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Sony Vaio F13M0E review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1199
inc VAT

A smart laptop with great connectivity, 2D and 3D performance, but is let down by its small, dull display


16.4 in 1,600×900 display, 3.1kg, 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-740QM, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

As a desktop replacement laptop, Sony’s new Vaio F13M0E ticks most boxes: a fast Intel Core i7 740QM processor, a dedicated Nvidia graphics card and a Blu-ray drive. It also has a broad array of expansion ports, and is one of the few laptops to support the new, faster USB3 standard. It’s strange then that, like many other laptops here, it doesn’t have a Full HD display as you’d expect to get with a desktop PC.

It’s fair to say you’ll always expect compromises if you buy a laptop rather than a desktop PC, but there’s no reason why the display should be one of them. Not only is the display smaller than we’d like – especially at this price – but in our side-by-side tests, the backlight proved to be dull and uneven, with noticeable dark patches along the bottom edge. There’s a slight blue cast that dulls flesh tones too, but the lack of contrast and weak colours caused by the dim backlight were our main concerns.

Sony F13M

This is a shame, as the rest of the laptop is great. In our Windows benchmarks, the F13M0E scored an impressive 103 and was only beaten by HP’s even more expensive 8440p. The Core i7’s four cores, effectively doubled to eight by Hyper-Threading, mean you won’t notice a slow-down with multiple applications running, and 4GB of RAM is plenty for working with large files.

A dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 425M graphics card means you can play games, albeit with some compromises in quality. It scored 32fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, but at the screen’s native resolution of 1,600×900 you’d have to turn off anti-aliasing to get a smooth frame rate. It will also speed up CUDA-enabled applications, making certain operations much smoother.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i7-740QM
Processor clock speed 1.73GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 31x387x263mm
Weight 3.1kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 16.4 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GT 425M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Total Firewire ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/b/g/n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Supported memory cards SD, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo
Other ports eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Vaio Media Plus
Optional extras £125

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £1,199

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