Sony VAIO VGC-LT2S review

Price when reviewed

Sony is building up a strong reputation for its all-in-one PCs, with the VAIO VGC-LT1S winning a PC Pro Recommended award and a place on our A List.

Sony VAIO VGC-LT2S review

The LT2S offers a minor upgrade to its specifications, so almost all the comments in our previous review (see the link above) still hold. And it would seem assured of taking a place on the A List just like its predecessor too: after all, its price has dropped by £100 and the specs have received a boost.

So why aren’t we recommending it?

It’s nothing to do with the change in specification. We’re hardly unhappy, for example, to see a minor upgrade to the CPU: it’s now a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo processor T8100 to the 2GHz T7250 in its predecessor. Don’t get too excited though. With 2GB of RAM as before, the speed boost will only be noticed by benchmarking software and very slightly faster video encoding.

The graphics chip also remains unchanged, with Nvidia’s mid-range mobile offering – the GeForce Go 8400M GT – still providing enough grunt for older games but not for new. It will help decode Blu-ray films, though, ensuring smooth playback on the 22in screen (again unchanged).

We’re pleased to see a 500GB hard disk in place. This is an extremely welcome upgrade to the 320GB device in the LT1S, and with two hybrid digital/analogue TV tuners on board you may well be tempted to use the VAIO as a Sky+ box on steroids (although, naturally, you only get Freeview as standard).

The remaining spec remains the same as the LT1S, so we return to the question of why this newer, better, cheaper version isn’t recommended.

And the answer is the Dell XPS One.

The VAIO admittedly has several things in its favour. It has twin TV tuners, a larger screen, and a Blu-ray drive, not to mention the added kudos of the Sony brand.

But providing you opt for the black version, which costs £850 (£999 inc VAT), the Dell is the winner in one very important respect: value.

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