- Sony PCV-V1/G


The rear of the unit is pretty sparse and you’ll only find the standard power connector and two more USB 2.0 ports.

The keyboard and mouse are, of course, wireless. The keybaord is slim and stylish and complements the system unit perfectly. The feel of the keyboard is similar to a good laptop rather than a full size desktop keyboard. That said, it’s still very easy to type on and the collapsible feet raise it to just the right typing angle. There is also a clip on wrist rest that doubles as a keyboard cover when you’re not using it. The mouse is a VAIO branded shiny black model, that feels unfamiliar in the hand. I did however, get used to the feel of it, and the buttons and scroll wheel all worked flawlessly. What really impressed me about the mouse was the power switch at the base. This means that when you’re not using the PC, you’re mouse isn’t wasting all that precious battery power, like most other wireless rodents do.

Inside the PCV-V1/G is a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 CPU backed up by 512MB of RAM. Although it’s worth remembering that the SiS integrated graphics will be using some of that system memory. The 160GB hard disk should be enough, although if you get carried away recording TV programmes, that capacity could get eaten up all too quickly.

So, now that we’ve covered the basic specification, let’s talk about how the PCV-V1/G performs as a media PC. There’s no denying that the Sony looks the part, and the screen lends itself well to watching video. Of course it’s a little on the small size, but this is more of a bedroom/kitchen kind of machine, rather than a living room entertainment centre. If there’s one design problem with this system it’s that it doesn’t have a carrying handle, since it’s the kind of unit that could be easily transported from one room to another.

For AV duties this little Sony uses an application called Giga Pocket. Giga Pocket can be launched from the Start menu just like any other application, but you’re more likely to use the supplied infrared remote control. The remote is finished in silver and black to match the rest of the system and it’s pretty easy to use. Pressing the TV button will, unsurprisingly, start up Giga Pocket and launch the TV module. It was simple to tune in all my local channels and assign them to the correct numbers. The picture quality with a decent aerial is excellent and I was quite happy using the PCV-V1/G as a TV at home for a while. Pressing the record button on the remote will start to record whatever TV channel you happen to be watching. That file will be time-stamped and added to the “My Cabinet” area of the Video section in Giga Pocket. You can then playback each file as and when you want to, while chapter marks will automatically be inserted into the recording.

When using the remote to launch Giga Pocket it will automatically run full screen. You can however use the remote to get back to the Windows desktop, at which point Giga Pocket will be reduced to a smaller window, allowing you to carry on watching while you work.