With 17-inch notebooks becoming somewhat expected when it comes to dealing with Desktop Replacements (DTRs), it's no surprise to find that manufacturers have upped the ante and gone even bigger to a 18.4-inch format. Currently, only Toshiba, HP, Acer and Sony have such models, but if the adoption rate among consumers turns out to be good, we're expecting more manufacturers to join in the 18.4-inch fun.
The funny thing about notebooks in general (and you will notice this a lot) is their tendency to sometimes go overboard with one design aspect. Some notebooks take the lightweight approach and aim by being the slimmest or lightest. Others take performance as their holy grail and go all out with extremely powerful processors while falling short on battery life. Yet others value battery life above all others, sacrificing performance and sometimes even usability or weight to obtain the best possible battery life.
The 18.4-inch Sony VAIO AW-17GU that we're looking at today doesn't really stand out as the largest notebook (Dell and HP both have a 20-inch DTR) but it does give the impression of size, especially when you're used to handling 17-inchers. The 18.4-inch form factor does strike us as a nice balance between being big enough to watch movies on but not something that's overly large.