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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
|3DMark 03 Standard||882 points|
|3DMark 06||54 points|
|PCMark 05 Standard||1839 points|
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
palmwrist: 30°C max: 33°C avg: 32°C hotspot: above the keyboard
max: 36°C avg: 30°C hotspot: in the center
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
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.