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Sony Vaio VPC-EE2S1E/B review

Alan Lu
8 Aug 2010
Sony Vaio VPC-EE2S1E/B
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
653
inc VAT

Sony's latest Vaio looks sleek, but it's not fast enough in everyday applications compared to other laptop, and it has unusually short battery life.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.6kg, 1.8GHz AMD Phenom II X3 P820, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sony has equipped its latest Vaio laptop with one of AMD's latest processors, the triple-core Phenom II X3 P820. Even though it's paired with 4GB of RAM, its performance in our benchmarks was so slow we reran the tests just to be sure. It came at the bottom of the charts in all our application tests and couldn't keep up with laptops equipped with Intel dual-core processors.

The Vaio isn't well-suited to working away from a power socket, either. It lasted just two hours and 24 minutes in our tests - one of the shortest times we've seen recently. Surprisingly, its Mobility Radeon HD 5145 graphics chip did quite well in our demanding 3D graphics test, running Call of Duty 4 at 20fps. With some tweaking, it can play most of the latest titles smoothly.

Most 15in laptops can't accommodate a keyboard and a numeric keypad without making some sacrifices and the EE2S1E is no exception. Although Sony has managed to squeeze one in without any odd key layouts, the keys are a little small. This simply meant that it took longer than usual to get used to their size. The touchpad is large and accurate with buttons that give just the right amount of feedback when pressed. You'll either love or hate the pad's textured, grainy feel, though.

Sony Vaio VPC-EE2S1E/B

We were impressed by the bright, vivid and accurate colours of the 15.6in glossy widescreen display. It's not perfect though – whites have a slight blueish tint while the tight viewing angles means that colours can change when you adjust your sitting position.

The screen doesn't tilt back very far, so we couldn't always adjust the screen to the best viewing angle when using it on our lap. The sleek, understand black design is classy, though, and it feels sturdy, too. The integrated stereo speakers are reasonably loud, but this is offset by their muffled sound and harsh treble. The 320GB internal hard disk is a little bit stingy – we'd expect 500GB at this price.

Sony has bundled a selection of its own-brand software with the Vaio. The PMB program allows you to import, organise and browse your collection of photos and home videos. Meanwhile, Vaio Media plus allows you to view media stored on UPnP media servers, such as other computers and network storage devices. You can also configure the EE2S1E to act as a UPnP server. An unusual addition is a utility which allows you to use the keyboard and touchpad to control a Playstation 3 games console on the same network.

We wanted to like the EE2S1E. It looks classy and comes with a useful software bundle, but its short battery life and below-par Windows performance means we can't recommend it. Even if you're tempted by the Vaio's 3D performance, there are better alternatives here.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X3 P820
Processor clock speed1.8GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size32x370x249mm
Weight2.6kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelTSST TS-L633C
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedSony PMB Vaio Edition, Sony Vaio Media plus, Sony Remote Keyboard and Play with PlayStation 3, Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 LJ
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£653
Detailswww.sony.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.sony.co.uk

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