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Sony have a reputation for being at the top end of the PC quality spectrum and in terms of build and design I believe it's well-deserved.
Performance-wise of course it's all down to the choice made by vendors from the range of standard components available to all case manufacturers - Sony tend to make good sensible choices rather than radical ones so expect to be satisfied with performance rather than blown away by it.
The Vaio is a refined-looking laptop, quite elegant in design. The casing feels solid although weight might be an issue if resting on your lap for extended use. Keyboard has a nice response, touchpad and buttons are intuitive, the big screen fills the inside lid with a shiny glass surface rather than matt which can, with a dark image, result in room reflections, but even so, and realising it's a squarish rather than wide-screen display, it makes watching DVD playback an enjoyable experience.
Three USB slots is, I find, less than I need so adding an expansion hub is recommended.