Ever since Sony introduced us to the LF-V30 LocationFree Base Station last summer, we were wondering if this place-shifting Slingbox precursor could deliver the goods. Now our buddies at Maximum PC have taken the VAIO-branded video streamer for a test drive, calling the image quality from its new HD-source-handling component inputs "excellent" even though it's downscaled to a puny 320x240 pixels. They also dug its Wi-Fi connectivity and ability to act as a wireless access point, a feature retained from the earlier Sony LocationFree LF-B20.
However, the Max PC guys told us behind the scenes that this LF-V30's feature set is still "markedly inferior to the Slingbox." They also smack down clueless Sony for charging $30 for the necessary PC viewing software, an uncalled-for ripoff. Even so, the Maximum PC verdict is still respectable, giving the LF-V30 a 7 out of 10. [Maximum PC]