The Sony Vaio PCG-C1F is part of a series of sub-notebooks named “Picturebooks” because of their small form factor and being lightweight, usually weighing about around 1kg. The PCG-C1F is the same model as the PCG-C1, but it’s localized for the UK. It has a 266 MHz CPU and an 8.1GB hard drive.

While being very small, the C1F is very versatile and has a ton of really nice features, many that you wouldn’t expect in a such small laptop back in the day, like USB, Firewire, full PCMCIA slots, external output, audio in and out jacks, infrared, modem connector and a built-in camera.

And now for the sad part. Some time ago this laptop just didn’t want to start. I checked the power brick and it works just fine, so it’s definitely something wrong with the laptop itself. I put it aside for a few months, as I didn’t have the time to open it and check what’s wrong with it.

A few months later, when I tried to open it again, I found that something has leaked from inside the display or behind it and corroded the screen, so now the laptop is FUBAR. I’ll probably open it some day, to try and salvage some parts, or at least try to get the hard drive in it and donate the rest of the unit to someone who might need it for parts. The laptop also came with an USB Floppy Disk Drive and a PCMCIA CD-ROM. More info about them in this article.

I was lucky to have this little gem and play with it for a while, and I managed to find some photos I took back in 2019, when this article was initially planned. Its demise, even if it wasn’t premature, because the laptop is 23 years old, was definitely a sad one. This reminded me of the fragility of all retro stuff and made me even question if I should keep collecting retro stuff. However, the biggest change since this laptop became unusable was the fact that I started to play more on my retro stuff, as I don’t know when another one will fail.

More info about it: Wikipedia | A review



Sony Vaio PCG-C1F User Guide

Sony_Vaio_PCG-C1F_Laptop.pdf (1.4 MB)