Sony Vaio VGX-XL201 Media Center £599 - HotUKDeals
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Sony Vaio VGX-XL201 Media Center £599.00

£599.00 @ Testing
This Sony media center was £999, but has been reduced to £599 - or even £549 at some Sony shops (Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Brent Cross, and others).. as it has been superseded with a machine … Read More
bubblymatt Avatar
1d, 2m agoFound 1 decade, 2 months ago
This Sony media center was £999, but has been reduced to £599 - or even £549 at some Sony shops (Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Brent Cross, and others).. as it has been superseded with a machine with Vista pre-loaded (which is £1099), only hardware difference is 2gb RAM as far as I can see.... if bought before March 15th (or registered before March 31st) entitled to free Vista Premium upgrade :)

Sony VAIO VGX-XL201 Living Room Entertainment Computer

Designed to connect simply with your TV, this revolutionary PC will become the centre piece for your living room. Using Microsoft Media Center Edition, you can simply watch and record digital TV, burn DVDs, listen to your music collection, view your photos, surf and download from the Internet!

Features:
- Genuine Windows® Media Center Edition 2005 with ViiV(TM) technology
- Vista (TM) Capable, Premium Ready
- Freeview Digital TV Tuner (hybrid) & HDMI Connection
- 430mm form factor designed to fit under your TV
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 (1.86GHz)
- 250Gb Hard Drive & 1Gb RAM
- Windows XP Media Center Edition
More From Testing:

All Comments

(39) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
Took me ages to find the technical details of this set, so to help others, it's NOT on Sony UK's website, you have to go their VAIO one instead.

http://vaio.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProduct.action?product=VGX-XL201&site=voe_en_GB_cons&category=VD+XL+Series

No SCART connectors for TV - only HDMI and Component for (high-definition) sets which is fine if you've already got HD set, but no good if waiting for your old CRT to croak...
[admin]#2
Hi bubblymat, welcome here :)

I added the price to your title.
#3
I have a couple of questions about this

1. Can it upscale freeview pic to Hi Def?


2. Will it play any of the latest games with that graphics card

3. How easy is it to upgrade the ram in these?

4. Would i be better buying something else?

5. does it have wireless built in?

I have been looking for a multimedia pc to sit under my LCD and would like one that is like A STB and that can play the latest games.
#4
Many, many thanks to OP.

Just ordered one from Micro Anvika on-line for £599 + £10.95 shipping.

Did try all the mentioned Sony Centre stores above (Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Brent Cross) and all confirmed they have now sold out. Micro Anvika's Tottenham Court store still have a few in stock though.

Had considered building my own HTPC but you can't get anywhere close to this specification unless you spend a great deal more then you still have all the hassle of building it and installing all the software. This is a far better solution imo.
Cheekster.
#5
is this good?
#6
It's better than good, it's SUPERB imo.

A friend of mine has a much older version of this Sony VAIO that he's using as his HTPC (P4 2.8GHz HT), purchased about a year ago for what seemed like a bargain back then for it's specifications (£999 I believe he paid for it) as there were no graphics cards available with HDMI output (even now the few that are available cost around £150 until recently!). It's quiet in operation which is exactly what you'd want if watching a movie via this unit on your plasma display. The keyboard with built-in touchpad (saves having to find a place to use a mouse on a mousemat!) is excellent for surfing the net from the comfort of your sofa. No need to own a laptop now which is why I recently sold mine.

When I phoned up my friend earlier to ask him a few questions about his model and upgrading etc, he couldn't believe the price. He was tempted to get one and then try and sell his old one for a similar price (second hand!).

Pretty sure these will all be sold in no time at this great price then it's £1099 for the new replacement model which is not such a super deal imo.

Cheekster.
#7
so this is like a pc but wireless?!?!
#8
thats quite good!
#9
Yes it comes with wireless built in as standard. Although it is aimed for those wishing to connect the unit to their plasma/lcd display in the living room it can be used as a regular pc in any room of the house and connected to a tft or regular computer monitor.

Cheekster.
#10
MAYBE LAter when i get my lcd or plasma!
#11
so in future can i hook this up 2 my hd tv xbox divx player etc???
1 Like #12
mitchb
I have a couple of questions about this

1. Can it upscale freeview pic to Hi Def?


2. Will it play any of the latest games with that graphics card

3. How easy is it to upgrade the ram in these?

4. Would i be better buying something else?

5. does it have wireless built in?

I have been looking for a multimedia pc to sit under my LCD and would like one that is like A STB and that can play the latest games.


1. I would think so but it can only seem to take s-video/composite in which means the quality isn't going to be great when upscaled.

2. Not sure what this graphics card is exactly (the GTL suffix isn't a standard one), in general the 7600 card is a reasonable midrange graphics card and should be capable of reasonable gaming performance at your LCD TV's native resolution if it's 720p

3. No idea, in theory it shouldn't be as it's standard ram but Sony could well have it difficult/impossible

4. Difficult question, it's not a particularly fast processor nor is it a mobile one, it would be more attractive to me at least if it had one or the other. It's quite a neat all in one solution though which makes it appealing, I'm not sure what else is in that price range as I've mainly been looking at building my own.

