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Sony VAIO VGN-FW373J/H 16.4-Inch Laptop (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, Blu-ray Drive, Vista Premium) Gray
List Price: $1329.99

Our Price: $1286.21

You Save: $43.78 (3%)

 


Product Description

Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz 4096MB RAM (8192MB max) 16.4 XBRITE FullHD (1920x1080) 320GB HDD (7200rpm) Blu-Ray-ROM DL DVD+R/W Drive WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n) Gigabit Ethernet A2DP Bluetooth Built-In 1.3 Megapixel MOTION EYE Camera and Microphone ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 (512MB VRAM Dedicated) HDMI Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit (Titanium Gray)

Inspired by theater screens, the Sony VAIO VGN-FW370J/H broadens your entertainment horizons with a brilliantly colorful 16.4-inch high-definition LCD, dedicated AV controls, HDMI output to your HDTV, and more. Great for watching widescreen movies or viewing two web sites side-by-side, the 16.4-inch screen also minimizes the annoying black bars you see when playing widescreen movies. And the Blu-ray Disc optical drive (read-only) lets you play high-definition Blu-ray Disc movies in crystal-clear resolution. You'll also enjoy the Dolby Sound Room suite of audio technologies for immersive surround sound pumped through a home theater speaker system or just a pair of headphones. Making your own movies is also easy with the included Sony Movie Story software--just choose the supplied template and professional-looking cutaways, cross-fades and soundtrack syncing are automatically done for you.



The Sony VAIO FW in gray.
Reminiscent of a rolling wave, the smooth, curved lines of are as functional as they are attractive--from the iconic new cylindrical hinge to the sloping bend where the keyboard meets the display. Striking, yet sophisticated, this titanium gray VAIO FW notebook utilizes advanced paint technology that's applied to the magnesium chassis, making the color appear to shift in tint at different angles.

It's powered by the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processor--with Centrino 2 technology--which boosts speed, reduces power requirements, and saves on battery life. The 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 includes a quick 1066 MHz front-side bus and 3 MB of L2 cache, providing an optimized, multithreaded architecture for improved multimedia and multitasking performance. Other features include a 320 GB hard drive (with a fast 7200 speed), 4 GB of installed RAM (8 GB maximum), ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 graphics with up to 2280 MB of available memory (512 MB discrete), dual-layer DVDRW and CD burning capabilities, ExpressCard 34 slot, quad-mode Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth connectivity (including stereo music streaming), a 1.3-megapixel webcam built into the bezel, both Memory Stick and SD card readers, and pre-installed Windows Vista Home Premium (SP1).

This Sony notebook is Energy Star 4.0 certified, and has received a Silver EPEAT designation for meeting standards to help reduce its environmental impact. Additionally, it is RoHS-compliant, effectively reducing the environmental impact by restricting the use of lead, mercury and certain other hazardous substances.
Spec Check
  • Color: Gray
  • 16.4-inch LCD screen
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor
  • 320 GB hard drive (7200)
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB maximum)
  • Combo Blu-ray Disc Read-Only and DVDR drive
  • Quad-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) & Bluetooth 2.1
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 graphics (2280 MB total)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Weighs 6.7 pounds

The Basics

  • Processor: Experience improved energy efficiency, expanded wireless connectivity, and amazing battery life with the 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor featuring Intel Centrino 2 technology. This processor has a 2.4 GHz processor speed, super-sized 1066 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and a extra-large 3 MB L2 cache. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.)

    Formerly codenamed Montevina, Intel Centrino 2 processor technology improves upon every facet of a laptop's main features, including performance and battery life via new processors and chipsets, faster draft 802.11n wireless, and new business-class manageability capabilities. The new hafnium-infused circuitry--which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors--conserves even more energy, giving you more time away from the wall outlet.

    The Intel Core 2 Duo processor has two computational execution cores in a single processor, providing greater system response when running multi-threaded applications simultaneously with no significant increase in power consumption. It's optimized for multitasking and it can run multiple demanding applications--such as graphics-intensive games or serious number-crunching business productivity applications--while downloading music or running virus-scanning security programs in the background.

