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on April 14, 2013
I deliberately waited a few months to write a review on this so I had time to truly discover what I did and did not like about this laptop.

The Operating System
A big difference to me was made by Windows 8. I'll be honest, I don't much like the OS. It takes me a good few minutes to find certain programs that I could find in seconds on XP or Windows 7. Also the OS seems to have a function that works through the mousepad that minimizes the function or game you are on and snaps back to the desktop - it's pretty annoying when gaming so I use a separate mouse for that. It just seems like the OS missed the mark in anticipating the needs of people using it. My mother has the same laptop and she made the same comment to me just recently, and she's not a gamer! So truly, gamer or not, you may find Windows 8 a bit of a pain, at least until you get used to it. The system also comes with Kaspersky Internet security 2013 which is a great anti-virus/security system.

The Laptop
The laptop itself is a dream! The keys are lit from below so you can even use it in the dark without the need to switch a nearby lamp on. The 'Fn' key works like a shift to enable your F-keys to adjust thinks like brightness and sound, meaning they casn be used as regular F-keys in games (I had a previous laptop where you had to press 'Fn' to use those keys as F keys, so I greatly appreciate this!).

The laptop is desinged around you shutting the lid to place it into a power-saving mode, so most of the time you will never need to shut down. The manufacturer claims it can be left in this mode for up to 2 days unplugged, although I've only tested it for about a day. When you open the lid the laptop is ready in seconds, so it saves a lot of time setting up overall.

While the main reason I bought the laptop was for Skyping with family in England, (the built-in webcam and mic are what I looked for) I do spend a lot of time gaming. The laptop runs Star Wars: The Old Republic very smoothly. I also play APB Reloaded and Stat Trek Online with no problems, and at high graphics settings. In choosing this laptop I looked for system specs that would run the new Sim City game, though I haven't bought that yet! All of these games run smoothly and the laptop hardly even gets warm. The fan system works very well indeed!

The OS is a pain sometimes but you can live with it. The benefits of how this laptop runs and works and the fact that it hasn't run into anything it can't handle far outweigh the few niggling problems I've had with Windows 8. I couldn't bring myself to rate this laptop less than 5 stars and my wife will tell you I've spent every spare minute on it since it arrived! If you're prepared to spend a little more than the average cheap-end $400 laptops, this one is great value for money.
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on February 28, 2013
Exactly as described. I adore it. Best Microsoft windows laptop in my opinion. I love the look of it and windows 8 is pretty awesome as well. Its not as hard to operate as people have been saying it is. i just got my laptop today and im already used to it. lol. You still have the original desktop to so theres nothing different except the setup in the begining. And if you order this laptop on amazon. i suggest getting it through amazon and go about the free shipping they offer when you buy more then one thing over 25 dollars. my estimated shipping was for next week and i ordered it on monday. Waaaay earlier then expected which is even better! So, if your thinking about getting this laptop, go for it! Deffinetly worth it and its different in a good way from the rest. :3
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on March 12, 2013
This computer is Awesome and I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. The rapid wake technology is real nice. The Tech support is the best I ever experienced. Must have 5 Stars !!!!!!!
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on March 28, 2013
this is my second Sony Lap top first one I just passed down to my son...but 5 plus years and still going..
I love the keyboard...bouncy and it lights up..and the display is very clear ...the sound amazing...
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on October 11, 2013
I bought this laptop to use photoshop to draw and to edit and render videos in Premiere.

And to occasionally write a couple of 40 page papers and half-hour powerpoint presentations.

Photoshop CS6: The touch screen does not work in photoshop because adobe doesn't support it right now.
When I try to draw a stroke using the brush tool on the canvas, the program responds by scrolling all the way to the edge of the canvas, or by displaying other erratic behavior. Google touch screen laptop photoshop and you will see a lot of people complaining and describing this issue.
This is not a huge problem since I was mostly planning to use my wacom anyway since I know from previous experiences that drawing directly onto a screen standing at an angle is very uncomfortable (not to mention, I don't count on a touchscreen to have pressure sensitivity), but it was almost a deal-breaker for the laptop that CS6 doesn't support touch screens.
The brush stroke lags in high performance power setting, but it is very minute -- this may be a problem inherent in CS6 as I see this same slight lag on my desktop (e6550 @ 2.33ghz) as well.

The only drawing programs that seem to want to play nice with the touch screen so far have been: Paint, Artrage (comes installed on the laptop, no pressure sensitivity behavior from the touch screen in artrage even though it displays pressure sensitivity with the wacom tablet), and OpenCanvas. Mangastudio and Clip studio do not support touch screens.

Wacom is supposed to come out with a stylus that is pressure sensitive using bluetooth technology, but they have only announced development for iPads for it, so far.

On this laptop, photoshop cs6 will lag to the point where it is unusable when run parallel with procaster (livestream).

