Big screens are available only in higher end laptops pricing at minimum $1,200. Higher end laptops meaning that they include high end components like the Blu-ray drive, graphics card etc., The Sony Vaio is priced at just $999 but the components it includes are the in $1,349 laptop. The only plus of the laptop is a big screen. If you are ready to pay another $350 then you can purchase a Core i7 processor laptop along with the Nvidia GeForce 330M. The Sony Vaio is a powerful system as you can surf the Web, play mainstream games, watch HD videos etc.
The F12A has 16-inch laptops having a similar design but the color differs. F126 has a dark gray colored body while the F12A has a light one. All other features including the touch pad, keyboard, system’s software etc remain the same.
Both the laptops as said includes a similar keyboard which has a flat topped and the keys are spaced widely like the one in the MacBook. The laptop is designed as a desktop replacement and hence the keyboard includes a full number pad at the right and separate Page up and down buttons. There are dedicated buttons for media software and tech support. Using the VaioCare tech support apps, you can download diagnostic tools. Sony has included controls for play, forward and rewind but it is disappointing that there are no dedicated controls for volume. Volume can be adjusted with the combination of Function button and F2, F3 and F4.
The Sony Vaio keyboard is backlit which cannot be seen in many laptops. If you are used to it then we are sure you will never step back. The backlight automatically turns on when the ambient light sensor is activated. The touch pad however is not very generous but has a decent size. The touch pad has separate right and left buttons and they are also stiff enough. It is disappointing that the touch pad lacks a multi-touch gesture control. It supports pinch to zoom but lacks two finger scrolling.
Sony laptops always come with the proprietary software and Vaio F12A is no exception. Sony has included the laptop with media apps like the Vaio Media Gallery, Vaio Picture Motion Browser etc. The apps however are perfect but we don’t think they are essential. Of all the apps, the VaioCare tech support is the attractive one and much needed too. All these apps can be accessed through the software dock that can be found at the top edge of the screen. The laptop includes Home and Student edition of the Microsoft Office but it will demand a serial number for activation which is included in the box. You also get a subscription of one year for the Webroot antivirus software.
The display which is exactly 16.4 in inches has a resolution of 1600x900p. This is really a good step up as the 15.4-inch display’s standard resolution is 1366x768p. The connection options are identical in both the models. It is good that the Express Card slot is been given a life and it also include an eSATA port, HDMI port etc. The headphone jack also functions as an optical audio out port which will be essential if you are about to connect it to high end audio systems.
The F12A has only a Core i3 processor compared to the F126 which included a Core i7 processor. It is obvious that the F12A raw performance will not be even close to that of the other. The F12A can handle mainstream games with ease with the Nividia GeForce 310M. As it is a desktop replacement laptop, we cannot expect much of a battery life but the battery life is good. One reason for that are the less powerful components. It can run for over 2 and half hours.
Sony backs up the laptop with a one year warranty on parts and labor along with technical support the whole day. Technical assistance is also available all day through chat. You can download drivers and gain more knowledge about the laptop from the FAQ section in the official website.