Review: Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21E

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Recently I purchased a new notebook: a Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21E. FZ series come with 15.4″ wide displays. VGN-FZ21E features: Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 2Ghz processor, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 160GB DD, WiFi (802.11 a/b/g), DVD RW and a Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT GPU with 64MB RAM. Its operating system is Windows Vista Home Premium.

The package contains the notebook, a rechargable battery, the power cords and the guides. That means that there is no Windows Vista recovery disk. In case of operatin system crash or if you want to format your notebook, there is a hidden partition containing the operating system and sony vaio’s preinstalled programs. The hidden partition makes the HDD looks smaller (around 140GB) in Windows Vista.

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The design is minimal with the big vaio logo on the back. The keyboard is black except the media buttons on the top as long as the on/of button which are silver. Built-in speakers offer medium quality sound, but loud enough (except if you use the battery life profile). The fans cooling the gpu and the cpu are quiet and even under high cpu load, the notebook remains cool which makes it a great and quiet portable solution, especially if you usually use your laptop on your knees.

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FZ Vaio series offer wide connectivity solutions. The built in WiFi offers stable and fast data transfers. The are audio outputs, a card reader (reads sd cards and memory sticks), iLink port for camcoders and digital cameras, 3 usb 2.0 ports, ethernet, modem, and an HDMI port for full High Definition (1080p) output.

The keyboard is elegant and provides great feeling when typing. Charging the notebook takes about 45 minutes with the vaio turned off and 1 hour and 30 minutes with the vaio turned on. Although battery lasts only for 1 hour and 20 minutes with medium use (WiFi enabled, internet surfing). With hard use (3d graphics, gaming) the battery lasts for 40 minutes, which makes it necessary to buy a second battery if you need your laptop on whenever you are.

The display is one of the best I’ve seen on laptops of tha price range. Colors are vivid and bright and watching HD videos (720p) is exciting. The built-in motion camera offers only the basics. The picture quality is low and pixelates but it will cover your needs for basic video chat.

Vaio VGN-FZ21E costs 1100 euros (around $1500). There are more expensive laptops in the FZ series, which offer blu ray drives instead of the DVD-combo and graphics cards with more memory. In general this Vaio will cover everyone needs. Its not ideal for hardcore gamers though. People who travel a lot should consider buying a second battery. Its weight is 2.7kg, so this laptop can be called portable for its display category.

6 thoughts on “Review: Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21E

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  2. John K.

    I bought Sony Vaio FZ21M which is the same but has a 200GB hdd and a blu-ray player instead of the DVD-RW device! Great all around laptop!

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