Sony Vaio VPC-CA1S1E review
14.1 in 1,366x768 display, 2.4kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Sony VAIO laptops have always been some of the most stylish around, and the CA1S1E is no exception. The smooth plastic body feels sturdy and the transparent keyboard surround looks great, but this laptop is more than just a looker – it’s also the first we’ve seen with one of Intel’s newest mobile processors.
Previously known by the codename Sandy Bridge, the new chips offer greater performance but confusingly keep the same Core i3, i5 and i7 branding as the old ones. The Core i5-2410m in the CA1S1E runs at a modest 2.3GHz, but can use Turbo Boost to increase this to a healthy 2.9GHz. It’s a dual-core chip that also supports Hyper-threading, so multitasking shouldn’t be a problem.
Paired with a respectable 4GB of RAM, performance was unsurprisingly a step up from the previous generation. It easily outpaced an original Core i5 processor despite having a slower clock speed. In our multimedia benchmarks it managed an impressive 109 overall, which is faster than a quad-core desktop PC. The laptop’s battery life is below average, though, lasting just over three and a half hours in our light-use test.
Intel may have improved the performance of the integrated graphics chips in Sandy Bridge processors, but that hasn’t stopped Sony from adding a dedicated graphics card to the CA1S1E. The ATi Mobility Radeon 6470 is more than powerful enough to play high definition video and games will make good use of the 512MB dedicated memory. A 25fps average in our Call of Duty test is respectable, but turning off anti-aliasing produced a more playable 38fps.