Premiere CS6: The touch screen mostly works in Premiere, but the bigger problem was that videos often fail to render all the way.
At first I thought that perhaps that the hard drive was defective since it does make a loud CLICK! from inside when it is moved, but the reason why the videos were failing to render and the reason why this loud CLICK! was happening from inside the computer was because of the Vaio hard drive protection software that the laptop came with. Disabled it while I was compiling the videos, no problems compiling at all this time.
I wish the laptop had given me the option to turn this functionality on or off from the beginning though, instead of running it in the background without informing me about it, or asking for my permission.

It is very cumbersome to make a right click onto the screen (hold touch = right click) making it a bit troublesome to take full advantage of the functionality available in premiere. But this is not a big problem -- plug a mouse in.

Runs word flawlessly

Runs powerpoint flawlessly:
Also you can use hand gestures to flip between slides in powerpoint, which is novel, but I'd be pushing it to say it's practical since it's a bit embarrassing to be waving my palm at the laptop while giving a presentation in front of a group of people.

The laptop scratches easily:
Make sure to keep the white plastic sleeve it comes with in the box -- the paint on the cover of this laptop scratches and rubs off very easily. I made the mistake of putting it in my backpack right next to a glossy folder and rubbed off spots of paint off the cover (when I ran my hand over the laptop's case after a day in the backpack, I found the dust of the laptop's paint coming off of it like a pink eyeshadow).
There are also adhesive laptops covers being sold on amazon and other places, but none of them are this laptop's size. Be weary of the keyboard layout and dimensions of skins being sold on amazon and elsewhere. I would only buy a skin after verifying it in person since there seems to be a lot of model confusion. For now I keep my laptop in the sleeve it came with, but in the future I hope to knit a case for it.

I've also made a bunch of scratch marks on the palm rest because of my watch. (Now I take off my watch and put it in my pocket to type). Speaking of which, the keyboard is very nice: Backlit (not a big deal for me, since I do not look at the keyboard when I type), low profile, and a little bit dipped down in the middle of the key which feels nice on the fingertips.

The letters are lit up too, but you can lose this functionality if you have to put multi-language keyboard stickers on the keys. I'm still searching for clear Korean/English keyboard stickers, but since I can touch type in either language, it's not a big deal.

I do wish it came with some media buttons, such as volume up/down, skip track, play, pause.. etc. There's a function-F2 through F7 to control volume, brightness, and projection onto another screen, but it is uncomfortable to use these keys (why would they want anyone to bend their thumb like that?). Not a deal breaker imo since many laptops feature uncomfortable function keys. You can change tracks by bumping the volume up or down and then by using the software interface if you're using the vaio music app, but if you are not using that app, you don't get to control a music playing software this way. I don't think it would had been all that much work to add a few touch-buttons right below the screen on the bevel, much like how the galaxy S3 has two touch buttons on either side of its home button.

The sound on this laptop is surprisingly good. Really deep and rich. I've turned up the bass to play music at conferences and fairs, and it can be really unbearably loud if you want it to be. Out of the 100 levels of volume, for every day use I keep it around 8. It's not as rich as my 5.1 logitec speakers but it's pretty good for a laptop.

It can play 1080p videos no problem, no lag, no fuss. It works very well with my HDMI TV for the occasional movie.

This laptop is very big. It is probably a good choice for a student who lives on campus for part of the year and then goes home for part of the year as long as they don't take their laptop to class all that often. I would recommend something smaller and lighter if you are looking for a mobile computer solution to take to classes or to many meetings throughout the day, such as a netbook or a tablet.

Battery life is ok. I am only away from a power source for 2 hours at most at any given time, and I believe it can be on for up to 3 hours without power, though it depends largely on what you're doing -- if you're just typing in notepad, the laptop will probably last you almost 4 hours, but if you're watching a movie, it's more like a little bit under 3 hours -- just enough to watch most movies as long as it's not Lord of the Rings. Considering the size and weight of this laptop, this battery life is fine. If you want a laptop you can use +8 hours a day with minimal charge, a netbook or maybe even a smartphone may be what you're looking for.

The touchpad is easily one of the worst touch pads I've used. I almost returned the laptop because of it, but it is usable after I've disabled almost all of the multi-touch/windows 8 functionality it came with. It is:
1. very difficult to perform click and drag. The touch screen makes up for this.
2. very difficult to right click without moving the cursor. The area that you push down to make a right click is part of the touch pad, so in the process of smooshing your fingertip on the right click area, the cursor wavers a bit off the mark. This laptop really really really needed to come with actual buttons for right click and left click. Or maybe some way to right click like mac's option-click.
3. mouse cursor accelerates away towards the edges of the screen. This may be software based so perhaps it can be disabled.
4. windows 8 gestures for the touchpad. How many times have I dragged in from the right of the touchpad and engaged the windows charms / metro start screen by accident? AGH!