  • Hard Drive: The extra large 320 GB Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive (with a fast 7200 RPM speed--usually found in desktops) offers a wealth of storage space, perfect for storing a vast multimedia collection or for editing digital video. This SATA hard drive also quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to Firewire and USB 2.0.

  • Memory: The 4 GB of installed RAM (PC6400, 800 MHz, 2 x 2 GB) helps boost the amount of available video RAM that's shared with this notebook's video card. This notebook has an amazing 8 GB maximum RAM capacity (4 x 2 GB). To receive the faster data transfer benefits of the dual-channel DDR2 RAM, any RAM additions require memory modules of same capacity and clockspeed.

  • DVD/CD Drive: This Sony notebook is capable of playing back Blu-ray Disc movies in stunning clarity, as well as playing your current library of purchased and burned disc content. This notebook can also write standard DVD and CD media. The BD drive offers a 2x speed for reading BD-R/RE discs and a 2x BD-R/RE DL (dual layer) read speed. It also offers the following write speeds for standard DVD and CD discs: 6x DVDR DL, 8x for single-layer DVDR, 6x DVDRW, 24x CD-R/RW, and 5x for DVD-RAM.

  • Keyboard & Mouse: This notebook has a standard 86-key keyboard (2mm stroke and 19.05mm pitch) and electro-static two-button touchpad. Playback controls include play/pause, stop, forward, rewind, AV mode, mute, volume +/-, WLAN/Bluetooth on/off.
Screen, Video & Audio
This Sony VAIO has a 16.4-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels (native 720p for high-definition viewing). The 16:9 aspect ratio ensures that you won't miss an inch of the original picture from your favorite movie while also providing valuable extra workspace. The XBRITE-ECO technology delivers brilliant colors and stunning clarity with efficient power usage, and it features an anti-reflective coating to minimize reflection and ensure a beautifully clear image from any viewing angle. Video is powered by the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650, which provides 512 MB of discrete graphics memory (for 2280 MB of total available graphics memory). ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3600 Series graphics processors have breakthrough efficiency, with phenomenal performance-per-watt and energy-saving features. Advance to the power of discrete graphics for HD gaming with best-in-class performance, amazing effects, and lifelike worlds and characters delivering a compelling gaming experience. For external monitors, it provides a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 using HDMI and 2048 x 1536 via VGA.

This laptop also has an integrated audio card with Dolby Sound Room suite of technologies, which delivers virtual surround sound from stereo speakers or any pair of headphones and is designed for environments where multiple surround speakers are neither practical nor possible. It includes Dolby Digital (for 5.1 discrete channels of surround sound), Dolby Headphone (delivering the experience of a 5.1-channel soundtrack from any set of headphones), and Dolby Virtual Speaker (providing 5.1-channel surround sound from any pair of speakers).

Networking, Connectivity & Expansion
Be ready for the next platform in wireless connectivity with the integrated quad-mode Intel Wireless 5100AGN Wi-Fi chip. Based on the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, it offers up to five times the performance and twice the wireless range as existing 802.11g wireless. It's also backward compatible with 802.11b/g networks (commonly found in home routers and wi-fi hotspots) as well as 802.11a networks (which has a higher throughput, but more limited range--great for closed office environments). With the Bluetooth connectivity, you can communicate and synchronize with Bluetooth-enabled peripherals such as PDAs and cell phones as well as enjoy wireless stereo music streaming (thanks to its embedded A2DP profile).

