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Sony VAIO F Series review

A heavy hulk that's capable of stunning 3D visuals

Sony vaio vpc f21z1e

The Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E is an odd mix, that's for sure. Looking inside the mammoth case – and beyond the 3D screen that makes it that way – there's a 2GHz Intel Core i7. This is... well, it's just not right. A high-end i5 would have done a better job at a lesser price. A high-end i3 might have given this machine just enough muscle (and only just) for pennies. True, neither would fit the steroid-fuelled ethos of this desktop replacement machine, but a mid-range i7 is a confusing choice, at least in theory.

Then there are the graphics, provided by an Nvidia GeForce 540GT. Now this is a reasonable mobile chipset, but only reasonable. It's good enough for everything HD, and with the stereoscopic 3D switched off it's a veritable powerhouse of gaming. But it's not high end, and it's certainly not what we would have chosen to push the pixels in a machine of this price. It's another corner cut in what seems, deep down, to be a rather slapdash package.

Sony vaio vpc f21z1e

Yes, it's a Sony. So there's a layer of design style that makes the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E look like a machine of a much higher calibre. This mostly manifests itself in glossy dust/ fingerprint attracting black plastic in this case, but it's hard to deny that Sony has done its best to dress this package up.

But even with 8GB RAM and a turbo boosted CPU, that mid-range graphics card and chunky screen mean it can't match up to the price which has been put on it.

Even the inclusion of a 3D-capable Blu-ray setup isn't enough to rescue the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E from the doldrums, particularly because you're given one set of glasses and frankly, at 16 inches, the screen isn't going to be big enough to share. The battery isn't up to much either, so taking this on the road and watching your favourite films in the third dimension isn't a hobby that can be relied on.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 540M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Writer
FireWire/i.LINKYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyVAIO F
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli7-2630QM
ColourPremium Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size40.6 cm (16")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory8 GB
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Optical Media SupportedBD-R/RE
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height45.5 mm
Width398.3 mm
Depth271.3 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesF
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCF21Z1E/BI
Product NameVAIO VPCF21Z1E/BI Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCF21Z1E/BI.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

There's something unique about every VAIO notebook. Constantly evolving, each model in the lineup features innovative design elements and a rare blend of colors and textures that cannot be overlooked.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCF21Z1E/BI Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • 3D Glasses