5. According to the specs it does, 802.11a/b/g

John
#13
mate, nice to see you around and many thanks for informing me. Digged interweb, but cannot see any reviews / closer looks!

cheekster
It's better than good, it's SUPERB imo.
#14
Saw this which seems to indicate it wouldn't be too hard or expensive to upgrade the memory.
I'm trying desperately to avoid temptation!
#15
i'm convinced on most of the factors, but i need true HD / LPCM sound over HDMI
#16
mitchb
I have a couple of questions about this

1. Can it upscale freeview pic to Hi Def?


2. Will it play any of the latest games with that graphics card

3. How easy is it to upgrade the ram in these?

4. Would i be better buying something else?

5. does it have wireless built in?

I have been looking for a multimedia pc to sit under my LCD and would like one that is like A STB and that can play the latest games.


Nearly bought one of these at Christmas, very nice unit but its too big to fit in our tv cabinet

1. Yes, it will upscale the pic from the built in DVB-T card. This machine will basically replace you're freeview box, dvd player and hard drive player (if you have one)

2. Yes

3. No more difficult than a normal PC. The only components that cause problems are graphics cards, tv tuners etc because they need to be smaller form factor to fit in these cases

4. With HTPCs you always pay extra for the looks of the thing. If you want an attractive unit to sit underneath you're TV then get this. If you're after a PC then but something cheaper/better.

5. Yes
#17
normal
Saw this which seems to indicate it wouldn't be too hard or expensive to upgrade the memory.
I'm trying desperately to avoid temptation!


Thanks for the link. Doesn't mention what speed the RAM is mind, I'm guessing if it's the exact specification for this Sony VAIO PC then it's the same speed as the 2 x 512MB strips that come as standard?

Placed my order yesterday via Micro Anvika's site. My mate phoned them up and ordered his and was told they were expecting 150 units in today. Today when he phoned up at 13:30 they had yet to receive their delivery. I do hope I and/or others haven't missed the boat on this one?

Cheekster.
#18
A big turn around in events today...

Checked my on-line order first thing this morning and it said processing order as indeed it did since I ordered it on Tues. Plus on the item page it said "pre-order".

My mate phoned up Micro Anvika again this morning to check if they had received their delivery of these PC's and was told no. He then tracked down one at the Tottenham Court Road branch and purchased it for £599, cancelling his telephone order made a few days ago. He also phoned the Sony Centre, Brent Cross (again) for me and found they had one left in stock (even though two days ago they said they had none left!). So I drove straight down there and purchased it for £549.98! :thumbsup: :-D :thumbsup:

Got home after collecting the PC and checked the status of my on-line order with Micro Anvika and to my complete surprise it said order complete! NOOOOO!!! I didn't want two of these things, so I phoned up straight away and cancelled the order. Phew!

Can anyone please confirm that ebuyer quickfind code: 106114 is exactly the same ram memory as http://www.orcalogic.co.uk/asp/prodtype.asp?prodtype=28057&ft=M&st=1 only it's made by Crucial and cheaper? And that it will be compatible with this Sony Vaio PC? If it is I'm going to order two 1GB sticks, taking the total to it's maximum of 3GB.

Just ordered me Vista Home Premium upgrade disc on-line, £17.63 shipping and taxes, what's that all about! :x

Thanks.

Cheekster.
#19
Micro Anvika now has stock, and they are charging £549, with delivery for only £10.95. Quite a good delivery price, considering Dell normally charges £30-60 for their systems.

http://www.microanvika.com/product.asp?TXT=INFO&PNO=SON11170

Definately worth it! Very good spec for the price!
#20
cheekster

Just ordered me Vista Home Premium upgrade disc on-line, £17.63 shipping and taxes, what's that all about! :x
Cheekster.


Hi Cheekster,

How did you go about getting the upgrade ?
Were you supplied with a voucher and was there a specific site you had to go to ?

Thanks.
#21
Killaspeed
Hi Cheekster,

How did you go about getting the upgrade ?
Were you supplied with a voucher and was there a specific site you had to go to ?

Thanks.


https://upgradeweb.moduslink.com/vista/ConsumerWebsite/(S(uo20ow3qvrt3hcq5dckwequz))/GlobalLandingPage.aspx?oem=Sonycorporation

If that doesn't work start from here:

http://vista.vaio-link.com/vaiovista.html?lang=en

You must register your claim by 31st March 2007 and have made the purchse before 15th march 2007.

Cheekster.
#22
How are people's order status on the Vista upgrade?

I registered in time for mine, but it's still only showing "COA Validated" - and I've emailed my receipt, too. :(
#23
Just checked my Vista Upgrade order status and it's still just showing as "order received" although I did receive an e-mail a couple of weeks ago saying they had received my copy of sales receipt and that my order had been validated.