This notebook also includes a next-generation ExpressCard 34 card slot (though no PCMCIA slot), which lets you take advantage of thinner, faster, and lighter expansion cards for even more advanced wireless, networking, storage, and security features. Here's the full list of connectivity options:

  • 3 USB 2.0 ports for connecting a wide range of peripherals--from digital cameras to MP3 players
  • 1 FireWire (also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link) port for connecting digital video camcorders and other peripherals
  • 1 HDMI output (for connecting to a compatible HDTV or home theater receiver for uncompressed digital audio and video via a single cable)
  • Analog video output: 1 VGA
  • 1 ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Memory Stick/Memory Stick DUO slot (with MagicGate functionality)
  • Secure Digital memory card slot (compatible with MMC cards)
  • 1 headphone jack, 1 microphone jack
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 56K modem (V.90)

Operating System
The 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium (with SP1) is the operating system for users with advanced computer needs, and it includes all of the Windows Media Center capabilities for turning your PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center for watching DVD movies and accessing your digital audio library. You can also use Windows Media Center to record and watch your favorite TV shows (even HDTV) and to access new kinds of online entertainment content. Computers that include Windows Vista Home Premium and an auxiliary Windows SideShow display will also allow you to access key data even when your computer is off. It is also easier than ever to share files between other PCs in your household and to manage your laptop computer settings to more securely connect via Wi-Fi.

Every edition of Windows Vista provides the essential tools and technologies to help protect you whether you are browsing the Internet, connecting to a wireless network, or just reading e-mail. All editions of Windows Vista include new tools that can warn you of impending hardware failures long before you have lost any important personal data. And, all Windows Vista editions include parental control features that allow you to manage and monitor your family's use of games, the Internet, instant messaging, and other activities.

Preloaded Software
Microsoft Windows Live OneCare anti-virus and recovery (trial version), Microsoft Works SE 9.0, Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student (60-day trial), Sony Click to Disk Editor (CD and DVD burning), VAIO Movie Story (video editing), VAIO MusicBox

Dimensions & Weight
This notebook measures 15.1 x 10.3 x 1.46 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 6.7 pounds.

Power
It's powered by the VGP-BPS13/S rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which has a battery life of between 2.5 and 5.5 hours (depending on usage). This laptop is compliant with Energy Star 4.0 specifications, meaning that it uses less power and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by meeting very strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

What's in the Box
This package contains the VGN-FW373J/H notebook PC, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AC adapter, and operating instructions. It is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty, and Sony offers 1-year of toll-free telephone technical assistance.

Features:
  • Portable multimedia powerhouse in titanium gray with extra-wide 16.4-inch screen, Dolby Sound Room audio, and HDMI output
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 dual-core processor (with Centrino 2 technology), 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM (8 GB max), and Blu-ray read/write drive (plus DVD/CD burner)
  • Quad-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth (with stereo A2DP), Gigabit Ethernet, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 graphics (2280 MB total)
  • Connectivity: 3 USB, 1 FireWire, ExpressCard/34 slot, Memory Stick/SD card readers, HDMI A/V out, VGA monitor output
  • Pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium (SP1, 64-bit) and Sony multimedia software

Customer Reviews:

  • Good value laptop
    I bought this Vaio VGN-FW373J black about 2 weeks ago from Amazon. My overall impression is that this computer is a good value laptop.

    1. Spec.
    It has 2.4GHz C2D P8600 processor, which is fast enough for most tasks you can have today, even for some scientific computations (I use matlab to do simulations). Memory is ample, 4GB. Although with 64bit Vista, the system will start up with about 1.3GB memory used, you still have enough left. Hard disk is 7200rpm 320GB, fast, VERY quiet and large. The best part of this computer is the blu-ray rom and FULL HD 1080p LCD! I like that. The blu-ray rom have two laser diodes, one for blu-ray reading, one for normal DVD/CD reading and writing. The full HD 1920x1080 LCD is amazing! Everything is crisp clear! For small font, you can easily change the DPI setting to make it large and clear without running in lower resolutions. I think the LCD is a little bit TOO bright, I have to run at 50% brightness to make my eyes comfortable. The graphics card is ATI 3650 with 512MB graphics memory. I can run Battlefield 2 with Project Reality mode in medium settings without problem. 3 USB ports are enough however they are all crowded on the right side of the laptop, which is very odd. Bluetooth and wireless works very well. HDMI connection is also quite convenient: you only need one cable to send both video and audio to your HDTV. I use a Samsung 46" 1080p LCD TV, and the movie experience is fantastic! It has a build in SD card reader and sony memory stick slot. Overall, the spec is very good, I will give it 5/5.

