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Review Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B

The Centrino entrance notebook of Sony wants to survive in the market with a favourable price and a pleasing design despite an aged technology. Whether the  work succeeded, you can read in the following review.

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Case

The Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B convinces with pleasing design and a good workmanship. Sony uses a magnesium mixture for the case, which makes the notebook very stable. It hardly flexes with pressure and the display cover protects the screen owing to its strong rigidity outstandingly. However some parts are manufactured only of plastics and crunch even with minimum load. The battery, which is positioned at the back unfortunately does not sit stably in the chassis and wobbles easily. Nevertheless the compact Sony notebook is very durable.

The hinges hold the screen stably in each position and we could not determine a whipping during the test. With 2.675 kg (battery inclusive) it was surprisingly small. On the German internet site Sony indicates 2.9 kg and thus is the first manufacturer in the test, which exaggerates.

The status LEDs, which somewhat unfortunately are positioned at the front, are disfavorable. They are hardly visible when using the notebook, since they shine only forward. Unfortunately the respiration openings are at the bottom, as nowadys usual (exceptions are almost only the Apple notebooks). This makes the use on the lap problematic. The fan exit sits favorably at the back, where it disturbs neither right-handed nor left-handed people.

The most negative aspect of the VGN-FS485B is the scarce interface equipment. Only 2 USB 2.0 connections are somewhat few (here the acquisition of a USB hub is recommended). Also the missing s-video exit is straight disfavorable. If you nevertheless like to watch on a television screen, you must change over to an external adapter (for the monitor exit). The interfaces are arranged at the  sides except the audio connections. Exactly these audio interfaces at the front may enerve, when connecting an external set of boxes. The PC Card connection is on the right side in front and is well protected. The memory stick pro interface is behind it and not as well protected by a cover.

connections at the right side
connections
connections at the left side
connections at the back
connections at the front side

Input Devices

touchpad and keyboard
touchpad and keyboard

The notebook keyboard, which is implemented in the Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B sits firmly in the chassis and offers (for notebooks) pleasantly large keys. Only the function keys are finished somewhat smaller than normal. The individual keys are to be used pleasantly and offer a clearly noticeable pressure point. The layout of the keyboard is to be evaluated as successful - 10 finger writers will be habituated soon. The Sony notebook does not offer quick keys, only a useful mechanical slide switch for the WLAN card is in the front of the pretty laptop.

The touchpad in the widescreen format from Alps offers a smooth sliding surface and can be handled precisely. The two touchpad keys beneath offer a clear clicking pressure point and sit firmly in the case.

In summary, the input devices are outstanding good.

Display

the display with full sunlight
colour diagram

The 15,4" 16:10 widescreen display of the Sony Vaio laptop offers the at present common screen surface with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The resolution is not particularly fine, but all symbols and control interfaces are pleasantly large in Windows.

With max. 172 cd/m² (uncommonly not in the direct center but within the middle upper range measured) the brightness of the display is even sufficient to recognize something outdoor (despite the reflections).

The external monitor offers only a satisfying sharpness and does not allow high resolutions with high image refreshing frequencies.
1280x1024 75hz - satisfying sharpness
1600x1200 60hz - sufficient sharpness, but flares because of the max. 60Hz

The reddish colour of the display can be noticed easily without measuring instruments (in the diagram the lowered blue curve)

157.1
cd/m²
172.1
cd/m²
152.1
cd/m²
141.0
cd/m²
165.2
cd/m²
142.6
cd/m²
145
cd/m²
147.5
cd/m²
141.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 172.1 cd/m²
Average: 151.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Black: 0.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 236:1
stability of viewing angles

Performance

With the integrated video card the Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B can't really be used for games. Some current games (e.g. Age of Empires 3) run in smallest resolution and minimum details, but not always without image interruptions. Gamers should seize a notebook with video card of the class 2 or better.

