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~ Background Info~
I have owned three laptops within the last 5 years. All were purchased with a budget ( £699 or under ) in mind. I have had the misfortune of owning a Toshiba Equium L10 and the fortune of owning the Sony Vaio FS-415e.
The FS-415e features a metallic scratch proof magnesium case that offers as much pleasure as it does confidence through sturdiness. The scratch proof properties of the magnesium mean that the case looks good as new months after the purchase date.
The 15.4" LCD displays uses Sonys X-Black technology. This provides an outstanding visual experience. Colour contrast & brightness when watching movies are faultless.
Response from the touch pad and the "feel" from the keyboard are excellent. The heavy metal touch pad buttons are a welcome change from the unresponsive plastic alternatives found on other budget laptops.
What I liked most about this product was the ultra quiet cooling fan which rarely, if ever, became noticeable. The ventilation vents can be found along the back, behind the LCD display, so overheating is not an issue. Some laptop manufacturers tend to place the fan vent at the bottom, leaving the laptop prone to overheating. Not this one though.
The FS-415e Celeron M processor, coupled with the 512 MB of RAM, coped fine with Photoshop CS2 photo editing software but did have a hard time running video editing software. Fine for word processing.
~ Battery Life:
The battery in the VAIO is excellent. When simply using it to type up a report I was able to get 3hrs of cable free use from the laptop. When the wireless was turned on this time did drop by an hour, though this is actually very respectable for any laptop.
If you are considering buying a budget laptop, or simply wish to purchase your first VAIO, I cannot recommend this laptop highly enough. Its build quality, ease of use & features all scream high quality. This is the laptop that converted me to VAIOs for good.