sony-vaio-l WHAT: Sony VAIO L

COMPARE TO: Apple iMac, MSI AE2010-02SUS, HP TouchSmart 600xt

PRICE: Starting at $1300

FUN FACT: If you have any old Sony electronics, you may be able to trade them in for credit towards new Sony products through their Sony Trade In Program.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING: The number of people computing from a desktop computer is dwindling. Thanks to Moore's Law, we know computers (really, all gadgets) will become increasingly smaller and more powerful as the years go on. What does this mean for you? Well, it means you'll be able to do a lot more with a lot less, which for a lot of people is negating the necessity to purchase a desktop computer. Unless your line of work needs the power of a desktop, why get one when you can cop a thin laptop you're able to carry everywhere? And let's not even get started on net books. So what does the future of the desktop computer look like? We think it looks a lot like Sony's newest all-in-one desktop offering, the VAIO L series...

Apple undoubtedly made the all-in-one computer the go to alternative to the cumbersome and straight up unattractive tower models with their iMac line. Since then a number of companies have thrown their competitors into the ring hoping to topple the king, but until now none have come close. Their form factors are the same, yeah, but that's where the similarities end. Sony's goal is for the VAIO L to be thought of more as a networked entertainment device than a traditional PC. To accomplish that, they've made the 24-inch widescreen LCD monitor a touch screen, making it extremely easy to log in, play music or movies, or just surf the web. The touchscreen is nice, but it wouldn't be as good without Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7 backing it. Say what you will about their iffy commercials and the abhorred Vista, Windows 7 is a completely different animal: faster, lightweight, and featuring a couple new tricks like the ability to use multi-touch hand gestures to navigate. It really makes all the difference.

The hardware is what you'd expect from such a machine: Intel's Core 2 Quad processor available up to 2.66GHz, up to 1 TB of storage, NVIDIA GeForce GT or GeForce 2 graphics, and an optional Blu-Ray burner. All that is cool and needed for a system designed to crunch huge amounts of high-def data, but the specs that we'd probably use the most are the optional TV turner and HDMI input. At 24 inches, the VAIO L is big enough to be your television, and with those two options, it can be. Or, you can just use it to play Xbox 360 or PS3 when you're not on Facebook. We have to admit, even if we had this, we would probably still use our laptops more. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be great as the central hub of our home entertainment network. Seems desktops still have a use after all.

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