Sony Vaio VGC-RC210G

Sony Vaio VGC-RC210G

Pros: Good performance, many ports

Cons: Power inefficient

Price: $1,379

Performance: B+

Features: A

Value: B

Power efficiency: C+

The Vaio VGC-RC10G has the two hallmarks we've come to expect from the Vaio line: loads of multimedia features and a higher-than-average price tag.

With a 3-GHz Intel Pentium D processor and 1GB of PC2-4200 DDR2 memory, the Vaio has a fairly good deal of processing power at its disposal, which can run most high-end applications without any problems. In our benchmarks, the VGC-RC10G scored 8,871, which was well above average.

This system's main strength is the number of multimedia features. The Vaio's ATI Radeon X300 graphics card is one of the better subsystems in this group, which might help account for its performance score. Plus, the VGC-RC10G comes with a 7-in-1 multimedia card, seven USB connections, two S-Video ports, two composite video ports, two FireWire ports, and even a parallel printer port. It's easily the most peripheral-compatible system we've seen.

The Vaio's DVD+R Double Layer/ DVD+/-RW drive can read and write in nearly every DVD and CD format out there. And the VGC-RC10G was the only unit in this review to have a second optical drive, a DVD-ROM. Unfortunately, the drives were covered with flip-down doors, which in our experience can break fairly easily, leaving you with a drive that can be extremely hard to open and close.

Although the case is a typical minitower, the system has one particularly unique feature. Through the lower part of the system is an opening that tunnels from one side to the other, which allows for greater airflow. Air moves down the wind tunnel and directly into the system, keeping the components cool.

As in the case of the Alienware PC, more efficient cooling is necessary to offset less efficient power consumption.

In our tests, the Vaio consumed 110 watts per second while idle, which was more than all but one of the others in the roundup, and it used the most power to draw our Excel chart (129 watts).

In other application tests, the Vaio VGC-RC10G was also comparatively inefficient. For example, it took 421 watts to open an application, which was above average.

Although the Vaio VGC-RC10G's price of $1,379 is not unreasonable, especially considering the multimedia options, higher power consumption means higher total cost of ownership. Overall, we're impressed with the system, but for large-scale rollouts, we'd probably look elsewhere.

Sony Electronics, San Diego, (877) 865-7669,

About the Authors

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.


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