Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sony Vaio VGN-FE550 Review


I bought this a few months ago for just over $400 used (not bad seeing as it retailed for ~$1700 just 2 years ago)

Pros:

  • Large Vibrant Screen
  • Core Duo Processor handles nearly all tasks with ease
  • Upgradeable Ram and Hard drive
  • Video Camera
  • Good size to power ratio
Cons:
  • Integrated Video Card (can't upgrade)
  • Clasp that holds laptop shut doesn't automatically retract, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to being broken off.
  • Video Camera is of poor quality, the voice doesn't sync up with video, and there's no included software to record video (except Windows Movie Maker, which kinda sucks).
  • Comes loaded with Windows XP Media Center Edition, which is useless.

Conclusion:

Overall I'm very pleased with this machine, I've read alot about bad battery life, but even after 2 years mine gets around 2.5 hrs, which isn't bad considering the duo core processor and the large, bright screen. I'm disappointed it can't handle any serious games, and since the video card is integrated, that can't be remedied. If you want to browse, watch video, multi-task or even run memory intensive programs like Photoshop or Premiere, then this is your machine.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out my other reviews.

Here are the specs, I copied them from CNET in case the page goes down. Hopefully their lawyers won't come after me.

General Specifications

Platform Technology
Intel Centrino Duo
System Type
Notebook
Built-in Devices
Stereo speakers, Wireless LAN antenna
Width
14.4 in
Depth
10.8 in
Height
1.4 in
Weight
6.2 lbs
Color
White
Notebook type
Mid-size laptops (6-7.5 lbs.)
Screen type
Wide-screen
Wireless capabilities
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g

Processor

Processor
Intel Core Duo T2300 / 1.66 GHz
Multi-Core processor technology
Dual-Core
Data bus speed
667 MHz
Processor features
Enhanced SpeedStep technology, Execute Disable Bit capability
Chipset type
Mobile Intel 945GM Express

Cache Memory

Type
L2 cache
Cache size
2 MB

RAM

Installed Size
1 GB / 2 GB (max)
Technology
DDR II SDRAM - 533 MHz
Memory specification compliance
PC2-4200
RAM configuration features
2 x 512 MB

Storage

Floppy Drive
None
Hard Drive
100 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 4200 rpm
Hard drive type
Portable

Optical Storage

Type
DVD±RW (+R DL) - Integrated

Card Reader

Card reader type
Card reader
Supported flash memory cards
Memory Stick Duo

Display

Display Type
15.4 in TFT active matrix
Max Resolution
1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
Widescreen Display
Yes
Features
X BRITE

Video

Graphics Processor / Vendor
Intel GMA 950
Video Memory
Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0

Audio

Audio output type
Sound card
Audio Input
None

Notebook Camera

Camera Type
Integrated

Input Device(s)

Input device type
Keyboard, Touchpad
Keyboard localization and layout
QWERTY

Telecom

Modem
Fax / modem
Protocols & Specifications
ITU V.90

Networking

Networking
Network adapter
Networking / Wireless LAN Supported
Yes
Wireless NIC
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Data link protocol
Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Fast Ethernet
Networking standards
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g

Expansion / Connectivity

Expansion Bays
None
Expansion Slots Total (Free)
2 ( 1 ) x Memory
Interfaces
1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) - 4 pin FireWire, 1 x Docking / port replicator, 1 x Headphones - Output - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Microphone - Input - Mini-phone 3.5 mm, 1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11, 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45, 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A, 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)

Power

Power device form factor
External

Battery

Technology
Lithium ion
Installed Qty
1
Mfr estimated battery life
3.5 hour(s)

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & support type
1 year warranty
Service & Support Details
Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 1 year - On-site, Technical support - Phone consulting - 1 year, Product info support - Web support

Operating System / Software

OS Provided
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Software
VAIO Media, VAIO Update, Sony SonicStage, Sony DVgate Plus, InterVideo WinDVD, Sony Click to DVD, Sony Image Converter, VAIO Recovery Wizard, VAIO Security Center, VAIO Support Central, Roxio DigitalMedia SE, AOL Online (180 days trial), Microsoft Works 8.5 (Trial), Quicken 2005 New User Edition, Sony SonicStage Mastering Studio, Norton Internet Security (60 days subscription), Microsoft Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition (Trial)

1 comment:

Donte said...

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