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Sony Vaio EE3E0E review

Barry de la Rosa
8 Dec 2010
Sony Vaio EE3E0E
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

Great build quality and a comfortable keyboard can't make up for the EE3E0E's poor performance, sub-par display and odd touchpad

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.2GHz AMD Athlon II X2 P340, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sony's Vaio EE3E0E is one of few we've seen to use AMD's Vision platform - a combination of an AMD processor and ATI graphics card. Although AMD's products are generally cheaper than Intel's, they have fallen behind recently in terms of performance, and the EE3E0E's benchmarks results are proof of this. It came last in our Windows and battery tests, and the graphics processor failed our 3D gaming tests too.

In fact, if there were any savings afforded by the AMD parts, we couldn't find any evidence that they were re-invested elsewhere in the laptop. Build quality is up to Sony's usual high standards, while the matt silver lid opens to reveal a white-and-silver design that oozes style. The Chiclet-style keyboard looks smart and has a light action, with good feedback for touch-typists.

Using the entire width of the case, there's just enough room for a numeric keypad too, which has double-height Enter and "+" keys. Underneath the keyboard is a large touchpad with two large buttons. We liked the buttons, which have a light action, but the touchpad's surface is made up of tiny raised dots that feel abrasive, and although it's reasonably responsive, it's not smooth and will most likely pick up grime very easily.

Sony Vaio EE3E0E

A 15.6in, 1,366x768 display is to be expected at this price, and it's not disappointing. The backlight isn't as even or bright as some, but the glossy finish on the screen adds saturation to colours, and contrast was acceptable. Our only complaints were that a very slight blue cast made flesh tones a bit pallid, and vertical viewing angles were tight.

While the onboard graphics chip isn't powerful enough to play 3D games, it can handle HD video content, although you'll want to use a set of external speakers as the internal ones are loud but tinny. Alternatively, you could connect an AV amplifier via the HDMI port to process both audio and video. The four USB ports should be enough to attach mobile phones, MP3 players or external hard drives as well as a mouse.

The disappointment stems from an overall benchmark score of 55. While the EE3E0E is far more powerful than a netbook, it's a third less powerful than many Core i3-based laptops at the same price. It also lasted only three hours in our light-usage battery test. Still, this isn't a major issue for a laptop that weighs 2.7kg, as you're unlikely to want to carry it around with you for very long.

While we can forgive minor shortcomings, Sony's Vaio EE3E0E is clearly poor value. Performance is way under par, the display isn't as good as the one on the Packard Bell EasyNote LM86, and the rough touchpad is an annoyance. If you have £500 to spend, buy the LM86.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorAMD Athlon II X2 P340
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size37x370x284mm
Weight2.7kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory256MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter, Vaio Media Plus
Optional extras£127

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£500
Detailswww.sony.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk

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