Sony - VAIO Laptop with Intel® Centrino® Processor Technology - Titanium Gray
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- Energy Star CompatibleNo
- Color CategoryGray
- Processor BrandIntel®
- Processor PlatformIntel® Centrino®
- Type of Memory (RAM)PC2-6400 DDR2
- Optical DriveDouble-layer DVD±RW/Blu-ray Disc/CD-RW
- Direct-Disc LabelingNo
- Digital Media Reader or SlotsYes, select memory card slots
- Built-in WebcamYes
- Wireless NetworkingWireless-A+B+G+N
- Additional Audio/Video ConnectorsHDMI
- AudioDolby Sound Room
- SpeakersBuilt-in stereo
- Laptop WeightStandard (more than 5.5 lbs.)
- Pointing DeviceElectrostatic touchpad
- Included SoftwareVAIO Movie Story, Click to Disc and more
- ENERGY STAR QualifiedNo
Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 46 reviews(46 Reviews)
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Exceptional Performance & Aesthetics for the PricePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I am not one to write reviews but I believe an exception is in order here. For what it's worth, my thoughts... I purchased this unit for two primary purposes. I needed a solid and professional system with respectable resources as a back-up unit for use in my work as a systems architect and I also wanted a system I could enjoy for personal use. First and foremost, I'm ecstatic that this unit (pre-configured with 4 GB RAM) is upgradeable to a full 8 GB of RAM. Many comparable laptops come configured with 4 GB as well, however, the majority are maxed out with only a few upgradeable (typically only to 6 GB) limiting their lifespan as primary systems (in this price range, of course). I will also admit that, although functionality was priority, I did desire a 'sharp' and distinctive looking laptop versus the run of the mill, generic, black boxes I so regularly lug around. On a humorous note, I'm probably only one of a handful of people who purchased this laptop who couldn't have cared less about the Blu-Ray player - I would trade it in a heart beat for a back-lit keyboard instead. By and large, the Sony VAIO VGN-FW351J has exceeded my expectations. After building out the system to my preferred specs, installing both professional and personal software to include building out and running a SQL database and trimming down the pre-installed software, I couldn't be more pleased with its performance. Although not a 'heavy gamer', I do put heavy loads on my systems multi-tasking. It's not unusual for me to be ripping/converting DVDs, have numerous web browsers open, listen to music, sync'ing my Archos, referencing PDFs all whilst creating Visio diagrams or PowerPoint presentations simultaneously on multiple virtual desktops and the VIAO hasn't choked or tripped up once. I've even launched a full system anti-virus scan concurrently to purposely lay burden on the system and I was still able forge ahead with only minimal impact. I've had systems with purportedly better configurations that didn't perform nearly as well in reality. This laptop may not meet the needs of the dedicated on-line gamers, those who work with computer rendering or other specialties which demand cutting edge, high end processing power such as the quad processors (as it's not meant to) but it will definitely make the remainder of the population quite happy. The hard drive is plenty sufficient - some of the lesser priced competitors may have larger drives but external storage is inexpensive enough nowadays to make this a non-issue. I would have loved to have had the option to get a solid state hard drive instead as they're faster, more reliable, and definitely more resilient but I know the manufacturing cost involved would raise the retail price considerably which would, in turn, become prohibitive to many consumers but I am hoping Sony will be heading in that direction soon once the SSD technology becomes less costly. I'm also impressed with the VIAO's quiet operation specifically in reference to the fan. (The DVD player could be a bit quieter but that's more of an observation than a fault.) The downside to the VIAO's near silence, however, is that Sony spoiled me quickly - my other systems have now gone from mildly annoying to obnoxious! Speaking of the cooling system, I've noted the VAIO also runs considerably cooler (typically in use, not just 'on', 18 hours/day) than Dell and Toshiba laptops - I can't comment on other brands as I don't have a recent baseline to fairly compare. A big selling point for me was this laptop's 16.4" display size - when on the road and not running dual monitors, the additional real estate is fantastic for multi-tasking or cross-reference work. The improved movie viewing certainly doesn't hurt either. Unlike a few reviewers, I'm not going to scrutinize the actual vs. perceived screen resolution, DVD playback quality, etc. because, to be honest, it just doesn't make a big enough difference to me. If it were a 50" home theater - different story, but we're talking about a laptop. I personally believe the VAIO's entertainment functionality is great given it's intended purpose, i.e. when mobile. The DVD (standard, haven't tested Blu-Ray) playback is crisp and the colors are rich. The built-in Dolby speakers aren't bad either, however, as with any laptop, you're still far better off using external speakers or a sound bar. Aesthetically, I find the unit striking both open and closed. Sony did a fantastic job - the overall design is stylish with some flare all while maintaining an air of professionalism and contemporary maturity. During initial evaluation of laptops I was considering, I ruled out two competing units simply due to the stylized graphics added to the casings. I appreciate the artwork just as much as the next person, however, realistically, showing up on a client site with a unit decked out in tribal designs, flowers, etc. does not make for the impression one is looking to make in my line of work. Personal opinion - albiet expressive and cool, the graphics belong in college dorms and coffee houses, not professional settings. I was wary of the keyboard with the spaced and raised keys, yet surprisingly, I've adapted to it quite quickly and I prefer it over standard laptop keyboards now. One downside, when purchasing the Best Buy configuration of this laptop model, the keys are white. I prefer black but I would've had to order the system via Sony (and pay a higher price - I checked) in order to have them in black. On the bright side, it'll force me to keep my system as clean as it should be as any negligence here will be quite obvious! Physically, the unit feels very solid and sturdy. Compare this laptop to a Gateway, for example, and you'll no doubt agree. The contrast is astounding. The same is to be said about the unique hinge design. I really only have one inconvenience to note, the same which many others have referred to...the USB port placement. This is the only reason I gave four, instead of five, stars on the 'Convenience' score. In all actuality, I do not hold this against Sony and I'll explain my thought process on this as this has been called out in most of the reviews I read: We, the consumers, demand performance, big hard drives, lots of RAM with the caches to compliment, great graphics, Blu-Ray players, HI-Def displays, Bluetooth capability, stereo speakers, media card slots, firewire ports, wireless networking, longer battery lives, webcams, energy efficiency and on and on and on all in a compact, lightweight and stylish package. There is only so much flexibility in the physical component build out of these machines given these demands and constraints while still allowing for proper mechanical/electrical operation and cooling. I'm willing to bet Sony didn't have a viable alternative solution without having to concede on one or more of this unit's many bells and whistles or it's very affordable price. I'm quite impressed with what they have pulled off (especially considering they lost all back side external access points with the sleek hinge design) with the only casualty I have yet to identify being the port placement. My recommendations for coping with this minor inconvenience is to invest in a good wireless USB hub and a Bluetooth mouse. Sony crammed all of these technologies into this very capable laptop - make the most them! Overall, this laptop garners at the very least a respectable' grade when ranked amongst its competitors within the $700 to $1000 price range. I'm please with my purchase and, in my opinion, for $899, you'd be hard pressed to match this Sony VAIO in both functionality and style.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
This is an amazing product!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
This product is really a unique and exceptional buy. I've been researching over the last few months for which laptop I preferred the best for my graduation gift, I first settled on a Toshiba and it was actually put out of production. So I started browsing again and stumbled across this machine. At first thought I wasn't too attracted to it because of the blue ray for the added price I personally was never going to use, but after comparing it to about ~15 other products it beat them all for the price. I finally convinced my parents to take me to get it about the end of April. What I like about this laptop the most is its ergonomic keyboard and crisp display. It's display shape first threw me off when I saw it in the store for the first time as it was wider than I depicted it was in the pictures I've seen and specs I've read. Its quality is fantastic! I've played Call of Duty: WAW, Left for Dead, and even WOW all on full settings and it worked like a charm. Secondly, the keyboard. It's a lot different than the other laptops I’ve been researching. With the raised and spaced keys it definitely stood out among the rest. It's really comfortable and ergonomic. The only thing I'd change in the keyboard is to swap out the Blue-Ray for a backlit keyboard, but that’s just me. Another feature I noticed about this machine is that it can run for a long period of time and not get hot. I played L4d and WOW one night for about 4-5 hours combined between them and in the end it was just warm. The fan itself blows the air out the far left side so it’s not heating up your desk/lap while you use it. If there is truly just one downside to this product, the reason I gave it a 4 star and not a 5 star for performance is it's processor which only runs at 2.0. I've seen laptops for a lower price that run at about 2.4 but didn't have nearly as much to make it a worth while buy. While it only runs at 2.0 it is still fast and I only ever noticed a bit of slowing when I was playing a game, listening to Tunes, using the internet to look up stuff, and download music all at once. Overall, this product is really a fantastic buy and if you’re thinking about getting this one or another product definitely get this VAIO. It hasn't failed me yet or shown any signs that it’s about to. THE best laptop I have ever owned.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Awesome!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
This is my first notebook computer. I did quite a bit of research before I made a purchase, but I am glad I settled on this handsome Sony Vaio. First, the display is fantastic. The 16.4 screen is bright, crisp, and easy to read in various lighting conditions. While the FW351 features BluRay playback, I have yet to test it out. I have watched a few DVD's and the video quality is great. The speaker sound is perhaps a little faint or 'tinny' but overall watching a movie or web-surfing for long periods is easy on the eyes. I really like the keyboard! At first, I wasn't sure how I would like the pebble-style buttons on the keyboard, but it is actually more comfortable for typing. I find my palms rest comfortably on the keyboard rest which was a complaint stated in earlier reviews. I also picked up a Sony Bluetooth Laser Mouse, which is also comfortable and easy to use. What impressed me the most about this model is that it packs some awesome features into a gorgeous package with great performance--at a decent price. I have only had my Vaio a few days, but it looks like I will certainly enjoy my new notebook.