the included Windows remote doesn't look quite so boring.

Features

Behind the screen, Sony throws in an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 (2.93GHz) processor, 4GB of RAM and a 512MB Nvidia GeForce G210M graphics processor. A 500GB hard drive is provided, which is a touch on the low side for a multimedia machine. On the optical front, the comparisons with TV continue, with a Blu-ray disc combo drive and integrated digital TV tuner. The display panel, besides being touch capable, is also full HD capable, which pinpoints this as a home AV machine.

On the software side, the VPCL118FG/B ships with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a whole raft of software: Vaio Movie Story, Adobe Premiere Elements 7, WinDVD BD for Vaio, 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, WebCam Message Board, WebCam Companion, Magic-i Visual Effects, Vaio Recovery Center, Vaio Update, Vaio Transfer Support and Vaio Data Restore Tool. On the trial side of the fence, you also get a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Professional 2007, a 30-day trial of McAfee PC SecurityCenter, a 60-day trial of Norton Online Backup and finally a 60-day free trial of Webroot Spy Sweeper. That's a lot of trial security software from different companies to stack together.

Performance

Those after an all-in-one that does everything could be rather satisfied with the VPCL118FG/B, even if they haven't got a hope of pronouncing it properly without prompting. As with most touchscreens, we've yet to see a really compelling usage scenario that consumers will latch onto, but in the meantime the combination of touch and Windows 7 works fairly well. If you have to, it's not too tough to select files, launch applications and scroll around, even if most applications aren't really optimised for that kind of usage. Frankly, the better scenario for the VPCL118FG/B is as a home media centre, given its TV and Blu-ray playback options, with the option to then bring out mouse and keyboard as required.

On the pure performance front, the VPCL118FG/B showed itself to be more of a pure performance machine than a gaming powerhouse, with a PCMark05 score of 6248 and 3DMark06 score of 3228. That's mostly down to the mid-range Nvidia chipset on board. It'll certainly handle most games, but not the most up-to-date graphically punishing ones at full resolution.

At AU$2999, the VPCL118FG/B isn't exactly a machine you'll pick up for pocket change, but it is a machine with a lot of appeal to a particular market that's willing to pay for the convenience it offers. Beyond the current novelty of touchscreens on full PCs, like Apple's similar iMac lines, there's a lot to like here, if you can afford it.

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marrow posted a comment   

Of course, I meant "model" but what the heck.

 

marrow posted a comment   

I have now owned the next modle of this line the VPCL138FG with a faster processor (3.06GHz) a 1TB drive and less crapware. This ahs done everyhting I expected of it and more. It is responsive and has a brillinat display with great sound and other media capabilities. This has put the fun back into PCs.

 

ZAC posted a comment   

I own one. Bought just before Christmas 2009 and returned to shop 10 days later - faulty hard drive. On the replacement machine, Sony software included Adobe Premiere Elements 7 doesn't work at all. The Sony Movie Story program won't load a Windows Movie file that happily plays in the Windows Media Player. Roxio Easy Media creator wants to compete with the Windows one as to who gets to write a disc. Should be set with a default to one program. A bug on the touchscreen can open, close programs so sensitivity needs a good look. The screen is so shiny you will get a lot of reflection, you will see your furniture in the monitor. Sony support Australia don't always reply to help requests and didn't in fact know the phone number of their repair representative. For the premium priced product there are significant details overlooked and I would in retrospect not buy this machine. I would happily address these issues with the company but I think they are letting us down with their latest fare.

 

Tommo posted a comment   

That is such a pointless review. You're a moron.

 

Tommo posted a comment   

Err great article, but what size is the screen? That'd be the main point I would worry about.

Nickpotts
1
Rating
 

Nickpotts posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Alright

The Bad:not a iMac

Cool but succy

 

anon1980 posted a reply   

please tell me that you have actually used this before you one starred it. Otherwise it would be quite a nasty thing to do.




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User Reviews / Comments  Sony Vaio VPCL118FG/B

  • marrow

    marrow

    "Of course, I meant "model" but what the heck."

  • marrow

    marrow

    "I have now owned the next modle of this line the VPCL138FG with a faster processor (3.06GHz) a 1TB drive and less crapware. This ahs done everyhting I expected of it and more. It is responsive and ..."

  • ZAC

    ZAC

    "I own one. Bought just before Christmas 2009 and returned to shop 10 days later - faulty hard drive. On the replacement machine, Sony software included Adobe Premiere Elements 7 doesn't work at all..."

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