• Sony VAIO VGN-FZ17G
  • Sony VAIO VGN-FZ17G
  • Sony VAIO VGN-FZ17G
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • HDMI output, great screen, some gaming capabilities


  • Only 1GB of RAM

Bottom Line

Sony's VAIO FZ17G is a great multimedia notebook which offers a HDMI output and couples it with solid performance and a nice array of features.

Would you buy this?

Catering to notebook users who want to get a little more fun out of life, Sony's VGN-FZ17G is a mid range model with a few nifty home entertainment features such as a 15.4in widescreen display and HDMI output. However, it also comes loaded with Windows Vista Premium and a fairly strong combination of components so it is suited to a variety of tasks including desktop publishing and even some light gaming.

The most noteworthy thing about this model is the display. The 15.4in LCD runs at a resolution of 1280x800 and is crystal clear. During our movies tests it exhibited great contrast and good colour, making it ideal for movie watching. It also has great viewing angles, both vertically and horizontally, allowing multiple people to watch at once.

If you'd prefer to watch on something a little bigger, the included HDMI port will serve you well. While this is normally a standard inclusion on Blu-ray and HD-DVD-capable units, Sony has chosen to incorporate it into a lower-end DVD model in the FZ17G and it is a most welcome inclusion. Home entertainment enthusiasts will love the high quality audio and video and ease of use of a single cable connection.

Also useful for movie watching is the array of media controls resting above the keyboard. With play/pause, stop, volume and track skip, you'll have everything you need at the touch of a button. There is also an 'AV mode' key that boots up a special media toolbar which overlays on top of the Windows interface, but we didn't find it particularly useful.

While media functionality is key for the FZ17G, that isn't to say it doesn't have a bit of grunt. Sporting a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics card, it is a fairly capable machine.

Our WorldBench 6 benchmark software has a habit of not working on Sony notebooks and as such we couldn't put this model through the same procedure as many others, but during our testing it operated well while performing a variety of tasks such as Web browsing and desktop publishing. The 1GB of RAM is a little disappointing and means you won't be able to run any particularly demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop well, but it does the job for most things.

In our encoding test, which converts 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s, the FZ17G took 130 seconds, which is a good result. Meanwhile when running 3DMark 2006, it scored 1682, which indicates most new games will run, but only at very low settings. That said, older titles will run perfectly.

We also tested the battery by looping a DVD until it fully drained. This is a great test as it uses the optical drive, display and speakers as well as internal components. The FZ17G lasted 85 minutes before powering down, which fell in line with our expectations of the unit.

Connectivity is present in the form of 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g wireless and Bluetooth 2.0. There is also a built in webcam and speakers, although we'd recommend a pair of good quality headphones if you want to watch films regularly.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?