    2. Building quality
    Well, at this price, you should not expect every details are built perfectly. Actually I found the plastic used in this laptop is quite cheap-feeling (all the outer shell of the computer is plastic except the small cover over the speakers which is metal). The black outer cover is rough and feels easy to crack. Not as good as my thinkpad's rubbery shell (Dell also have the similar rubbery shell in the XPS laptop line). As many people have said, the hinge connecting the display to the main body doesn't look very tough. The keyboard feels just fair. Not as good as a thinkpad, again, this is a value notebook, not a business class. The keyboard of my laptop has right side lower than the left side. Not a problem for use but you can see the building quality here. The touch pad's buttons are really hard to use. It is a little bit recessed into the main body. I think it is designed so as users won't accidentally click on it. But it is really hard to find it when are looking at the screen. And the buttons are hard to push: feels like 2lb push. Overall, the computer is not built as good as thinkpad, I will give it 3/5.

    3. Software
    It comes with Vista Home Premium 64bit. It takes a lot of memory to run this OS. There are also a lot of trial software which are useless (to me at least). So the first thing I got this computer is to remove all those useless software. Sony has some "computer tune up" software which will clean the disk and registry to keep your computer fast. I haven't use it a lot but I think this is quite useful. It is true that you can download this kind of things over the internet, but this one comes from sony, which makes me feel safer to let it modify and clean windows registry. WinDVD for Blu-ray movie is pretty good. Comparing the PowerDVD, the UI of WinDVD is a little bit too simple. But WinDVD can play HD movie with less CPU usage. That means, less consumption of power, which is good when you run on battery to watch HD movie. So overall, software is pretty good, I give it 4/5.

    4. Blu-ray playback experience
    The major reason I bought this computer is for the blu-ray movie playback capability. Besides the blu-ray rom, this machine has a full HD 1920x1080 display itself and it has HDMI to easily connect to HDTVs. So you have a mobile blu-ray player at home, almost! I said almost because the sound is not HD quality, which is a not too small drawback. The sound chip of the computer is Realtek HD audio, which is supposed to have the capability to support 5.1 speakers. But because of the OS is Vista (again it's vista's fault), there is no Realtek driver for windows vista to support 5.1 speakers. The only option you have is stereo two speakers. If you use the TV's two small speakers to play the sound, it is ok but if you connect the signal to 5.1 speakers, only the front left and right speakers have sound. The middle one (which should be the major one) and all rear surround speakers are muted. Sounds like a huge disappointment. However I think this is only the driver issue. Maybe (only maybe) in the near future, there will be some Realtek HD driver for vista to support 5.1 speakers. And then this issue will be gone. So for HD playback I give it 3/5.

    So overall, you can't expect this machine to be perfect to every detail. But you know the spec is good enough for the price. ...more info
  • Great Machine, do not hesitate and buy it
    The Size is great to work with a program at the same time, to watch a BD movie, and the performace has been great so far (2 months).

    I really recommend this machine....more info
  • Its not the computer, its the software..Vista that sucks.
    I have an Apple and a Sony Vaio using Windows XL that will stream HD Baseball from www.mlb.com. Not with Vista. Vista wouldn't even reconize my plug and play HP printers. Apple and Windows XL did.

    My recommendation is don't even think about buying a new computer until Windows 7 is available....more info
  • Can't be any happier
    Well... First of all I removed the Vista 64bit preinstalled on this system. I had a hard time finding the Vista 32bit drivers.... But i finally did it (took me two days or so). I'm using this laptop for music production (reason, nuendo, protools) with an MBOX2 PRo interface (firewire). I just can't complain... The performance exceeds most desktops.

    As for the mac OS, it runs great with no problems at all except your maximum resolution is stuck at 1440x900 cause there's no driver yet for the ati 3650HD on Mac.

    I purchased a microsoft wireless xbox receiver and two xbox controllers and installed need for speed and PES2009 - Amazing!

