Feeds
75%
Sony_LA1_tn

Sony Vaio VGC-LA1 all-on-one PC

Stylish slimline desktop wonder?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Usability is a slightly different matter as the screen is rather on the small side for TV duties unless you're sat quite close. Sony has installed Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002 SP2 which is entirely appropriate in this application, but there's no avoiding the fact that the MCE remote control is intended for use with Microsoft's 10ft interface. We found it necessary to be considerably closer to get the full benefit of the picture. Plonk the LA1 on your coffee table and you'll find that it looks great but then we come to another annoyance: the optical mouse and keyboard, both wireless. These both look the part but we found the mouse was horribly erratic on anything but the smoothest surface. And we've no idea how you'd use it as you lounge in your armchair. The LA1 is crying out for a wireless keyboard with a trackball or touchpad, rather than a separate mouse.

Sony_LA1_with_mouse

Sony has loaded the LA1 with a stack of software including InterVideo WinDVD 5, Microsoft Works 8, Roxio, Photoshop Elements 4.0, Premiere Elements 2.0 and SonicStage Backup which are all quite usable. You also get Norton Internet Security 2006 which wouldn't be our first choice of security software, or even our second. Or, thinking about it, our third.

On the Start menu there's an item called Internet Service Providers for VAIO which consists of AOL, BT and Orange, and on the desktop there's an icon to run a set-up to install AOL 9 yet the Norton Security software warns that "Norton Antispam doesn't support AOL Mail", which indicates a lack of joined-up thinking.

sony vaio la1 all-in-one pc

Sony also includes a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office 2003 which is a free download from Microsoft and presumably costs Sony nothing whereas we would hope that a £1,499 SRP PC that sells for £1,399 on the street would ship with a full version of Office.

In another bit of cross-marketing the screensaver triggers a trailer for the new Bond movie Casino Royale. It's fun the first time or two but when all is said and done this is an advert for a Sony movie on your brand new home entertainment system, and that's a diabolical liberty.

Verdict

Sony has engineered a superbly attractive piece of kit in the LA1 but at this price point we expect something that is far more serious and ideally has a larger screen. As things stand the price would need to come down significantly to make the LA1 really appealing to anyone who values performance and functionality over looks. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

75%
Sony_LA1_tn

Sony Vaio VGC-LA1 all-on-one PC

Truly a stunner - if you don't mind the high price and average spec...
Price: £1,399 inc VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.