Overall, disappointed that photoshop and windows 8 cannot play nice, and that the touchpad is really erratic; but happy with the touch screen, the full keyboard, good processor, good sound, battery life, card reader, cute color, and windows 8. You won't need a mouse for general web browsing and making a couple of presentations, but you will need a mouse if you want to use the laptop in premiere. It comes with 4 USB ports, so any old usb mouse should do the trick.

oh yeah, and HDMI, but no VGA out. I carry an hdmi cable and a vga/svga adaptor with me if I know I might have to hook the laptop up to a projector.

Forgot to mention -- the built-in webcam is horrible; downright terrifying. If you want to use this laptop to video conference, buy a webcam. This one is very nice: Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam (Q2F-00013)

Also, I find windows 8 to be a positive for this laptop. It has a touchscreen, so it makes sense with the metro tiles. If you are ever looking for a program, type the name of the program in the metro start up and allow windows to quickly find the program for you. You can also rearrange the tiles to your liking. You can access the charms (window + c) and settings (windows + w) and desktop (windows + d) using the respective shortcuts. Overall I find it very satistfying to use windows 8. It is not comparable to any previous version of windows.
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on April 16, 2013
There are a lot of features on this laptop that make it pretty amazing, but there of course, some cons to it.

First of all, Windows 8 is really easy to learn, especially if you have used a tablet or Ipad. On the Windows 8 main start-up screen, you have the option to change your Icons. One of the Icons is a "Desktop" button, and will take you to the normal view of a desktop (which looks like Windows 7 or Vista start-up screen). This "Desktop" button comes in handy when you are learning Windows 8. I have also learned that certain functions only work on the Windows 8 start-up and certain functions only work on the "Desktop" screen. Windows 8 start-up allows you to use your track pad like that of a MacBook track pad (meaning, you can use two fingers to scroll up and down and side ways), whereas on the regular desktop you cannot. On the regular "desktop" screen, you can use Adobe, but on Windows 8 you cannot. Therefore, while learning Windows 8 is easy, and the screen looks pretty awesome, it can be confusing to figure out what functions you can use on which screen (it's almost like having 2 different laptops, with all the same data).

Something that comes in handy on the laptop is how easy it is to toggle between the screens. On the left corner of the screen, you can access a small screen of each tab you have used on the laptop. (To close these, you click on the one you want, put your mouse pointed at the top of the screen, click and drag down).

I've gotten many compliments on the color of the laptop. I occasionally feel like if Barbie had a laptop, this is the laptop she would have. But, it has a very beachy look to it.

One thing I REALLY love about this laptop, it has the second set of numbers on the keyboard (like a desktop keyboard). More on the keyboard: The letters and numbers appear bigger than on most laptops and keyboards, so it is easy to see each thing. The letters, however are not in the middle of the buttons, but rather on the left upper corners (kinda quirky, I think). The keyboard lights up (like a MacBook keyboard). The only thing I find rather interesting is how the keyboard it put together. I've only had my laptop for a week, and I've noticed that the piece that covers the laptop keyboard is a very soft and feels cheaply made. Now in defense of the laptop company itself, I understand that a lighter material was probably needed, because it has a backlit keyboard, and the heat from the lights could potentially lead to overheating (at least that is the only deductible reasoning I could come up with). I like the quick keys on the keyboard, and I like the overall function of the keyboard.

One thing that may get annoying in the future, is the track pad. Where the track pad has cool functions and is fairly easy to use, it jumps around a pretty fair amount. I found it clicking on things I do not click on. I haven't found a way to control this either.

But overall, the computer is pretty awesome.
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on June 30, 2013
After 6 years on a Macbook that eventually fell apart I was nervous about moving back to a PC. Windows 8 is a bit clunky but on this machine, it's worth dealing with. It's responsive, sturdy and above all a lot of fun to work on. Love the lighted keyboard - only thing I would change is I would add a dimmer, so the brightness of it could be adjusted. Given that that is my only complaint and quite small at that I'd highly recommend this to anyone.
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on April 25, 2013
Great PC and it does it all! I disliked the Windows 8 (all new pc's get it, like it or not). I loaded the "START8" program (only $5), and now I have all the advantages of Windows 7! And if I want to go back to Win 8, no problem. This is the third Sony VAIO I have purchased (in the past 10 years), and the pink laptop is for my daughter. Sony VAIO's are always fast and RELIABLE! And super Sony software included. Sony is the best!
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on April 20, 2013
I bought this as an economical alternative to my little girl using my expensive laptop computer and it works pretty good for going on youtube and browsing online. I highly recommend this for its looks, it looks as if barbie or hello kitty designed it. Also it has an illuminated keyboard. You cannot see it on the picture but the touch pad has a classy chrome trim around it.
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on March 17, 2013
I was looking for a laptop that had a full sized back-lit keyboard. This was exactly what I was looking for. I am new to Sony and still learning its apps. I am also new to windows 8 but liking it so far. The only draw back of the 15.5 inch screen is adjusting the resolution for certain apps don't function properly.
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