    I definitely recommend this laptop to anyone who wants quality, performance and style (Vaio is the Best!)...more info
  • Simply The Best
    :OVERALL:

    Major props to Sony on this one. This is absolutely THE best laptop you can find for the price. I spent just over $1000 on this and I'm loving it. Honestly, where can you find a powerful computer with 1080p resolution, a dedicated ATI video card, 16.4 inch screen, Blu-Ray player, and 4GB of ram for that little? A Mac with similar specs would cost you $2800! Save yourself the $1800 and buy a Plasma 50 inch TV, or for the down payment on a car, or a week in Hawaii - the list goes on and on.

    :PROS:

    (1) Quick computing. I run serious MATLAB and Mathematica modeling programs on this bad boy, and it handles them just fine for a laptop.
    (2) Runs cool. I've had some previous issues with powerful laptops overheating. This runs VERY quiet and cool.
    (3) Blu-Ray is gorgeous.
    (4) Overall Windows Experience Index Number is 5.1 on my machine.
    (5) Keyboard is wonderfully ergonomic and fits perfectly to my hands. The keys have a great click to them, and don't feel cheap.
    (6) The touchpad is great. I would rank it higher than any windows based machine I've ever felt and only slightly inferior to Apple's trackpad.
    (7) Is very sleek and sexy. I think it's the best looking laptop I've ever owned, Macbooks included. Additionally, it is SURPRISINGLY LIGHT.
    (8) Packaged/included software isn't too obtrusive.
    (9) Speakers don't suck.
    (10) Decent battery life, though I don't use this in such a way that it would matter either way.
    (11) Very respectable boot up time.
    (12) PRICE! You won't find a similar quality laptop for this price.

    :CONS:
    (1) Doesn't include packaged discs with drivers and the OS. You have to create them yourself. Not too difficult.
    (2) Had to go online and update drivers manually for the Blu-Ray player.

    IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A QUALITY, POWERFUL LAPTOP WITHOUT SHELLING OUT A COUPLE G's, LOOK NO FURTHER!!


    ...more info
  • Great
    exept the bluray writer it havent
    the amazon must correct the technical of laptop...more info
  • Don't buy it!!
    1 - There is no XP drivers
    2 - There is no CD or DVD (for support or Windows) in the box
    3 - Wifi doesn't work very well
    4 - There is no vaio drivers for model VGN-FW373J/B at the sony support.

    Now my Vaio that I bougth 10 days ago:
    1 - Windows fails
    2 - Battery doesn't work - System ask me to replace or remove
    3 - HD doesn't work (some times when I turn on)
    4 - Some times the screen doesn't work...more info
  • Excellent PC replacment
    As others have stated, the Vaio VGN-FW373J/B is a great laptop. Features like the crystal clear hi-def screen, easy to use MacBook-esque keyboard, full 10 key pad, excellent audio performance and many other media features should wow the typical computer user.

    In our case, we bought the Vaio last December as a replacement for my wife's HP Pavillion laptop which served as the household's primary computer over our wifi network. The Vaio boots up faster, turns off faster and is just loads more powerful than the HP we had. The HP was fine for a couple years, but started to bog down and the power cord had a nagging problem of not working correctly for a few years that finally pushed us to upgrade.

    There are better technical reviews of this laptop from other users here, so please feel free to read them carefully. But for the typical home user who needs, or wants, to replace their desktop PC or just replace their media based laptop, this Vaio fits the bill perfectly.

    ...more info
  • Sony FW-373J/H 16.4" Notebook=A BEST BUY, XLNT Performance, A WINNER!
    I was going to wait a bit longer before writing this review of the new Sony FW-373J/H 16.4" 1080P Hi Definition Notebook computer, but it's so impressive, with outstanding performance, utility, standard features, software, and has hardware packaging that is 2nd to none in this price range of c.$1250+/- notebooks, that I couldn't wait to put it in perspective, compared to other "media center" notebooks.

