written by: M.S. Smith•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 4/25/2011
Sony's Vaio laptops are well known for their luxurious build quality and often insane color combinations. The hardware inside them is solid as well, and many Vaio models are available with 1080p displays.
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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
There are Sony Vaio full 1080p laptops on the market. Quite a few, in fact. Let's have a look at them.
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.
Sony Vaio F Series
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.