Sony Vaio F-Series VPC-F22M1E review
16.4 in 1,920x1,080 display, 3.1kg, 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM, 6.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Sony’s imposing F-series Vaios certainly stand out from the crowd; the unique-looking chassis has an incredibly chunky screen that’s thicker than some ultra-portables we’ve reviewed in the past. When we saw the first version, we thought this was less of a design choice and more because the display was 3D-enabled, but it has remained unchanged for this refreshed 2D model.
With a matt finish that diffuses reflections, image quality is quite good. The Full HD 1,920x1,080 resolution is huge for the 16.4in display: we had to increase the default font size in Windows to make things easily readable. However, the extra pixels meant images looked incredibly sharp, if a little muted due to the lack of a glossy finish. Contrast was reasonable and viewing angles were surprisingly good, but the position of the screen hinges mean there’s not a lot of screen tilt.
Powering the display is a mid-range Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card. With 1GB of video memory, it has no trouble playing Full HD video and was also powerful enough for some gaming. Our Dirt 3 test may have run only at 720p, but because the test has 4x anti-aliasing enabled, a smooth 40fps is still impressive. Disable AA and most titles should play at 1080p, albeit at medium detail settings.
A good graphics card isn’t much use without a powerful processor to back it up, but thankfully Sony has delivered with a fast Intel Core i7-2630M. It’s usually clocked at 2GHz, but Turbo Boost can raise all four cores to 2.9GHz when required for some serious performance muscle. Paired with 8GB of RAM, it tore through our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 82; we can’t think of many desktop applications that will tax the F22M1E. Surprisingly, the battery lasted almost five and a half hours in our light-use test.