Good looks, good performance, but a little under-cooked
- Stylish design, solidly built, excellent screen, fast processor
- Disappointing battery life, no Blu-ray drive
It looks good, has good processing power, and it's well-suited as a notebook for everyday tasks. However, it's not really a great unit for high-definition video endeavours, as it lacks a Full HD screen and a Blu-ray drive.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
The Sony VAIO VGN-FZ37G is marketed as an 'Advanced AV Multimedia notebook', but it doesn't live up to this label.
It lacks the Blu-ray drive found in the HP Pavilion dv9800 (dv9821tx) as well as the Full HD screen of the Acer Aspire Gemstone Blue (8920G)— these are units that are similar in cost and better suited to multimedia purposes.
When thought of as an all-purpose notebook, however, it fares better thanks to a fantastic 15.4in screen, Sony's signature good looks and a very speedy CPU.
At the notebook's core is a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM. It's also equipped with a 250GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm. We've seen good results from other T8300-based devices, and this notebook didn't disappoint — in our iTunes benchmark, where we test the CPU by converting 53min worth of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, the FZ37G completed the task in an impressive 1min 13sec.
Our WorldBench 6 result of 90 also reinforces the notebook's speed, and means that users can expect even the most processor-intensive tasks such as video-encoding to be done with relative ease.
The NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics card is less remarkable. Although it will work well for viewing video and images, its 3DMark06 score of 2546 means that gamers will have to look elsewhere— even older DirectX 9 games like F.E.A.R. will struggle to play above minimum settings.
As for its video capabilities, the unit sports a "Full HD 1080" label that may cause some people to believe that the screen itself is capable of displaying HD content at 1080p. What Sony actually means is that the 8400M GT is capable of transporting 1080p visuals via HDMI to a HD-ready television. You'll have to store HD content on its 250GB hard drive if you wish to use the FZ37G as an HD player, as it doesn't ship with a Blu-ray drive.
However, the 15.4in screen's inability to actually display Full HD resolution should not detract from its good qualities: It's excellent in every other aspect. Providing low-reflectivity and a large viewing angle, it also features great colour contrast and there was no dithering during DVD watching.
The screen is also built solidly with very little flex, and the solid construction continues throughout the rest of the unit — the notebook has a professional and dependable feel to it. The stylish full-sized keyboard is a slight letdown, as it doesn't provide enough bounce when typing.
The left-hand side of the unit holds most of the ports, including the HDMI port, S-Video out port, D-Sub port, FireWire port and ExpressCard/34 slot. This gives the Sony a good variety of expansion options and also allows a wide variety of display devices to interface with the notebook.
The Sony is equipped with three USB 2.0 ports, two of which are on the right-hand side of the notebook next to the dual-layer DVD-RW drive, microphone port and headphone port. Other peripheral devices such as microphones or headsets can be accessed through the built-in Bluetooth 2.0 adapter. A four-in-one card reader (MS, MSPro, MMC, SD) sits on the front of the device.
With all these features, the Sony weighs in at 2.6kg without its power supply and 3.1kg with it. This means that it's light enough to be used on the go, although our worst-case scenario battery test returned a disappointing time of 1hr 18min.
Despite lacking Gigabit Ethernet, which we'd normally expect at this price point, the FZ37G does offer 802.11a/b/g/n wireless and 10/100 Ethernet, which will suit most home users.
Join the newsletter!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 4 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo recalls ThinkPad notebooks after overheating hazard
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- MWC 2018: Everything You Need To Know
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSQL Database AdministratorWA
- FTCommercial Contracts AnalystOther
- FTData EngineerOther
- FTSecurity Operations SpecialistOther
- CCSharePoint Business Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Sharepoint DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Transition Manager (Permanent)Other
- FTSAP Test AnalystsACT
- CCSQL Database AdministratorQLD
- CCMessaging AdministratorQLD
- TPProject Manager - SEQQLD
- CCPega ArchitectNSW
- FTDigital Marketing Manager - Affiliates and PartnersOther
- FTSolution Designer/Architect - Java IntegrationOther
- FTSenior Network EngineerVIC
- TPProcurement ManagerACT
- CCProject ManagerWA
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- CCOracle DeveloperVIC
- CCDigital Designer & DeveloperNSW
- FTHosting/Virtualisation ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Front-End Developer (Urgent)Other
- FTReporting Business Analyst - $62 phOther
- FTSenior Data ModellerNSW
- CCSystem Infrastructure EngineerNSW