Sony VAIO F Series review

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

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Sony vaio vpc f21z1e

For a laptop with a 16-inch screen, the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E has the thickness and heft of a much bigger machine, such as the 17.3-inch Samsung RC710 or the 17-inch MacBook Pro. This is partly a design limitation because of the special 3D panel in the lid, and partly because the internals need a little space to breathe.

We liked

The Core i7 processor on the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E runs at a stock 2GHz, but when it turbo boosts up to 2.9GHz its massive power comes to the fore. It's an absolute stormer of a chip – look forward to many years of high-end processing.

It's hard to ignore that screen. It's capable of some stunning 3D visuals if you're willing to don the requisite goggles, and its 2D appearance is sharp and bright. It's almost worth the sacrifice you'll make in aesthetics to get it.

The little luxurious extras on the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E are pleasant as well. The light up keyboard, especially, makes us feel all fuzzy inside, but it's one of a suite of straightforward upgrades that just seem to have been piled in to justify the price.

We disliked

Sony vaio vpc f21z1e

Whoa, the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E is expensive. Too expensive. It's powerful and it's fancy, but it's not world beating, and that's a problem. Its ability to push polygons is severely restricted in stereoscopic 3D mode – for the price, we'd have preferred something that really could do it all.

It's a clunky old laptop, too – that screen needs a good thick lid in which to live, and the components get super-hot, which means the base of the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E is pretty hefty too. Svelte it is not.


A hot, heavy hunk of a machine, which sadly disappoints when it comes to the crunch. The Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E's probably one of your best choices if you want a 3D laptop, but ask yourself if that's something you really need. Is it worth over £1500 to you now when £1000 will get you something better in a year?

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 540M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Writer
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 Address
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