Sony Vaio CW Full Review

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by aan310, Dec 11, 2011.

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  1. aan310

    aan310 Notebook Virtuoso

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    This Sony Vaio CW, equiped with Intel's newest generation i5 CPU is the newest rendition of Sony's 14" CW laptop series, featuring an Intel i5 (i3 on some models), 14-inch screen with 1600x900 or 1366x768 resolution, and Nvidia GT 330M (310M on some models) graphics.

    My Vaio CW (VPCCW27FX/B) has the following specifications:
    • Jet Black color
    • 15-inch 900p (1600x900) display with LED backlighting
    • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    • Intel Core i5 520-M processor (2.4GHz/2.93GHz Turbo Mode, 3MB L3 cache)
    • Nvidia GeForce GT 330M 512MB graphics card
    • 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM (2x 2GB)
    • 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Seagate Momentus ST9500325AS)
    • Artheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n Wireless Adapter
    • Blu-ray Reader/DVD-DL burner drive
    • One-year limited warranty
    • 6-cell Li-ion battery
    • Weight: 5.3 lbs
    • Dimensions: 13.44" (W) x 9.18" (D) x 1.09" - 1.52" (H)
    • MSRP: $1,119.99 ($949.99 Best Buy)
    The Vaio CW's base model starts at $799.99 from Best Buy ($809.99 on; it is available in four colors: Jet Black, Icy White, Fiery Red, and Royal Indigo.

    Build and Design
    Sony is often compared to the 'apple' of PCs and like it or not it appears to be so. Much like other Sony laptops, the Vaio CW has the simple, yet sophisticated look.
    The Vaio CW looks rather thick from images, but in actuality is a very manageable notebook, especially due to the light 5.3 lbs weight. The Vaio CW is indeed nothing special to look at, very clean and elegant. Personally, I prefer this over the flamboyant looks of other laptops.
    The Vaio CW is a very well put together notebook, one of the sturdier I have used. On the lid, there are no ripples when pushed upon, nor any noticeable flex. The overall feel is of a solid notebook, the hinge is tough (on the second one I tested the hinge was quite soft; results may vary), plastic is thick/durable.

    The lid and the palmrest are unfortunately very glossy and attract fingerprints very readily. The LCD bezel and the area surrounding the keyboard is matte plastic though, as well as the mouse buttons and trackpad. So yes, I hate to say it... It's a fingerprint magnet!

    Screen and Speakers
    The 14” LED Screen on the Vaio CW is great all around. The colors, contrast and brightness, all get a big thumbs up, but I do wish the blacks were... well... blacker. Horizontal viewing angle is great, but the vertical range leaves something to be desired.

    The speakers are nothing special on this laptop, comparative to any $600 laptop out there, and very quiet when playing a Blu-Ray movie.

    Keyboard & Touchpad
    The Vaio CW has a large keyboard, built to the same style Apple is using on it's current notebooks. The keyboard is has a softer sound than a 'normal' keyboard, but could be quieter. The keys are well spaced and the overall feel is very good. My only complaints are the arrow keys could be spaced better. I do feel that i am able to type faster on this keyboard than most, the key travel is just about perfect.

    The touchpad is very lightly textured and is quite accurate. The the pad it's self works well, but the scrolling function leaves something to be desited, giving choppy and unresponsive scrolls. Also the touchpad buttons sit almost flush with the touchpad, making it extremely easy to have your finger on the touchpad when meaning for it to be resting on the buttons. The scroll function however is very hit or miss, as it struggles to follow even a simple scroll command. The touchpad buttons are average volume but could be a tad bigger (I would like to see them extended out closer to the edge of the notebook).

    The Vaio CW has very few top buttons, an Assist Button, Display off, Vaio and Power. You will only ever use the Display off (one of my favorite buttons, which turns the backlight off) and the power button.

    Ports and Features

    The Vaio CW has an impressive amount of ports for it's size, with HDMI, VGA, Firewire, 3 USB, Memory Stick/SD slots and the all important Ethernet jack.. All picture descriptions are left to right.

    Left Side: VGA, HDMI, IEEE 1394 mini-Firewire, USB, USB.

    Right Side: ExpressCard, Blu-Ray Drive, headphone jack, microphone jack, USB.

    Front: Memory Stick Duo, SD Card Reader

    Rear: Kingston Lock, Ethernet, Power Jack

    Bottom: Access doors, vents, battery.

    Performance and Benchmarks
    The Vaio CW is very impressive performance wise, with it's ability to game while also staying a portable/ultraportable machine. The GT 330M is is a surprisingly capable card and according to other forum members, is very overclockable (NOTE: Overclocking will void any warranty and may harm your computer).

    • Light Weight
    • High Resolution Display
    • High performance for size
    • Build Quality
    • Battery Drain Issue
    • Slow HDD

    NOTE: Real old un-finished project of mine. Figured I might as well post it up and let it go down to the archives for someone who decided to search it out one day.
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