Sony VAIO VGN-C25G/B
- Attractive design, Comfortable to use, Excellent display, Sturdy build quality
- Mediocre graphics capabilities
The attractive Sony Vaio VGN-C25G/B can comfortably handle general computing tasks and multimedia applications. However, if you are looking to play modern games, you should look elsewhere.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
The Sony Vaio VGN-C25G/B is an Intel Core 2 Duo all-purpose notebook with a strong focus on style and ease of use. With its wide 13.3in glossy screen, 1GB of RAM and running the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system, it is ideal for casual users who are looking for a notebook with enough power to run most basic software packages as well as competently handle all their multimedia needs.
The Vaio comes with a T550 Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 1.66GHz. This is a mid range processor and should handle most office applications as well as basic image and video editing. In addition, watching DVDs, video files and listening to music will not be a problem either. To this end, the Vaio comes pre-installed with Sony Vaio proprietary media software as well as both Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. The presence of this software suggests that this unit is being targeted at multimedia users and for that market, it is definitely ideal.
To test the performance of the unit, we ran encoding tests using CDex whereby we encoded 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 audio. This test was performed admirably in only 2min 17 sec which is slightly faster than other similarly specified units we have reviewed. This result further cements the unit's reliability as a multimedia platform but also suggests that it would be suitable as a media creation tool as well.
However, anyone thinking of running games on the unit will be disappointed. The VGN-C25G/B has an NVIDIA GeForce GO 7400 graphics chip which we tested with 3D Mark 2006. The score of 678 suggests that the notebook will be able to play some older titles but isn't suitable for modern games with demanding 3D graphics.
To test the battery life of a notebook we run a worst case scenario which involves playing a continually looping DVD until the battery runs down. This is particularly taxing because it works the speakers, DVD drive, CPU, RAM and display at the same time. The Vaio lasted 110 minutes, which is enough to watch most movies and quite a good result for a six cell Lithium-Ion battery.
Vaio notebooks always tend to go the extra mile when it comes to design. The VGN-C25G/B is no exception with a "cappuccino black" chassis which is reasonably compact and lightweight. It's not a featherweight ultra-portable model but it can be comfortably carried underarm and isn't too heavy for transporting in a carry bag. The build quality of the unit is certainly noteworthy as it seems very sturdy. The lid, and by extension, the display are reinforced well with only a minor amount of flex.
Meanwhile the interior is well laid-out and fairly minimalist. There are no programmable function buttons or anything superfluous, just one button for power/sleep, a touchpad and the keyboard. The inside is finished in a textured metal which gives the appearance of toughness but is also quite attractive. We were particular taken with the keyboard as it is one of the more comfortable notebook keyboards we have used in a long while. We were also quite impressed by the display hinges which are tight yet easy to manipulate.
The Sony Vaio VGN-C25G/B comes with an 80GB hard drive, a DVD burner, two USB 2.0 ports and an S-Video out for connecting to a TV. Networking is courtesy of one 100BASE-TX/10BASE-T Ethernet port, a V.92 and V.90 compliant dial-up modem and 802.11a/b/g wireless connectivity.
If you are in the market for an attractive all-purpose notebook capable of multimedia applications and general computing, the Sony Vaio VGN-C25G/B comfortably fits the bill.
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