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Amazing picture and keyboardPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I purchased my Sony notebook VGN 351J about three weeks ago. I was surprised that some other reviews thought it wasn't as portable as I thougt, but I guess it's all relative. Previously I had a Tobisha 17. + notebook that was twice as heavy as this and I took it to the local Panera many times. Not only was it heavy, but just BARELY fit in the bag. This is much lighter and a tiny bit smaller that makes it an easier fit. I carry this one and rolled the other one. Anyway, great sized keys since I was always fat finguring my Toshisba. (BTW, I loved that one too). Great screen, OMG, Blue Ray DVD player that is amazing. I like to go outside and watch movies. The only drawback so far, is there is no room to rest your palms. I can spend a couple hours on this and after a while, my hands hurt. My Toshiba had room to rest my hands which minimized the numbness. Also, I don't know what's up with this, but sometimes I have to hit a button two or three times to work, ie. playing Solitaire, looking at things on-line. ??? Overall, I am very happy with this purchase. I thought it was a lot for the money.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Its ok but you pay for the name and the blu ray.Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I think Sony is definitely one of the worlds finest companies when it comes to reliable products, they may not be the number one seller but you can always count on getting something good. Well in the case of this computer, the built is nice and its one of the best "looking" laptops you can find out there right now. It does resemble a mac book, deliberately i think, but the performances is very very sup par by comparison. When playing blu-ray movies it does run very hot, and actually until the movie is over the fan will not kick on. The screen looks great with rich vivid colors and great details, unlike what most people have said it does have 1080 capabilities if your tv has it, mine is only 720p but still looks great. When you plug it in check the HDMI resolution setting to check if your tv has this option. Performance wise for the price is very poor, actually i have used some cheaper dual-core models that seemed to process and even start windows much faster. Some of this however could be due to the HUGE amount of bloatware that Sony installs on the system. Also i have to note that while its an attractive machine its not really very sturdy, feels a bit cheaply made. So overall if your looking for a good semi-affordable laptop that people will definitely check out then get this. But overall as a do it all laptop for the price it really isn't basically your just paying for the name Sony and the Blu-ray player. But it thats what your in the market for buy a PS3 and a cheap Toshiba laptop for 399 and get the best of both worlds. However if you want portable blu-ray you'll have to spend your money here, because the only other HP is over1,000 dollars and just isnt worth it. So either way you go Sony is great with a few minor draw backs for such a high price.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Very Nice LaptopPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
So far this laptop has been great. I don't have a problem with the USB ports on the right because I am so used to bringing my mouse out to the right past the keyboard but I can say where some would not like it especially if you don't have the space. Every problem I have encountered I have been able to just GOOGLE it and then I've found the answer to it. The Bluray drive was the selling point for me. Had to have it. The screen is great but I don't think it is FULL 1080p. This is my first laptop purchase so I don't really have anything to compare to other than my desktop which it blows away. Oh and the internal router is great. I picked up wireless signals where my sister in-law could barely get a signal. I was like "hah, should have bought a SONY." Needless to say she didn't laugh. The only drawback I have is the battery life. I'm lucky to get 3 hours out of it fully charged. This sucker drains some battery life like an SUV drains gasoline.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great ProductPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I had this computer for about 3 days now, and so far I love it. The only thing that I was worried about when I bought the product was that it had Vista. I was so scared to purchase something with this operating system in it. But so far it has been nice to me. I guess I am going to have to stick it out for a while until I get use to the product. I love the fact that it comes with blue ray I couldn't wait to go on and try it out..Wow the graphics are so clear. I love the hard drive space it has in it now I can save all of my music and photos in it with out my computer slowing down. It's so much better than my other laptop which had a 80GB hard drive in it. One other great thing about this computer is the way it was made I love the way the keys hardly make a sound when you touch them unlike my other computer. Also, the on/off button is awesome it is in the most uniquest place I have ever seen on a computer it is so pretty when you turn it on..
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Fact and goodlooking LaptopPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I picked this from BB and next day it is an outlet item, hopefully i get the credit for the price drop in one day. It is a good laptop, nice overall fit and finish, i do not have any problems with it at all, it took me while to install all the updates. I had a HP before which is also very nice fit and finish but this laptop is lot better, i think the price is a bit high when i compare with same configuration laptops but this one has bluray drive in it which is good to have while traveling. i use it for mostly word processing and browse internet, bluray playback is good and connecting hdmi to tv is real easy no vga cable required. My old copy of Office professional installed with out any problems, there are not that many junk programs on this pc, my hp has tons of them. Start up and shut down times are very quick. i would recommend this laptop. for the price SONY should have added a dedicated video card.