This 17-inch behemoth is definitely not meant to keep on your lap, unless you have a very large lap indeed, or need to keep it warm! What this is, however, is a desktop replacement and a powerful and good looking one at that. While the build, fit and finish are excellent, the AR-69GU feels solid to hold, you get the feeling that a device so large defeats the purpose of being a notebook. The screen is gorgeous and crisp, and the keypad wonder¬fully spaced out-a pity though, that the multimedia buttons are very dicky and tacky. The touch¬pad is also sensitive and imparts just the right amount of feedback. With 3 GB of system memory and a 256 MB GeForce 8600GT under the hood, you can expect this giant to be no slouch.
There's a fully functional Windows MCE remote bundled with this thing, and Sony also provides S-Video and TV antenna jacks, in addition to an HDMI port. Incidentally, the 17-inch screen does 1920x1200 pixels, so native 1080p should be a wonderful experience. This notebook's entertainment genes are wonderfully evi¬dent even before switch¬ing it on. You'll find the shortcut keys very utili- tarian-our only gripe being the typically soft Vaio keypads, which lack key feedback-they're too soft. With two 250 GB hard drives on board and a DVD Writer-cum-Blu-ray drive, this notebook has a configura¬tion that should stand the test of time ...at least for another couple of years.
We really enj oyed this notebook as far as home entertainment is concerned. It's not for the discerning gamer, but it does most tasks with ease, while retain¬ing functionality as a fully remote-control¬lable desktop replace¬ment. At the largest Vaio in this test is very expensive. But that's in keeping with its premium specifications, premium performance, premium features, and its premium heri¬tage. It's for those looking for an HTPC-cum-PC-cum-powerful notebook that is connectable to a large screen TV as well, but crave the mobile flexibility of a notebook and do not want to waste space on a desktop.