Back in our former lives as sales drones for the big box retailers, we used to cram all our computing gear onto the coffee table, because, well, we couldn't afford a proper desk. We sure wish Sony had been around back then with its all-in-one Vaio VGC-LS1 Media Center desktop, which like the latest generation of iMacs, packs all of the PC components neatly in and around a flat-panel LCD. First appearing in Japan several months ago, the LS1 will finally make it stateside come September, and PC Mag finds the Core Duo-equipped multimedia powerhouse to be a worthy adversary for similar machines from Apple (a wireless keyboard and mouse come standard here) and especially Gateway (its horribly-designed Profile 6 isn't even fit for public display). The LS1 improves upon Sony's previous all-in-one offering, the VA11G, by getting rid of the hardware at the base of the display as well adding ExpressCard and SD slots -- though you still have to deal with an unsightly appendage in the form of a tethered USB IR receiver dongle. The built in TV tuner, dual-layer DVD burner, and 250GB hard drive make this model sound perfect for college students or as a bedroom PC, but the main drawback lies in its lack of HD support: not only is it missing a Blu-ray drive, you're not getting a single HDMI, DVI, or component input for filling that 19-inch, 1,680 x 1,050 screen with high definition goodness. Overall, though, the $2,100 machine comes across as a pretty capable performer with an eye-catching design and only a few, mostly minor drawbacks -- meaning that we would have been proud to give it a home in our dingy little studio apartment.

Read- LS1 announcement
Read- PCMag review

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