If it's anything like how long my Vista Upgrade from Dell took to arrive we have a long wait yet! :whistling:

Cheekster.
#24
Has anyone added additional drives to one of these, yet?

I'm considering it as an Easter project; are there PC-specific SATA cables already within the case to use?

I'm yet to open it, but the on-screen documentation makes reference to using them over commercially available cables, thus suggesting they may be within the case.

If they are in there, is this the case for power also (maybe Y-cables attached to the existing installed HDD)?

Thanks for any advice; don't want to be poised to go only to find I need to go out and get some cables!

:oops:
#25
Anyone know?
#26
My mate has added two extra 500GB HDD's into his XL-201. There is already two spare power connectors for them provided. However you will need to purchase two SATA cables (right-angle at the HDD end and regular connector on the other end for motherboard as there is very little space within the case!).

I plan ghost the existing 250GB onto a 500GB then add a further two 500GB HDD's (making a total of a not too shabby 1.5TB!) then add another 2GB RAM (totalling 3GB!) in the next few days. :-D

Cheekster.
#27
what u mean cheekster?

how have u setted this up and also is this a good media centre?q
#28
good to hear that you are happy with the purchase :)

cheekster
I plan ghost the existing 250GB onto a 500GB then add a further two 500GB HDD's (making a total of a not too shabby 1.5TB!) then add another 2GB RAM (totalling 3GB!) in the next few days. :-D

Cheekster.
#29
Hi, looking at the spec I do not see it saying it has VGA out - can someone confirm if it does?

Also, how many free expansion slots does it have, are they low profile, and what type (PCI/PCI-express), what slot does the tuner take (in case I want to replace with a dual tuner).

Thanks.
#30
This machine is the business; worth EVERY penny of the £549!

I also have now installed two extra 500gb HDDs... and no doubt may well do as Cheekster suggests to squeeze an extra 250gb in there (didn't think of that initally!).

Additionally, my Vista upgrade arrived this morning... still in two minds whether to install it or not, though. Anyone got theirs and installed? Seemingly it comes with Sony discs with their drivers, so it *should* be OK. :giggle:

However, I'm not happy about paying the best part of £18 for P&P for the upgrade though, and them shipping it - SECOND CLASS - from Uxbridge! Tossers.
#31
You could always set up a dual boot (Media Center plus Vista) if you're not 100% sure that everything will work under Vista.

Not received my Vista upgrade yet! :-( When did you register for yours spartacus101?

Cheekster.
#32
Machine is ok for the price but for a similar amount you can build a much better spec with the option to upgrade to a better gfx card and memory at a later date. Other cases out there look alot better as an HTPC in a home cinema setup. The graphics card on this machine will struggle with some of the latest games. If you threw a 720p or 1080p HD x264 file at it through component it wouldn't shine that well. Tried one of these before and personally I wouldn't as it will be out of date in 6 months and you will have hassle upgrading components in these cases. Don't forget the big boys (sony, Dell, HP) like to charge you alot for upgrading with their official components and some of your own memory etc won't always work with their own spec'd or 3rd party motherboards. Just letting you know as I use alot of various branded and unbranded HTPC's.
#33
Whilst I haven't set mine up yet my mate has and he like myself purchased purely for watching HD material. He's played 1080p HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movies via HDMI with no problems whatsoever. When I was looking to build my own HTPC, there was not a chance in hell I'd have been able to do it inside £549. The case I had my eye on (Zalman HD160 Home Theatre PC Enclosure) was the best part of £209 alone!

Cheekster.
#34
HTPC in a home cinema setup
whats that?

what should i look out for i was to get a media centre?
#35
cheekster
Whilst I haven't set mine up yet my mate has and he like myself purchased purely for watching HD material. He's played 1080p HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movies via HDMI with no problems whatsoever. When I was looking to build my own HTPC, there was not a chance in hell I'd have been able to do it inside £549. The case I had my eye on (Zalman HD160 Home Theatre PC Enclosure) was the best part of £209 alone!

Cheekster.


Didn't think this model could play HD/Blu Ray!

Micro Anvika have confirmed they haven't got any of these left now. Anyone know where you can get one for less than £600?
#36
cheekster
You could always set up a dual boot (Media Center plus Vista) if you're not 100% sure that everything will work under Vista.
Well, since there is a total of four PCs in the house, this one is used solely for media so I don't envisage much in the way of problems even if I do go with the Vista upgrade... :-D

cheekster
Not received my Vista upgrade yet! :-( When did you register for yours spartacus101?

Cheekster.
I registered on the last day (31st I think?)... wasn't going to, and did it as a last thought, really. That £17-odd vs Uxbridge is still burning me, mind!
#37
Shaker
Didn't think this model could play HD/Blu Ray!


It doesnt, the guy is telling porkies. No Sony machines play HD-DVD and only the new ones do BD
#38
HTPC in a home cinema setup
whats that?

what should i look out for i was to get a media centre?
#39
where can i get this for less than 600

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