Sony VAIO J Series review
A good-looking all-in-one – but schools will find it hard to justify the expense
Review Date: 17 Jun 2012
Reviewed By: Jamie Stephens
Price when reviewed: £691 (£829 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The Sony VAIO J Series has clean design, resembling a modern flatscreen TV. The focus is very much on the 21.5in display, which doubles as a two-point multitouch screen and is covered in a layer of plastic for protection. It doesn’t feel quite as solid as it looks: apply a bit of pressure towards the top of the display and the panel seems to flex slightly into the body of the case.
As a touchscreen, the VAIO’s display isn’t quite as responsive as the others on test, but it works well enough. The screen itself is excellent, producing sharp images with rich colours, even if the glossy surface soon resembles a reflective fingerprint showcase; you may need to keep the screen wipes handy.
Our review sample was based around a dual-core Intel i5-2410M processor with 6GB of RAM and, while this still doesn’t deliver great 3D performance, it has enough oomph for video editing, audio work, animation and most other creative endeavours. The benchmark score of 0.60 is credible, but note the latest versions of the J Series include slightly lesser CPUs (but a 750GB hard disk). It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, so you may need to factor in an upgrade to Professional if you plan to join the VAIO to a school domain.
Disappointingly, there’s no external video output, so teachers won’t be able to connect it to a projector. Otherwise, it’s a well-connected all-in-one with two high-speed USB 3 sockets, a memory card reader and the headphone and audio-out jack on the left, plus four USB 2 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet socket on the back. A built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi module handles wireless networking.
Sony supplies the VAIO with a wireless keyboard and mouse kit. While they reflect the high quality of the rest of the system, most schools will want to replace these with something less pinch-able.
The VAIO J Series is beautifully designed with a good screen, a high specification and a strong set of features. The problem is that the above still don’t justify its high price.
Author: Jamie Stephens
- How the UK risks missing out in graphene economy
- The Intel coffee machine that puts a face to a drink
- Dell: Surface hasn't hurt relationship with Microsoft
- Government is "bonkers" to wait for IPv6
- With 4G, could you ditch your ISP?
- Q&A: the app that keeps your mobile data from the snoops
- Q&A: Driving apps to Windows 8
- Q&A: £49 light bulbs you control with an iPhone
- Q&A: EE defends its 4G price hikes
- Q&A: Britain's 5G "playground" gets £35m funding
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- The government website that doesn't work with IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Macs or smartphones
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW