Sony VAIO VGC-LM18G
- Panel PC form-factor, stereo speakers with a subwoofer, wireless keyboard and mouse
- Not a super-powerful computer, no touchpad on the keyboard
If you're after a desktop PC but don't want to deal with a tower, this form-factor is perfect. It looks great, it does the job and unless you need a tonne of power for gaming or high-end video editing, the Sony VAIO VGC-LM18G should do the job nicely.
Price$ 3,499.00 (AUD)
Design and hardware-wise the Sony VAIO VGC-M18G is a stone's throw from the Sony VAIO VGO-LA38G, but there are a few significant differences. Although it aims to be a desktop PC, the VAIO LM18G hints at its notebook's roots, making for a stylish and functional PC with a unique form-factor named the "Panel PC".
Let's start by clearing up any confusion. The VAIO LM18G is not a notebook. It does not have a battery and must be plugged into a power source to remain on. It has a stand-alone wireless mouse and keyboard, and the 19in widescreen monitor is much larger than any notebook on the market.
With that in mind, it's important to note that it does use technology built for notebooks, with the exception of the 250GB (7200rpm) hard drive, which is a standard 3.5in desktop hard drive. The 2GHz Intel T7250 CPU is a mobile processor, the NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT is a mobile GPU and the 2GB of DDR2 RAM is notebook RAM. There's even Wi-Fi 802.11g, which isn't usually pre-installed on desktop systems. Why? It's purely because of the design.
Sony has taken a 19in screen (with a native resolution of 1440x900) and literally built the PC into the back of it; the whole thing leans back on a stand. From the front this PC looks like a screen and nothing more. The speakers line the edge of the LCD panel, and framing the whole lot is a clear bezel, which looks extra suave. Lights within this clear bezel indicate hard drive activity and the power state (on, off or standby), which looks very chic. There's even a backlit Sony label at the bottom. The main downfall of this design is it comes at a price that's far beyond what you'd pay for a standard desktop system with similar performance.
But style is not all this machine has on offer. There is all the PC connectivity you need, ranging from PC and Express card slots and media card readers to USB, FireWire, S-Video and optical audio ports. Above the screen you'll notice a 1.3-megapixel camera staring out at you, and a digital TV-tuner is pre-installed allowing you to use this device as a TV with access to high-definition channels. The two front speakers are backed up by a subwoofer which sounds great. They'll even reach fairly loud volume levels before distorting. Naturally there's a DVD-RW drive installed that will burn DVDs, but will also play DVD movies. And as a PC it's essentially a jukebox, which pretty much covers all of your basic entertainment needs.
The included keyboard has a built-in palm rest that converts into a dust cover, protecting the keyboard. There are a couple of shortcuts above the keys and some volume controls, but overall it's a fairly straightforward peripheral. One that we would have liked to see is a touchpad on the keyboard, allowing you to sit back a little from the screen and navigate around.
In our benchmarks we saw fairly normal results based on the hardware. Converting 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took 88sec in iTunes. In Cdex it took 130sec to do the same job. In gaming tests we didn't get outstanding results, but weren't expecting a top performance from the mid-range graphics card. In 3DMark 2006 the VAIO LM18G scored 1921, which is barely enough to play newer games at low quality settings. In 3DMark 2001 SE the score was much more respectable at 17,083, indicating that older games will run smoothly.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPAPS6/EL1 Database Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- FTDeveloper - Java/J2EEQLD
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW