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Sony Vaio EH2C0E/L review

Barry de la Rosa
1 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

If you're not into gaming or heavy tasks, such as multimedia editing, then the EH2C0E/L might be for you; with a big, bright screen, a comfortable keyboard and a neat design

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.1GHz Intel Pentium B950, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We've often rated Sony's E-series Vaio laptops for offering minimalist style at a good price, and the EH2C0E/L continues that tradition. The EH2C0E/L trades performance and hard disk space to come in at £400.

The EH2C0E/L uses a budget Intel Pentium B950 chip, rather than a Core i3 processor. This is a dual-core processor running at 2.1GHz that’s similar to the Core i3-2310M, but has 2MB rather than 3MB of Level 3 cache. Unsurprisingly, it lags behind Core i3-equipped laptops, scoring 33 Overall, although its image-editing score of 56 means that it's fast enough when running a single application. The smaller cache seems to have a dramatic effect on multi-tasking, with the EH2C0E/L falling behind quite dramatically, only scoring 25.

Sony Vaio EH2C0E/L

The Pentium's graphics chip didn't do well either, even compared to the integrated chips on the Core i3s. In our Dirt3 benchmark it only managed 13fps. Even with graphical settings turned right down, you'll struggle to get playable frame rates in most modern 3D games, although older games, or more sedate genres such as adventure or strategy games, should still be playable.

Sony Vaio EH2C0E/L

The integrated chip can also handle HD content, and the EH2C0E/L's 15.6in screen, with its 1,366x768 resolution, can show 720p HD content in all its glory. There was a slight blue cast to the image, but otherwise, we found the display was bright and colourful, and had an even backlight. The glossy finish can reflect light sources behind or above you, and vertical viewing angles are tight too, so you'll have to adjust the screen's tilt carefully to get the best image, but once you do you'll find good contrast and strong colours.

As expected, its construction is top class. The case is made from a dark blue plastic that has an attractive faceted texture, while the keyboard uses black plastic for its keys and the recess in which they sit. Sony has used the entire width of the case, so the keys are quite large and well spaced out, and the layout is standard, with the Control key being present in the bottom left corner.

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