In the last week I have written about laptops created to replace the desktop computers. However, in the light of the recent Windows 7 launch, I found several intriguing products, which can't be included within no pre-determined range. Sure, some of you might say that this manufacturer is trying its best so copy Apple's iMacs. But I am certain you are wrong. The answer to the "Why?" question is pretty straight forward, these computers are not better improved version of the old desktop computers, and yet not portable as laptops, and definitely not iPod touch or iPhones. Sony delivered an excellent product that merges a pre determined location laptop (within the desktop replacement range) with touch screen.
Thanks to the included Windows 7, the L Series from Vaio will deliver enough touch screen features that will make the usage a fun game. I have to praise Sony for delivering an excellent product, with touch screen features, which Apple is still trying to include into a tablet (from the latest rumors). Even more, its price is comparable with the entry level MacBook Pro (and you can imagine that its specs are much better than the 13 inches MacBook Pro). In terms of design this Sony L Series touch screen computer delivers an extraordinary design, "conservative meets exquisite" I might add. First of all let's talk functionality.
The L Series touch PC can either be mounted on a wall, or kept on the desktop thanks to the adjustable stand. This stand can be used to obtain the proper viewing angle for anyone that will use the Sony L Series. Even more, you can certainly use this touch computer without the included keyboard in order to save the space.
The overall design is amazing. The stand looks extremely well build and engineered, since it has to keep the whole weight of this device within two legs united (this means a bigger pressure on the gravitational point of this device). Since Sony only delivers a 24 inches model, I guess that any other bigger screens could not sport the same design because of the gravitational force and gravitational point (Sony would have to redesign the stand, losing the excellent design embedded in the L Series).
The touch screen computer sports a front case made out of black glossy plastic, with an excellent contrast delivered by the silver "Sony" logo. The back case includes a matte black to grey plastic, which feels nice at touch and is quite impressive in terms of built. The L Series sports an eye-catching design for sure, and delivers a solid build quality. It easily rises up to the Sony build reputation. With a height of 16.9 inches, wide of 22.9 inches, deep of 7.4 inches, this computer weights about 27.6 lbs.
Sony included on the back side several important inputs and outputs such as video input, HDMI input, Power, digital and analog cable, Ethernet port, Optical Out, three 2.0 USB ports. On the above side, Sony included the Power button, and the Display Off Switch (or Lock). The right side of the L Series touch screen computer includes the confirm selection button, volume controls, Menu button, and Blu-ray CD / DVD playback / burning drive. On the left side Sony added the Memory Stick Media Slot with Magic Gate Functionality, SD memory card slot, i.LINK connector 4-pin, another 2.0 USB ports, headphone jack, microphone jack, and Line in Stereo jack. Sony delivers a nice keyboard for this computer, with all the necessary keys for a great usability.
Also the keys are well sized with sufficient space between them. Even more, all the keys and keyboard are made from a durable black matte plastic, which improves even more the user experience. A nice feature is that you can include the keyboard within the stand to create a unitary design. One of the most important elements within this Sony touch screen computer from the L Series is the display. Even more important since it features so many multi touch functions that will certainly is the purchase factor in many potential customers - future purchase relationship.
Sony included in this device an excellent 24 inches touch screen LCD with a full high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The multi touch controls will enable your access to several essential digital domains such as Internet, social networks, movies, digital TV, and many other more.
The multi touch technology is at the beginning, but it provides a solid functionality (at least within this Sony computer) with no freezes or glitches. This computer was carefully engineered to provide the ultimate user experience, wrapped in a futuristic design concept. It can even deliver the best gaming experience you could ever possibly imagine, thanks to the HDMI port you can easily connect your Play Station 3 and enjoy a multi touch gaming experience (joystick is still possible).
Here are a few multi touch functions you can try on this touch screen display, tap and double tap, rotate (touch two spots on a photo and twist to rotate it in real time), drag (drag a file or image similar process when using the mouse), press and tap, flick left and flick right, scroll, and zoom (very iPhone and iPod touch like).
The connectivity is ensured the fast Ethernet RJ 45 protocol, the Gigabit Ethernet with 10 Base T / 100 Base T / 1000 Base T, the Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n support, the Integrated Bluetooth stereo with A2DP profile, five 2.0 USB ports, HDMI port, the NTSC / ATSC TV Tuner, memory stick PRO media slot and the Secure Digital memory card slot. Regarding the hardware specifications you might need to sit down because the following hardware specs are going to shock you at least. Let's start with something a little "normal", the L Series touch screen computer sports a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Processor (the Q8400S model), with 1333 MHz FSB (also known as front side bus speed), up to 4 MB advanced smart, L2 cache.
The memory department is ensured by the excellent hard drive, 1 TB hard disk drive with 7200 rotations per minute, and up to 6 GB DDR2 SDRAM on board, expandable value up to 12 GB DDR2 SDRAM. The audio department is represented by the Intel High Definition audio digital live (developed in partnership with Dolby). Sony also included an excellent graphic chipset, NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M GPU with 1 GB dedicated VRAM (depending on the configuration chose you can configure your computer with the NVIDIA GeForce G210M GPU with 512 MB dedicated VRAM).
In terms of hardware, this computer is amazing, and the Apple equivalent would probably cost about $3500, while this computer only costs $1.149.99 - starting price. Not only is the hardware department amazing within the L Series from Sony Vaio but it is also completed with a full software package including the latest (truly worthy of the title, successor of XP) Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit version, 30 day trial version of Norton Internet Security, 90 day trial version of AOL, 60 day trial for the Microsoft Works SE 9.0 with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.
Sony also added a few branded applications, such as Vaio media gallery, Vaio movie story, click to disc editor, Vaio Media plus multimedia streaming software, and Vaio Startup Assistant. An educated guess would be, that the Vaio L Series touch screen computer will successfully bring 30% of old Apple customers, who are tired to use boot camp, since Windows is much more evolved now thanks to 7.
Let's face it, Snow and Snow Leopard are good operating systems, but you need a Windows to stay in touch with the real world and not the Apple branded world. However, I doubt that this laptop meets desktop computer will be a market success. Even so, Sony proves once again that it can create unique products with excellent design, flawless build quality, extraordinary performances, for less money than other manufacturers.