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Sony Vaio EB3E9E review

Barry de la Rosa
29 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
564
inc VAT

The Vaio styling and build quality make the EB3E9E an attractive choice, but it's a little overpriced compared to the competition.

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Specifications

15.5 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Sony's Vaios have always been a little more expensive than the competition, but the premium is usually worth it if you care about aesthetics. Where some similarly priced laptops make do with a cheap-looking black plastic case, the attractive EB3E9E appears to be made of metal. It's plastic, of course, but the effect makes it look more expensive.

Sony Vaio EB3E9E-BQ

Its advantages aren't merely cosmetic either, as inside you'll find the latest Intel Core i3-370M running at 2.4GHz. Opening the matt graphite-colour lid reveals a keyboard panel made of sturdy black plastic. The keyboard has separated Chiclet-style keys, and their flat tops mean that your fingertips get little feedback about where they land. While their action is light, they felt a bit spongy. There's also a numeric keypad to the right, with four columns and a row of page navigation keys.

Despite having room for a double-height Enter key and a wide right Shift key, Sony has squeezed the keys on the left. Thankfully the touchpad is large and, despite its rough surface we found it reasonably responsive, and the two large buttons have a light action.

The EB3E9E's Core i3-370M helped it to an overall score of 83 in our benchmarks, which is exactly what we'd expect. Like some Samsung laptops, Sony has opted to install 3GB rather than 4GB of RAM. This has little effect on performance unless you're working with very large files, or with many applications at once. As this model is aimed at business users, it has Windows 7 Professional, which includes all the features of Home Premium, plus extras, such as automatic backup over a network.

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