    I bought this Sony for my wife, but it's such a gem, has incredible performance characteristics and utility features like the Blu-Ray ROM (Sony Optiarc BC5500S v1.75 firmware-Oct, 2008) optical drive, a very efficient, speedy 2.4Ghz C2Duo Intel SCR(P)-8600 CPU w/3MB L2 Cache, running a 1066Mhz FSB (front side system bus, the pathway between the 4GB of PC-6400 800Mhz SDRAM and the hard drive, ie faster is better(!)--and this is as fast as it gets-- FSB's in notebooks), that I've been using it too. A LOT!

    Don't forget the 7200-RPM SATA II 2.5" HD, which is easily reached via a 2-screw trap door on the bottom of the case (as is the SDRAM, but that's only 1 screw!), which has plenty of room for most people's work, media collection, photos, applications for business and pleasure, et al. I can't imagine "upgrading/updating" this particular HD setup, as 320GB is as big as a 7200RPM HD gets right now...maybe IF Hitachi, Western Digital, or Samsung comes up with a 500GB 7200RPM notebook HD there will be a reason to upgrade, but not now!

    Tonight we watched "Transporter 3" using the Sony notebook as the player, the Jason Statham action-sequel in Blu-Ray ROM format, on our Samsung 52" HDTV, the TOC (Touch of Class) Series 8000x model w/50,000 Contrast Ratio, 120Mhz Video Codec Switching, 4ms response time, etc, arguably the best LCD available today, and it was just astonishing & fantastic! We hooked everything up via a simple 10-feet-long-HDMI-Cable using the Sony FW-373J/H as the "player" with the standard Blu-Ray on-board player built into the Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium OS by Sony engineers, called "InterVideo? WinDVD? BD for VAIO" (quite a mouthful, yah? They could have just called it "Sony BluRay Player" but no, go figure!).

    All you do is hook up your HDTV to one end of the HDMI cable after "sourcing it", attach the other end to the Sony notebook, insert the Blu-Ray movie into the optical drive, (with preferences enabled this happens...) and BAM! The video starts playing on the TV instantly, with full on-screen controls available for menus, setup, etc for the movie. Crazy-Bitchin-Good!

    That was the deal-sealer, seeing that Blu-Ray movie via the Sony notebook tonight!! It WAS CLEAR, CLEAN, PERFECT, EVERYTHING YOU WANTED in clarity, depth of field, all that Blu-Ray HDTV goodness rolled up into a great action-movie experience like "Transporter 3"... and to see the new notebook's player and optical drive doing the duty, putting the film up onscreen with such a quick one-two-three "Play!" sequence, well, it was just great! The sound was fantastic, everything synched-up correctly with our Marantz-6800-powered audio system, enabled by a JBL Studio Sound Speaker System in all its 16-inch bass-reflex glory, and I am telling you it played purrrfectly through the Sony notebook's optical drive. No Hill For a Climber!

    Now that experience is out of the way, and fully described, because it IS a fantastic feature to be able to play Blu-Ray media through the notebook, but let's talk about the CPU, the memory, the OS, the unbelievably full-featured, and strong ATI Mobile RADEON? HD PCI-Express Video Card w/512MB of discrete, dedicated DDR2 VRAM, with get this, 2280MB of "burst VRAM" available via shared memory from the SDRAM/HD system! Holy Smokes! That's quite a package!!

    Some desktops don't have a better video card system than the Sony does, and this thing just SMOKES in performing its rituals, whether it's working magic with the 16.4" 1920 x 1080P NATIVE HD widescreen back-lit LCD display on photos in Corel's PC photo program, displaying 2 side-by-side web pages with Flash-Player enabled, or just simply going about the business of mundane things like working behind-the-scenes to enable crisp, clean, precise rendering of any normal project you can think of: Word Processing, film editing in Sony Vegas 5 Pro, or just plain 'being beautiful'...it's a stunning display of video power all-around!! I can't say enough about how the ATI Mobile HD Video Card w/512MB of DDR2 VRAM/SDRAM performs, because it's the best notebook display I've seen in a long, long time...bar none, including all Mac Pro displays, right up to the 17" Apple widescreen in their top-of-the-line $2700 notebook.

