Product: Sony VAIO E-Series Notebook
Price: Starting at $699
Rating: Strong Recommend*
When this 15.5" Sony Vaio E-Series Notebook arrived in the mail we couldn't get to Fed-Ex fast enough to retrieve it. It came all packed up with all sorts of colorful accessories which made it as pretty as it is practical. We put it to the test over the last few weeks and snapped a few photos along the way.We'd heard good things about this VAIO and have a high opinion of the Sony brand in general, so we were more than ready to put this thing through the wringer and then some. Besides, how often do you get a legitimate reason to disprove or reaffirm a products production claims?
This notebook packs a power punch, although it isn't anything that can't be found on other computers. It is a workhouse and ran every program we had to throw at it...all at the same time. In our own line of work, we need a machine that can run the entire Adobe Creative Suite, as well as a few browser windows, and copy DVD's without skipping a beat. We're busy people, just like you and can't afford to be slowed down by our technology. If we're going to pay up to purchase certain pieces, they should only aide in our production, no matter if for work or for play. The Sony VAIO E-Series held up to it's claims and ran every program we had for it like the champion (although covered in glitter) that it is! Here's a few stats on the machine:
• 14.56"(W) x 1.22" (H) x 9.77" (D)
• Available in Intel Core i5-520M Processor (2.40GHz) (or also the i3 processor)
• Up to 3MB L3 Cache
• Weighs 5.95 pounds (with battery)
• Up to 500GB (7200rpm) HDD available
• Up to 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
• Up to 3.5 hours power with default settings
• 3 hours power with full brightness
• 2.5 hours power with full time DVD/Blu-Ray playback
The E-Series has made great strides to be a laptop that stands out from the crowd as little or as much as you need/want it to. It has a removable keyboard cover that not only kept crumbs out (because we totally ate crackers over it...in the name of research of course!), but also stuck to the keys so well, you'd never know it was an overlay.
The mouse has interchangeable covers that allow you to have a handle on whatever color you wish to be sporting that day. Although we doubt you'll be changing things up every day, the option is of course there, though a change every 6 months might be refreshing. Plus, it means you'll always know which mouse is yours at study group if you choose to bust it out!
You can order the base model of the E-Series in one of the following colors: Coconut White, Gunmetal Black, Lava Black, Hibiscus Pink, Iridescent Blue, Caribbean Green. Although they sound like a trip to a tropical island or a fruity drink, they're just another option on the long list of customizable bells and whistles.
One of our favorite features of this machine was also at the top of our dislikes list, but for different reasons. The trackpad had small nubs or grippers built into it, meaning no matter how dry, oily or tired your fingers are from scrolling all day, it was always a snap to get things done. It didn't misread our finger strokes once! The only downfall to the trackpad is the location of it. It's been moved to the left side of the computer, making you arch your right hand over to use it. It wasn't a huge inconvenience, but it did change the finger in which we mouse with and also the angle in which we do so.
When all was said and done and things were boxed back up and ready to ship to Sony, we were actually sad to sit back down to our own laptop. Although we love it dearly and it's seen us through thick and thin, this was a lovely new model that we ended up being quite smitten with. You can find more information on this machine over at Sony where you can see different color options, read more reviews and check out additional stats for those who require them.
Pros: The E Series is a personal computer that actually feels personal. The options that are given for customization allow you to create your own colorful set up without feeling like you use the same computer that everyone else does. You personalize your home and clothing, why not your electronics too?
Cons: The super shiny exterior does leave some serious smudge marks, but if you're keeping up with a routine cleaning schedule, it shouldn't be anything you can't handle. The weight of the product might be a deterrent for those who commute daily with their laptop. Weighing in at 6 pounds might deter some.
Although its battery life only comes in at 3 hours without plugging in somewhere, it did standby with power for over 4 days without needing a charge.
Apartment Therapy Media/Unplggd makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)