First Impressions with the SONY VAIO CW, a Quasi-Gaming Notebook!
Pricing Update: The VAIO I’m currently using, the VPCCW16FG goes for PHP 72,999, while the entry level VPCCW13EG goes for 52,999. The difference is that the latter comes with a GT210 card with only 256MB of VRAM, and 2GB of RAM.
After hearing about it over the Internet, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Sony’s latest gaming + fashion notebook, the 14 inch VAIO CW. I called up their publicist and asked for a unit to wear and tear and here I am jotting down my first impressions.
Let’s have a look.
Off the bat, it doesn’t look like a gaming computer. In fact it resembles more of a “style” portable than a powerhouse. This isn’t intrinsically bad. The VAIO CW is a charmer, especially with the white model (lent to me). Soon after going through the motions of setting up Windows 7 Home Premium (this is the default OS), the specs just blow you away. They sent me the high end model with 4GB of DDR2 RAM (fine it’s not DDR3 but still) and NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 230M with 512MB of video RAM.
Given the apparent lacking of gaming laptops in the Philippines, SONY’s VAIO CW strikes me as a winner that didn’t know it would be. The stock specs are decent for a notebook “that happens to be a decent gaming rig as well.” It’s more powerful than ACER’s mid-range desktop that sports a GeForce GT 120 video card. It holds no pretensions.
As I write this, I’m installing Red Faction Guerrilla (high requirement game) and Left 4 Dead 2 (not so high requirement game) has just finished pre-loading via Steam. I’ll be doing some benchmarking in a few. The game above is Torchlight and it doesn’t count as you can really just run that amazing Diablo III appetizer on a netbook. It’s addicting though, which is why I haven’t installed anything else.
As a productivity tool, the VAIO CW comes built in with a webcam, two card reader slots for Memory Stick Pro and SD — they used to be snobbish about this and only provided for their own proprietary cards. VGA and HDMI slots decorate the left side of the VAIO, with two USB 2.0 slots right on the side. It would have been great to have an additional USB port on the side of the tray-loading DVD-RW player for the mouse but it’s all good. Typing on Notepad with the VW’s keyboard is a treat.
I must admit, the keyboard feels better than my MacBook. Wider keys. Nicer sound. And the buttons don’t get stuck.
I’ll probably have a better benchmark test for the GT230M video card but it should be able to play the latest stuff as the GT120 can decently run Batman: Arkham Asylum on high settings.
The jump to these new GT cards is huge for the gaming industry!