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The Importance of 1080p
The term "1080p" originates from HDTV marketing. A 1080p display has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. This is currently the highest common resolution among HDTVs, so a great deal of media content is optimized for it. This is why many people look for 1080p displays on a laptop.
In terms of more general computer use, 1080p offers advantages. A high display resolution on a laptop display means more "usable" space. This is because programs are measured in pixels. A window that is typically 600 pixels wide and 400 tall would consume most of a 1024x600 display. That same window would take up about a forth of a 1080p display - which means you can display more windows, and be more productive.
The flip side of that, however, is that each window will appear smaller. Keep in mind that a 1080p display on a laptop is physically small. The pixels on such a display are tiny, and pressed together tightly. This creates a sharp image, but it also means that text will be tiny. People with poor vision might have trouble reading text on a 1080p display unless the text is enlarged.
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Sony's 1080p Laptops
Sony Vaio C Series
This is Sony's line of mainstream laptops. There are two sizes - one with a 14" display, and one with a 15.5" display. The 15.5" model offers an optional 1080p display, which is reasonably priced at $50 and a substantial upgrade over the base display, which has a resolution of 1366x768. This laptop comes standard with a second-gen Core i5 processor and AMD Radeon discrete graphics. The MSRP for a model with the 1080p display is $929.99.
Sony Vaio E Series
Sony's entry-level line of laptops, the E series comes in three sizes - 14", 15.5" or 17.3". Only the two larger models has a 1080p display as an option. It is $50 on the 15.5" E series, but $100 on the 17.3" E series. These laptops still have the first-gen Intel Core i3 processors and the largest model has discrete graphics. The MSRP is $799.99 for both models when equipped with the 1080p display. These are some of the least expensive laptops on the market with a 1080p display option.
The F series is Sony's high-end multimedia laptop. It has an unusual display size of 16 inches. Currently, Sony is selling both an older and newer model. The older model has first-gen Core i7 processors options, discrete graphics, and an MSRP of $1019 when equipped with the optional 1080p display.The new model has second-gen Core i7 processors, discrete graphics an comes with a 1080p 3D capable display by default. The MSRP is $1659.
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Which to Buy?
Now you know the Sony Vaio full 1080p laptops that are available. Which should you buy?
The E or C series options are the best for most buyers. The E series is a bit old and uses outdated hardware, but offers a great value. If you're very interested in a 1080p display but have found most options unaffordable, the E series could be for you. Buyers that place value on having the latest hardware will want the C series.
Sony's F series is great, but also expensive. I frankly have a hard time recommending the Sony Vaio F, particularly the newer one. For the same price you can buy some very nice laptops from ASUS or even Apple.
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Sony.com : Laptops
All images from Sony press materials
PLEASE NOTE: Prices and options are from Sony's website. In some instances, Sony offers modified models to specific retailers. Please double-check all specifications before making a purchase!