It used to be the case that Sony laptops were very much better than others they had much better build quality, better components and so on. Lately, though, Sony has been cutting a few corners to try to maximise its profitability, believing that once the Sony label is on something, their reputation will win through and they will be able to sell mediocre laptops at high prices.
To a certain extent, this is true. There are still plenty of buyers who remember Sonys glory days and have stuck with them out of loyalty and genuine conviction that their Sony really is better than the competition. And while it might be better than the very cheapest laptop out there, a Sony laptop is really no longer any match for the best, and certainly not the laptop of choice for running Windows as it used to be.
Of course, all this doesnt so much apply if you buy only from the very top of Sonys range, where the laptops are generally just as good as they ever were, but even more expensive. Sonys strategy has been to try to make normal laptops and top-end luxury ones at the same time, which basically results in the Sony laptops people want being the ones that are priced for people wholl pay anything Apple have a similar strategy for their iBooks and MacBooks.
However, if you can get your hands on a top-end Sony laptop, you will notice a genuine difference in quality. The components are very, very good, the case is high quality, its small and rugged and everything fits together well. Its just a shame that they cant make all their laptops like that. So, beware: while Sony do make good laptops, the Sony name itself is no longer a universal badge of quality, and you need to do more research and read reviews before you buy anything that todays Sony produces.