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Sony VAIO L Series 24 review

Katharine Byrne
2 Nov 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,399
inc VAT

Its 3D display isn’t perfect, but this powerful all-in-one PC points the way toward the future of all-in-one entertainment hubs

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Specifications

2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM, 8GB RAM, 24in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

With their wide range of ports and slim, compact designs, all-in-one PCs are often primed to become family entertainment hubs. TV tuners and HDMI inputs for connecting up external devices are more common than ever before, but the Sony VAIO L Series 24 goes above and beyond every other all-in-one PC we’ve seen this year when it comes to all-in-one entertainment.

Sony VAIO L Series 24

Borrowing its design cues from Sony’s Bravia TVs, the L Series 24’s 24in display is also 3D-ready. This lets you watch 3D movies straight from your PC or another 3D-ready Blu-Ray player like a PlayStation 3, and you don’t even need to wear 3D glasses to do it thanks to its stereoscopic panel. This uses angled pixels to create two offset images which your eyes then merge to create the feeling of depth, negating the need for glasses.

It’s the same technology used in Nintendo’s 3DS, and we’re incredibly impressed to see it being used in a PC. Stereoscopic 3D does have its downsides and chief among them is its narrow viewing angles. Since the 3D effect is wholly reliant on the position of your eyes, you have to sit in a specific place for the 3D to work. Looking at the screen from outside of this position will create a lot of crosstalk and make the 3D unwatchable.

For the most part, we were able to get a good image, but there were certain strips of the screen that remained out of focus no matter where we sat. Small objects and text in the foreground were also riddled with crosstalk and the depth of field was relatively shallow, at least compared to a proper 3D TV that uses active shutter glasses. It’s hardly the best 3D experience we’ve seen, but it’s a nice extra and one we hope will catch on with all-in-one PCs in the future.

Sony VAIO L Series 24

Sadly, its touchscreen display doesn’t look quite so good up close, as its stereoscopic panel creates a noticeable grain across the screen. This is a shame, as its colour accuracy is superb. Our colour calibrator showed it was displaying 89.6 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, which is much better than your average all-in-one panel, but there was no escaping the grain in our subjective image tests.

Solid whites suffered the most, but they were still bright and uniformly lit across the screen, and our blacks were deep and showed no signs of backlight bleeding. This reflected our good black level reading of 0.39cd/m², and reds, greens and blues all had plenty of depth and vibrancy. Our high contrast test images looked equally stunning despite its somewhat average contrast ratio of 613:1. Colours were rich and natural in all our test images and we were able to see a high level of detail throughout.

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