Every once in a while I feel the urge to stray away from my blog's niche to provide extra service to my readers. For today, I'd like to share my assessment of Sony's VAIO Eseries laptop as it is quite hot among the youth.
Several colors to choose from. Photo credit: Sony India
Looking for a laptop for your everyday PC needs? The Sony VAIO E Series might just be the thing for you.
The Sony VAIO E Series offers both style and performance for people-on-the-go with moderate computer requirements. The E-Series models are available in 14”, 15.5” and 17.3”.
I was able to get my hands on one of the smallest models, a 14” VPCEA35FG unit to be exact.
Above photos show 14" E Series unit. Photo credits: Sony Philippines
The unit I got had a Glossy Basic design, complete with a transparent finish that covered square gradation pattern on both the lid and the palm rest.
The use of isolation keyboard (also known as Chiclet or island-style keyboard) makes it easier to use for some users as it allows unobstructed typing. However, unlike the E series’ other sizes, the 14” models have no numeric keypad.
The touchpad is located just below the spacebar. It has a rough surface which kind of feels good as it does not have a sticky feeling as with some smooth-surfaced touch pads. Also, it’s great to know that it supports multi-touch gestures.
At 13.60 x 9.39 x 1.07 inches thick and just 2.35kg, it’s easy to take it with you anywhere you go.
Display and Audio
The 14” LCD screen has a clear and bright display. Videos and images are sharp. With a maximum resolution of 1366x768, you can enjoy widescreen viewing with 16:9 aspect ratio.
The machine’s sound system is the key weakness. The speakers are definitely weak, even with the application and the system’s volumes maxed out. In some cases, you'd hear some buzzing sound along with the audio file you're playing.
Ports and Supplemental Drives
The model I tested had three USB ports located at the right side of the unit, while the left side holds the VGA, HDMI and eSata/USB ports.
The audio ports are located at the front right side of the unit while the card readers are located at the front left side.
The webcam is clear, even in a dimly lit room.
Windows Experience Index is used by Microsoft to measure the system’s hardware and software capabilities and is expressed by a base score. The base score is determined by the lowest subscore among the listed components. Having a higher base score means that the system is expected to perform better as compared with systems with lower base scores.
As with the screenshot, the Sony VAIO E got a base score of 5.0 because of the lowest component, Graphics. Keep in mind that just because it got the lowest doesn’t mean that it’s already a problem. With the combination of 2.40 GHz Intel Core i3 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470, the model unit still performs well.
I only tried 2 games – Left4dead 2 and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Both games, having both of them on max, ran expectedly great – smooth graphics and no lags. However, since the video card is an entry level, middle class graphics card, it is expected that it will have difficulty in loading graphics-intensive games such as Crysis.
The battery could last to about 3.5-4 hours as long as it stays on battery saver and around 2 hours if used on high performance.
The wifi is capable of supporting 11n protocol which is currently the fastest among the wifi protocols.
· Quick keys – The Sony VAIO E series has “Quick Keys” just above the keyboard. They are shortcuts to some functionalities of the system.
o Assist – if pressed while the machine is off, it will run System Recovery. Personally, this is troublesome when used by others who do not know how to operate the computer. If pressed while Windows is running, it opens the VAIO Care application.
o Web – like the Assist button, Web also has two states. If the web button is activated while the computer is turned off, it will open Splashtop browser, an internet browser that allows the user to surf the internet without having to load the entire windows operating system. If activated while inside the operating system, it will open the default web browser.
o VAIO – This opens the Media Gallery application
The Sony VAIO E (VPCEA35FG) is an ideal system for people who want style to go with general purpose use – document processing, internet surfing and average games. If you’re more into multimedia functions, a different system with better sounds, and a higher resolution is recommended – more so if you’re looking for a gaming rig.
At the end of the day, I'd still use my ASUS G53JW as I can't afford having delays in what I do. The VAIO E Series is a cute gadget though, and is less bulky than my monster for an ASUS laptop.