    Our LCD screen, apparently a Samsung device as best as I could tell (they are the No.1 producer of LCD technology devices worldwide), has NO DEAD PIXELS, not a one to be found! It's clear, clean, crisp, responsive and fast in any and all circumstances, has no big "footprint" like the 18.4" widescreen notebook LCD's do, and yet there you go, there's native 1080P display power all day, all night! It's truly a fantastic, feature-laden display, one I can't say enough about.

    The C2Duo 2.4Ghz CPU is F A S T, don't think it isn't! You know it's good when you see the Windows Performance scores of 5.4 to 5.9 on everything but "Gaming graphics" where the notebook scores "5.0", oh well, it's built by humans, yes? It does have a small weakness there, but that's about it! The 4GB of 800Mhz PC-6400 SDRAM does a nice job with almost any assignment, ie it's enough for virtually all Windows Vista tasks, throw in 4 to 5 open programs, some background FM music via FireFM in FireFox 3.0.7 (ditch Windows Explorer as your browser first chance you get!), and there's still 1GB of SDRAM availble for "burst" assignments.

    You can order up twin 4GB DIMMs to make 8GB of SDRAM in the machine, but at this time it's prohibitively expensive @ c.$400 a DIMM, so equipping the notebook with 8GB of SDRAM is stupid right now...wait until summer, or later, when Samsung's chip supply dries up (they cornered the market on the 4GB DIMMs apparently), and you can buy a pair of 4GB DIMMs for $400 or less for both, and then it'll be a good thing to do...but not right now.

    As for the network adapter, which is an Intel PCI-Express WLAN card, with A, B, G, and "Spec N"-qualified high-speed abilities, it's so seamless in its operation that I almost forgot to mention it! It just works fantastic. You should have seen my eyes when I installed iTunes 8.1 for PC the other day, and hit the "shared" Library key in iTunes, and voila! Up popped my 2TB Apple TV/iTunes Library from my G5 "SuperSystem," across my studio over in the "serious computer territory", yes, right there on the PC's desktop there was an unlimited supply of iTunes goodness, some 200GB of music, and more than 1.4TB of AppleTV movies ready for sharing on the PC! My Lordie, that was a fantastic surprise!! So I didn't have to install a bunch of music for my wife's edification...she could simply "share" my rather substantial Apple iTunes music system from across the room, a coup'de'etat if I've ever made one happen...PC and Macs living in harmony, together, functioning perfectly fine using the same music. Now that's KUHL!

    What else is nice, and stands out? Well, the touch-pad works 110% to my liking, if you're not using a Mini-BlueTooth Mouse like my LogiTech V470, which only costs $38 here at Amazon.com, so there you go! Another strong point, the notebook's "A2DP" BlueTooth (stereo BlueTooth for headphones, earphones, and v2.1.x BlueTooth for external devices like a mouse) is another wonderful standard feature, so you can utilize the USB ports (3 of them, located on the right, front side of the case) for what they were meant to be used for: peripherals like a printer, scanner, etc. There's also a FireWire port, for those of you who still own FireWire movie cameras, or have external HD's with FireWire 800/400 connections, (with Oxford 924 or 912 bridge boards...these are good things), they are all GOOD TO GO with this notebook, with the conveniently placed port on the left side of the case.

    You know, I should say something about how this notebook LOOKS! It's just great! It has spacey curves over to the heavy-duty magnesium-alloy body's end, which is at a set of HD hinges that will never, ever creak, groan, lack support for the display, and it looks T H I N, and subtle, and even though it weighs some 6.7 lbs w/standard battery, it doesn't look heavy and overblown, like so many of the "big generation" of PC notebooks do these days. The brushed magnesium finsh is really groovy! Clean looking! The media controls over the back-right edge of the chassis, up by the screen are appropriately placed, and work well for home-base media movies onscreen, or playing music with the optical drive, whatever!

