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Sony Vaio C-Series VPC-CB2M0E review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
926
inc VAT

The Vaio CB2 has a decent processor, Blu-ray drive and a reasonably quick graphics chip, but the display is disappointing and it's terribly over-priced

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Specifications

15.5 in 1,366x768 display, 2.9kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 6.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sony's new Vaio CB2 has an opaque crystalline pattern on its lid and wrist-rest that matches the design of Sony's budget Vaios. It's powered by an Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz, with 6GB of RAM and a 640GB hard disk to cope with plenty of large files. There's also a dedicated AMD Radeon graphics chip and a Blu-ray reader, so film buffs should take note.

Performance from the Core i5 was good, but that's not saying much as you can buy a laptop for under £500 with the same chip: the Packard Bell EasyNote TS11-HR-040UK. The overall result of 54 lags behind the 78 scored by the MSI GE620, a laptop that costs just £750. The CB2's score of 75 in the single-threaded image-editing test shows off Intel's Turbo Boost technology - the ability to overclock a single core on the fly to boost performance.

AMD's Radeon HD 6470M graphics chip is another disappointment at this price. It scored 24fps in our Dirt 3 gaming benchmark - not bad, but the GE620 scored 41fps. You can disable anti-aliasing for better performance, but you shouldn't have to when spending this much.

Sony Vaio CB2M0E right ports

There is a reason for the lower-power components: a Blu-ray drive. This bumps up the price, but it still doesn't justify it: HP's dv7-6015ea has the same core components plus a larger, higher-resolution screen, but is over £100 cheaper.

Sony Vaio CB2M0E

The CB2 has a 15.6in with a bog-standard resolution of 1,366x768. The backlight is blotchy and not as bright as some we've seen, and certainly not a patch on the Dell XPS 15z's colourful display. As with most other laptop screens, it has a glossy finish that adds punch to colours but is susceptible to reflections from overhead lighting, and vertical viewing angles aren't wide so you have to adjust the screen's tilt carefully to get the best image quality.

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