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Sony VGN AR51 - Great spec, bad chassis, worse customer support


Fast, good media PC

Useless chassis, will last like a chocolate teapot, Sony customer support

Detailed rating:


Look & Feel

Comfort & Portability

Robustness & Durability

Value For Money

Memory / capacityGood

Ease of useEasy

Range of Extra FeaturesGood

Instruction manualSatisfactory

Manufacturer SupportTotally unhelpful

3 Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful See ratings
helpful by (67%):
  2. sewbizzie
somewhat helpful by (33%):
  1. TheHairyGodmother

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The VGN AR51 is a great laptop out of the box. It looks good, the 17" screen is excellent, and it's a very fast machine.

However after only 18 months of use my laptop is completely redundant.
8 months into using the laptop the left hinge seized and broke, aparrantly a common promblem on this (and other Sony) models.

Sony refused to fix the problem under warranty and I spoke with some very rude and agressive 'support' staff. Very annoying considering how much I had spent on the laptop and the fact it probably cost more to ship the laptop to the warranty center and back than it would have done to fix the problem.

Having written several emails, and making calls to the customer support lines to complain about the treatement I received I eventually gave up as no response was ever given.

The £200 charge to fix one hinge was about a quarter the cost of the laptop originally so I was not prepared to pay it.

Now 18 months later, the speakers do not work at all, the spacebar does not work, I cannot move the machine for fear of breaking the remaining hinge and just recently the hard drive gave up the ghost.

Comparing this to my previous laptop; a HP pavillion which after 7 years is still going strong with my gran, I am massively dissappointed.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that people stay away from Sony laptop's.

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TheHairyGodmother 06.10.2009 15:30

Sorry but much more information is required to achieve higher ratings. If you add anything to this review in terms of additional detail and opinion, please do not hesitate to drop a quick message in my guestbook and I will come back and re-rate :)

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Powerful and versatile, VGN-AR51E is designed for all your needs.


Product Type Notebook
Recommended Use Home use

Processor / chipset

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz
Number of Cores Dual-Core
Cache L2 - 2 MB

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of Sony Vaio VGN-AR51E has been rated:

"helpful" by (67%):

  2. sewbizzie

"somewhat helpful" by (33%):

  1. TheHairyGodmother

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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