    I am glad I held out for the grey case vs. the black case, aren't all of you in this group? It just looks G R E A T with the alloy body, the two compliment each other, sort of "flow into each other" and work with the Sony Style form to make up a stunning notebook masterpiece. As a practical exercise, the Sony wins, to me anyway it does...it's just so "handsome and practically sexy-looking"... In so many notebooks there's nothing but plastic and buttons, and this machine rocks the house with heavy-duty doses of class, style, and grace of design. The key placement is a bit unusual unless you're a previous Sony owner, with the keys placed/vertically surfaced OUT of the top of the case, but with a scant 2mm of travel per key, they feel right-on, and correct for the application.

    I bought an Antec? notebook cooler, the twin-fan design alloy and plastic device, for the notebook with the order, so I can't comment on its ability to cool itself without a notebook cooler, all I can say is you have to be a little crazy to NOT have an Antec (or other fine brand) cooler if you are constantly using your notebook...it's just simply the way to go. HEAT KILLS NOTEBOOKs, and the only sure way to avoid that problem is to invest in a mere $28 shipped notebook cooler like the Antec, which runs off one of the USB ports with a "pass-through" connector so you don't lose the port, and BAM! Instant Coolness! All the time.

    That about wraps up my take on the new Sony FW-series notebook that we have had for a scant 2.5 weeks now, but this thing leaves an impression on you, trust me, it does! As to its so-called weaknesses? I honestly can't think of a one. Its price is more than competitive with anything in its class; the feature-set is the best there is right now; the Blu-Ray and BlueTooth features are especially pleasant, and functional, something you can use all the time; that fast 7200RPM 320GB SATA II (Hitachi, in my case! ...Hitachi is The Best!!) HD really cranks out the jams; yes, it all works great together!

    There you go, a thorough dissection of this notebook and how it performs in the real world. My wife loves it, and I think it's prety KUHL! I give the Sony Five Stars ***** across the board, and highly recommend it for the best price, features, and performance in the current crop of "media center" notebooks. This one adds some class to the class, and gets my vote for best performer for c.$1250 shipped... out of everything else available right now.

    Wavey Davey 3-14-2009
    ...more info
  • New Sony laptop
    I am totally happy with this laptop and Windows Vista. Basic set up took a few minutes. Setting it up for wireless network and transfering everything from the old to the new pc was quite easy. I am also impressed with Sony quality....more info
  • Full 1080p
    I've had the laptop for a week and very happy with it. The Amazon description is incorrect regarding the screen. The screen on this particular model is full 1080p, not 720p. ...more info
  • A great value
    This is truly a great value for the price, and its from Sony no less (Sony is famous for high priced laptops).

    Pros:
    - Price, for the features it pack this is a great deal.
    - Full HD (1080p, 1900x1080), birght, and a 16:9 aspect ratio meaning you can watch widescreen movies without the bars (some have small bars, but they also show up on my HDTV) and in all their HD glory. It also has an HDMI output show you can watch them on your HDTV.
    - A Blu-Ray player, a big surprise to find at this price.
    - A dedicated graphics card. While its not going to play Crysis at high settings it plays most games at medium-high settings.
    - 7200RPM 300GB HDD, most notebooks at this price only have a 5400RPM drive. Trust me you can notice a difference between 5400RPM and 7200RPM.
    - 4 GB of memory upgradeable to 8GB.
    - The speakers don't suck like most notebook speakers do.
    - Runs quiet and cool. It can get warm near the exhaust when using resource intensive applications, but its to be expected.
    - Not a lot of bloatware, and some of it was even usefull.
    - Includes the 64bit edition of Vista. Some complain about Vista, but the 64 bit version combined with SP1 have ironed out most of the problems.

    Cons:
    - No numberpad, if they had not gone with the spread out keys keyboard design it could have had one.
    - Sony only provides Vista drivers, so if you want to use XP its a pain to try to get everything working. This is somewhat eased because I have been told they plan to provide Windows 7 drivers.
    - The disc drive is a bit on the slow side as far as burning and read speeds go.
    - It has less bloatware than many notebooks, but there are still a few preinstalled, useless, resource hogging programs that you have to remove.
    - Vista can be a pain, but this is the fault of Microsoft/Vista not Sony or the notebook.

    Overall if your in the market for a mobile entertainment/gaming notebook this is a great deal....more info