Sony VAIO J Series review

£829
Price when reviewed

The Sony VAIO J Series has clean design, resembling a modern flatscreen TV. The focus is very much on the 21.5in display, which doubles as a two-point multitouch screen and is covered in a layer of plastic for protection. It doesn’t feel quite as solid as it looks: apply a bit of pressure towards the top of the display and the panel seems to flex slightly into the body of the case.

As a touchscreen, the VAIO’s display isn’t quite as responsive as the others on test, but it works well enough. The screen itself is excellent, producing sharp images with rich colours, even if the glossy surface soon resembles a reflective fingerprint showcase; you may need to keep the screen wipes handy.

Sony VAIO J Series

Our review sample was based around a dual-core Intel i5-2410M processor with 6GB of RAM and, while this still doesn’t deliver great 3D performance, it has enough oomph for video editing, audio work, animation and most other creative endeavours. The benchmark score of 0.60 is credible, but note the latest versions of the J Series include slightly lesser CPUs (but a 750GB hard disk). It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, so you may need to factor in an upgrade to Professional if you plan to join the VAIO to a school domain.

Disappointingly, there’s no external video output, so teachers won’t be able to connect it to a projector. Otherwise, it’s a well-connected all-in-one with two high-speed USB 3 sockets, a memory card reader and the headphone and audio-out jack on the left, plus four USB 2 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet socket on the back. A built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi module handles wireless networking.

Sony supplies the VAIO with a wireless keyboard and mouse kit. While they reflect the high quality of the rest of the system, most schools will want to replace these with something less pinch-able.

The VAIO J Series is beautifully designed with a good screen, a high specification and a strong set of features. The problem is that the above still don’t justify its high price.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size 21.5in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.30GHz

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card Intel HD Graphics 3000

Hard disk

Capacity 500GB

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

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