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Sony Vaio E-Series VPC-EJ1Z1E review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT

Sony’s E-series makes more sense as a 15in laptop; the 17in model is underpowered and overpriced compared to the competition


17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 3.1kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sony introduced the refreshed Vaio E-series earlier this year, but the company has already deemed it in need of an update. This new model is the first to include a 17.3in screen, which makes it ideal for replacing a desktop PC while still remaining portable.

As we would expect from Sony, the EJ1Z1E looks fantastic. The textured lid and wrist rest compliment the black chassis nicely, even if they are moulded from plastic rather than more premium materials. The minimalist design draws your attention to the huge screen, which is ideal for working on two documents side-by-side, or browsing the web in full-screen. It isn’t Full HD, but at 1,600×900 it’s still large enough for 720p video playback. Image quality was about average, with a decent amount of contrast and mostly accurate colour reproduction. Viewing angles weren’t the best, as the contrast quickly dropped when we moved away from a square-on angle. There’s not a huge amount of screen tilt either, which can make light reflections from the glossy screen finish difficult to avoid.


It’s a shame that the screen is best viewed up close, as the speakers were surprisingly loud. The clear mid-range and crisp high-end notes would be great for listening to music or watching catch-up TV from across a small room. However, with minimal amounts of bass, a pair of headphones or external speakers would be better when watching movies or playing games.

The EJ1Z1E has some solid internal components as well as a good-looking exterior. An Intel Core i5-2410m processor running at 2.3GHz, 4GB of RAM and a spacious 640GB hard disk should be suitable for most tasks, especially when Turbo Boost increases the processor clock speed to a rapid 2.9GHz. It ran through our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 58, which is about average for a Core i5.

Sony VAIO EJ1Z1E right ports

Battery life was reasonable, managing just over four hours in our light-use test – a figure that’s higher than it would be without Nvidia’s Optimus technology disabling the dedicated GeForce 410M graphics card when running on battery power. Plugged into the mains, it’s capable of playing high definition video in either 720p on the laptop or 1080p on an external monitor, but it isn’t exactly well-suited to games. It managed a stuttering 15.5fps in our Dirt 3 test, so you’ll have to reduce the detail settings on most titles.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i5-2410M
Processor clock speed 2.3GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 1
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 43x409x274mm
Weight 3.1kg
Sound Conexant SmartAudio HD
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 17.3 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GT 410M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 640GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter
Optional extras £99

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £999

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