Sony VAIO VGN-FS18GP

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Sony VAIO VGN-FS18GP

Pros

  • Funky design

Cons

  • Short battery life

Bottom Line

This classy business notebook from Sony helps you get the job done in style.

Would you buy this?

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Sony's notebook design team definitely has to be commended. We found this largely business-orientated model attracted attention even though it has a very straightforward design.

This VAIO uses Intel's new Centrino platform (formerly codenamed Sonoma) and comes with an Intel Pentium M 740 processor, 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM (upgradeable to just 1GB), an 80GB hard disk and a DVD writer supporting dual-layer and (through software) one-touch burning.

There's a "Clear Bright" coating over the 15.4" widescreen display, which improves colour contrast and clarity and reduces glare. Sony ships this model with an Nvidia GeForce Go 6200 graphics controller, featuring 128MB of memory.

Sony includes a great software bundle with its notebook. You receive Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 and Premiere Standard, Norton AntiVirus 2005, InterVideo WinDVD 5 plus a range of Sony multimedia creation and notebook management tools.

On the networking front, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi is integrated along with Ethernet and 56Kbps modem connections. You can plug your video camera into the FireWire port and other peripherals into one of the three USB 2.0 ports. If you have a digital camera that uses Memory Sticks, you'll be pleased to hear the FS18GP can accommodate those as well.

The FS18GP came out about on par with other notebooks in its price range. Its application performance was comparatively a bit low but its 3D score was quite solid at 8823 in 3DMark 2001. Battery life was our only concern, with this model achieving just 65 minutes in our worst-case scenario tests.

If the price tag is just a tad too much for you, but you like the look of the FS18GP's stylish simplicity, Sony's FS15GP costs a little less but has a slightly slower processor and smaller hard disk drive.

Although it comes with just one year's warranty, this business-class notebook would certainly be of interest if you're style-savvy and keen to get mobile.

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