Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P review

A stylish machine with decent office performance, but 3D power is lacking

The stylish finish of the Sony is a refreshing change to the generic chassis prevalent at this price point

TechRadar Verdict

A good laptop from Sony that offers good performance and solid portability but falls a bit short on 3D prowess


  • +

    Good performance

  • +

    Great screen

  • +

    Good design

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  • -

    3D power lacking

  • -

    Some flex in plastics

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The Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P is an entry-level multimedia laptop that offers great style and quality. Office performance is decent, but 3D performance isn't quite what we hoped.

The 15.5-inch screen is great and provides a very sharp image, courtesy of the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution.

We noticed that working with multiple windows open wasn't an issue, making multi-tasking very simple. Colour reproduction is first rate, and this quality will suit those looking to view or edit photos and film.

Attractive build

Unlike the PC Nextday and Mesh Edge15 InspireRS, Sony has used a custom-built chassis design, and the laptop looks great.

Tough silver plastics have been used, featuring a thin lined pattern, giving it a universal appeal. Some of the chassis panels do bend quite a bit, however, reducing durability.

The flexibility of the panels has a direct effect on the typing experience, and the whole board will move if you have a firm typing action. The isolated key style is in place and the keys are nicely spread out and feature a crisp action. The touchpad features an aesthetically pleasing mottled surface and two large click buttons.

The Sony produced decent everyday performance scores during benchmarking and proved more powerful than the Mesh, despite featuring a less powerful Intel Pentium processor. Running applications such as word processors, internet browsers and email clients won't be an issue, even concurrently.

Graphical power only betters the Mesh – not a major achievement – thanks to the integrated Intel GPU. Anything but light photo editing will cause problems for this machine, so if multimedia editing is a priority we would recommend considering the Asus, which boasts a much more powerful graphics card and a large amount of dedicated video memory.

The Sony is also incapable of running the latest games, but older games may run. The laptop's portability is impressive, which is a bonus if you're looking to use the machine on the road a lot.

The 2.6kg weight won't prove too much of a burden on your shoulder, and the 234 minute battery life will keep you productive if you're away from a power point for long.

The latest networking components are included and are more powerful than those in both the Mesh and PC Nextday.

The Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P is a great machine. It looks good, is easy to use and boasts impressive everyday performance and battery life.

Having said that, more 3D power would have been welcome, and those looking for multimedia editing functionality would do well to check out the Asus X5DAB-SX028V.

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