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Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer Teardown

08 October 2009
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

Sony Vaio PC laptops have long distinguished itself from other laptop manufacturers with stylish designs and premium performance. Although, not a market leader (with approximately 4.5% of the mobile PC market share), Sony targets the Vaio brand at the higher end of the mobile computing market spectrum.

The Vaio VGN-CS215JW under analysis here is a 14.1 inch mainstream segment notebook computer powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T6400 processor and GM45 Express Chipset. It comes configured with 4GB of RAM (2x 2GB SO-DIMM DDR2 modules), 250GB hard disk drive and 8x DVD+/-RW optical drive. Also, the Sony features an integrated 1.3megapixel webcam, 2 on-board media card readers and an ExpressCard 34 slot.

Physically, the Vaio VGN-CS215JW takes styling cues from Apple's MacBook line of notebooks complete with an all white design and "chiclet style keyboard. To re-enforce the structural integrity of the laptop, Sony opted to use a single piece die cast magnesium bottom enclosure instead of the usual plastic. Other evidence of premium design on the Vaio is the rather oblong main motherboard PCB that extends the length of the laptop as opposed to a less costly approach to using multiple PCBs as well as the use of 2 separate media card readers (one to support Sony proprietary Memory Stick format and the other for the more convential SD format).

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer Main ImageSony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer Main Image

Target Market

Mainstream Laptop PC


Q3 2008

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Based on the configuration of the device under analysis, the Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW retails for approximately $970 at the time of writing (Sept 2009).

Availability - Global (assumed)

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1 million units.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed, volumes increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Motherboard TopSony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Motherboard Top

Cost Notes

Major Cost Drivers (Representing ~85% of total materials costs)

Intel - AW80577GG0412MA - CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T6400, 2.0GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB, 45nm Process

Nanya - NT2GT64U8HD0BN-AD - SO-DIMM DDR2-800 - 2GB, 256Mx64, 1.8V (Qty:2)

AU Optronics - B141EW04 V4 - Display Value Line Item - 14.1' Diagonal TFT LCD, WXGA, 1280 x 800 Pixels (16:10), 0.237mm x 0.237mm Pixel Size, 262K Colors, 500:1 Contrast Ratio, 200cd/m^2 Brightness, 16ms Response Time, Active Area: 303.36mm x 189.6mm

Hitachi - HTS543225L9SA00 - Hard Drive - 250GB, 2.5', SATA 1.5Gb/s, 5400RPM, 8MB Buffer

Panasonic - UJ880A - CD/DVD RW Drive - Slim Internal Type, Tray Load, SATA, 8X DVD±R, 6X DVD±R Dual Layer, 24X CD±R

Intel - AC82GM45SLB94 - Northbridge - Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (82GM45)

VGP-BPS13B/S - Battery - Li-Ion, 11.1V, 3600mAh

Intel - AF82801IBMSLB8Q - Southbridge - I/O Controller Hub (ICH9M)

Intel - 512AN_HMW - WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module Value Line Item - 802.11a/b/g/n

HannStar Board Corp - 8-Layer - FR4, Halogen Free

Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Die-Cast Magnesium Alloy, Painted

Delta Electronics - ADP-75UB - AC Adapter - 19.5V, 3.9A

Sony - 148701322 - Keyboard Assembly - Injection Molded Plastic Keys, Mounted on Stamped Metal Backing Plate, w/ Interconnect Flex & 4 Brass Inserts

Cooler Assembly - Die-Cast Aluminum Plate, Copper Heat Exchange Tube and Copper Fins, w/ Mounting Screws

Nam Tai - SCM3LAI - Webcam PCB - Contains 1.3MP Camera Module, Ricoh R5U875, Knowles Acoustics Silicon Microphone, USB2.0 Video Interface Controller, & Supporting Elements

Enclosure, Display, Top - Injection Molded ABS Polycarbonate, Clear-Coated, Painted, Printed, w/ 17 Brass Inserts

Enclosure, Main, Top - Injection Molded ABS Polycarbonate, Painted, Printed, w/ 5 Brass Inserts

Alps - UGPZ9 - Bluetooth Module Value Line Item - V2.1

Total BOM Cost $538.76

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer Cost AnalysisSony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer Cost Analysis

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

Sony's mobile PC manufacturing profile reflects a majority outsourced operational model. Approximately 85% of their product volume is sourced from EMS partners in Asia. Sony maintains manufacturing capacity domestically in Japan as well as a Sony facility in China. According to iSuppli's ""Global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis - Compute Platforms", Sony's major contract manufacturers in 2008 are Hon Hai and Quanta with 45% and 40% shares respectively.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in China.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as LCD display), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Remember also that labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. ""Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Motherboard BottomSony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Motherboard Bottom

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

Invariably, laptop computers represent some of the more complex and electronically dense devices. Manufacturing costs for more densely configured devices in inevitably higher than such products as desktops where assembly is facilitated and costs reduced by not having to resort to more sophisticated, costly and complex systems for such things as interconnect (flex cable, PCBs, etc.). Furthermore, higher density PCBs cost inherently more, as typically this affects board layer counts, via structures and complexity, etc.

With that said, the overall component count on the Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW came out to 2065 (excluding box contents), of which, 398 are mechanical in nature. This places the Sony at the higher end of the spectrum of mainstream PC laptops but on par with Apple MacBook notebook computers.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Enclosure DisassemblySony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Enclosure Disassembly
Design Notes

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW laptop design:



  • Intel - AW80577GG0412MA - Core 2 Duo Mobile T6400


  • Intel - AC82GM45SLB94 - Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (82GM45)


  • Intel - AF82801IBMSLB8Q - I/O Controller Hub (ICH9M)


  • SO-DIMM DDR2-800 - Nanya - NT2GT64U8HD0BN-AD (2GB, Quantity 2)

I/O & Interface

  • Flash Memory Card Controller - Ricoh - R5C833
  • Embedded Controller - Nuvoton - WPCE775LA
  • Ethernet Controller - Marvell Technology - 88E8040-NNC1


  • AU Optronics - B141EW04 V4 - 14.1' Diagonal TFT LCD, WXGA


  • Hard Drive - Hitachi - HTS543225L9SA00 (250GB, 2.5', SATA 1.5Gb/s, 5400RPM, 8MB Buffer)
  • CD/DVD RW Drive - Panasonic - UJ880A (Slim Internal Type, Tray Load, SATA, 8X DVD±R, 6X DVD±R Dual Layer, 24X CD±R)


Sony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Box ContentsSony Vaio VGN-CS215JW Notebook Computer - Box Contents

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