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.
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.