Sony VAIO F Series review

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

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Our Verdict

One of the best choices if you want a 3D laptop, but is it worth the high price?

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core

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  • Crisp, high-resolution screen
  • Blistering processor performance
  • Very well presented


  • Lacks 3D graphics performance
  • Heavy and bulky design
  • Incredibly expensive

Alright, fancypants. You want a laptop of luxury, but you don't want an Apple MacBook? Not even a 17-inch MacBook Pro? You want 3D but a Zalman 3D monitor isn't for you? Fancy the sort of black plastic slab that your friends can only dream of owning? You want a machine so heavy and precious that taking it out of the house is about as easy as taking a cat for a walk? You've got it in the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E.

You've also got an empty wallet and, as we'll discover, a vague sense of disappointment. Clearly you can't have everything.

Let's set this up, though: the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E, in culinary terms, is a burger with all the toppings. It's got a Blu-ray drive, it's got USB 3.0 support, it's got a light-up chiclet keyboard and, most importantly, it's got a 16-inch screen capable of stereoscopic 3D – as long as you don the appropriate goggles.

That thick, heavy screen is responsible for many of the protective – and odd – design decisions Sony made when piecing together the VAIO VPC-F21Z1E. There's a big rubber strip along the top of the monitor and a raised wrist-rest area at the base of the keyboard, for example, but these can't seem to work out if they're interacting or not.

Sony vaio vpc f21z1e

Close the screen normally and the strip touches the bottom of the wrist rest, but press slightly on the lid and the strip oozes over. Our review Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E model had a pair of suspicious wrist rest-shaped scratches by the screen; we'd speculate that a few misplaced knocks could make a dent in that panel. Or it might if the lid itself – which is nigh on an inch thick and quite resistant to flex – didn't do such a good job of protecting its progeny.

Credit where it's due though. Despite all the awkward design, it is a brilliant screen. With a 16:9 widescreen ratio and full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, its colour clarity and wide viewing angle are a credit to the Sony VAIO VPC-F21Z1E, as they should be in a notebook of this price.

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