A stylish all-purpose notebook that is ideal for a number of uses, the Sony VAIO VGN-CR13GW is a solid, if not outstanding, machine that counts integrated AV buttons and a Motion Eye webcam among its features.
- Stylish gloss-white design, built-in webcam, reasonable specifications, multimedia buttons
- Poor viewing angle of display, graphics card is not capable of supporting latest games
The VAIO VGN-CR13G is a reasonably solid, if unspectacular, notebook that features a lovely design and reasonable specifications. A decent choice if you are after an all-purpose machine.
Price$ 1,899.00 (AUD)
The VGN-CR13GW has a 14.1in screen with a 1280x800 resolution. Although the glossy display is bright and clear, its poor viewing angle means that a few people crowding around to watch a DVD movie will be disappointed. Further, the screen is glossy so if you're working in an office environment, fluorescent lights reflecting off the display can become annoying.
At the heart of this notebook is an Intel Core 2 Duo T1700 CPU running at 1.8GHz, 1GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 2GB) and a Serial ATA 100GB hard drive. There is also a built-in DVD burner; along with the dedicated media controls and a built-in webcam, its clear Sony is pushing this notebook as a home multimedia solution. Overall, these specifications aren't outstanding, but suit the target market of this notebook.
We encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files to test the system's performance. The encoding time of 2min 33sec is fair, but not outstanding -- it's a decent score considering the specifications. The results conclude that the CR13GW is a fair solution for a number of basic uses, including browsing the Internet, e-mailing, editing Office documents and performing multimedia tasks.
The VAIO includes an ATI Mobility Radeon x2300 graphics card which produced a reasonable score of 7980 in our 3DMark2001 benchmark. It is fine to play some older games, but newer titles won't be able to run on this machine.
For connectivity, three USB 2.0 ports join an ExpressCard slot, one gigabit Ethernet port and a 56Kbps modem port, in addition to a FireWire 400 port. Built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 are also offered. Continuing the multimedia theme, a VGA port is available to output presentations to a larger screen or projector, while there is an S-Video-out port as well. A media card reader supporting MagicGate, MS/MS-Pro and SD cards rounds out the options.
Aesthetically, the VAIO is extremely stylish and our review unit's glossy white finish felt remarkably Apple-esque. The gloss white lid features a silver VAIO logo etched into the top and the relatively flat, silver keyboard is comfortable to use. The large touchpad felt responsive and the clear buttons blended well into the design of the unit.
We tested the battery life by looping a DVD until the notebook has no charge left. The DVD loop test is considered a worst-case scenario, as it utilises the optical drive and speakers, as well as the screen, CPU and other core components. The VAIO lasted 1hr 46min before the battery died, which is a little below average. Keep in mind though that all our tests were run using maximum performance battery profiles. Longer battery life can be achieved by selecting a number of other power profiles through the Windows Vista control panel.
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