Using the laptop the office performance is absolutely sufficient (despite the comparatively small PCMark05 rating). Performance-uncritical programs such as E-Mail, internet browser or office run perfectly.

benchmark comparison 3DMark
benchmark comparison
benchmark comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 03882 points
3DMark 06
 
54 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Asus Eee PC 1101HA
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
68
Asus X51R
 520, Radeon Xpress 1100
71
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 051839 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Asus Eee PC S101
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
1729
Asus Eee PC 1015T
 V105, Radeon HD 4250
1749
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
1839
Asus X51R
 520, Radeon Xpress 1100
1845
Dell Inspiron duo
 N550, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1857
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
80 GB - 4200 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 1.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 27.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 22.3 MB/s
Access Time: 19.5 ms
Burst Rate: 65.7 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.2 %

Emissions

The fan of the Sony Vaio VGN FS485B runs also without load almost continuously, but very quietly with only 33,4 dB. Under full load it is hardly louder with measured 34.8 dB. If one listens, also quiet transistor whistles can be heard. Nevertheless it remains quieter than the fan. Only the hard disk creaks with 36dB and so is louder than the fan. In summary, the Sony laptop is silent above average.

fan off: 31.6 dB
fan level 1: 33.4 dB (almost without load)
fan level 2: 34.2 dB
fan max.: 34.8 dB (full load)
+ hard disk: 36 dB

Upper side

palmwrist: 30°C max: 33°C avg: 32°C hotspot: above the keyboard

Bottom side

max: 36°C avg: 30°C hotspot: in the center

environment: 23

Battery Runtime

Scarcely 3 hours surfing with maximum brightness by WLAN is a good value. All other measured values are also scarcely over the average and a good value for the beginners notebook of Sony .

Batteryeater Classic Test (full load, max. brightness with 3D animation): 2h 15min
surfing per WLAN: 2h 52min
Batteryeater Reader (min. brightness, not load): 3h 42min

Verdict

The light-weight, silent, well processed and cheap notebook can be recommended  to users who don't need much performance. Particularly the good input devices stand out. Only the somewhat limited interface equipment (only 2 USB interfaces and no s-video exit) and mirroring of the display are negative.

Who can live without a Core Duo and wants to use mainly undemanding applications like office or internet surfing should take the Sony Vaio VGN FS485B into the closer choice.

Sony Vaio VGN FS485B
Sony Vaio VGN FS485B
Tested: The Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B Notebook
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B Notebook

Specifications

Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B

:: Processor
Intel Pentium M 740 1.73 GHz
:: Memory
512 MB, DDR2, PC4300, max. 2048MB, 1x512MB (1 Slot free)
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA X-black LC-display with one light
:: Harddisk
80 GB - 4200 rpm, 80 GB 4200 rpm Toshiba MK8025GAS 80GB ATA/ATAPI-6: 80GB, 4200rpm
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, Firewire IEE 1394 4-Pin, earphones, MemoryStick (Pro), VGA exit (analogue)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25.4 x 364 x 264.5
:: Weight
2.675 kg
:: Battery
, 4400 mAh lithium-ions
:: Price
1070 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 915GM/GMS / ICH6-M, HDD: 80GB, 4200rpm, Toshiba MK8025GAS 80GB ATA/ATAPI-6, Intel High Definition Audio, Sony DVD RW DW-Q58A,

 

[+] compare
The workmanship of the Sony Vaio VGN FS485B notebook is excellent due to Magnesium, ...
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B
The performance is not the best because of the aged Centrino processor...
The small loudspeakers are apt for system sounds, but not for concert music due to their size.
e.g. of almost 3h with WLAN.
helps the Sony to achieve a battery runtime above average...
The battery with a capacity of 4400mAh...
Additionally there is a useful sliding switch for the WLAN connection.
The input devices, keyboard and touchpad are the highlights of this laptop.
The reflecting X-black display is quirw bright with max 172cd/m².
The design of the light-weight office notebook is attractive.
only the partially used plastic elements crunch.
...but for simple applications it is sufficient.

Pro

  • solid, fine case
  • input devices
  • silent
  • case remains cool
  • Contra

  • only 2 USB 2.0 connections
  • no S-Video exit
  • mirroring display
  • Similar Laptops

    Rating

    Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B
    08/31/2007
    Klaus Hinum

    Chassis
    95%
    Keyboard
    95%
    Pointing Device
    95%
    Connectivity
    74%
    Weight
    79%
    Battery
    88%
    Display
    85%
    Games Performance
    60%
    Application Performance
    68%
    Temperature
    85%
    Noise
    90%
    Add Points
    88%
    Average
    84%
    87%
    Office *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B Notebook
    Author: Klaus Hinum, 2006-08-18 (Update: 2013-05- 8)