In a world that is already full to the brim of laptops it is often quite difficult to make an impact if you are simply making an ‘all rounder’, which is somewhat ironic as that is the type of laptop that most people buy — the markets for the thinnest, biggest and most powerful of anything is normally relatively small!
But that is not to say that they can’t be good, and this week has brought the latest of Sony’s multimedia laptops the Vaio E series which promise to have “power, looks and multimedia performance”. So nothing really important then!
The fact that the Sony Vaio E Series is not focused on any particular thing makes it difficult to pick out any real big points to start with, so it makes logical sense to start on the outside with the ‘looks’ and as per usual with Vaio laptops it looks sleek, stylish and comes ready emblazoned with ‘VAIO’ and ‘Sony’ in big silver letters on the lid, just in case you forgot! Admittedly it does look pretty much like every other Vaio laptop such as the Vaio NW Series, Vaio F, S & Y Series and even the Sony Netbook (W Series). Although that said, given what the others do look like that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
It’s also relatively compact — obviously the 15.5” screen hardly makes it pocket sized but the chassis size has been brought down to as little as possible whilst still leaving room for a full sized keyboard and a numeric keypad the latter of which is often more conspicuous (and annoying) by its absence.
Moving onto the internal specs and the Sony Vaio E series continues to provide pretty much everything that any normal user would need: there’s some of Intel’s new 2010 chips in the form of the i5-430M 2.26GHz, which with the boost technology has a max of 2.53GHz. It boasts a 500GB HDD, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and fortunately 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium – full marks to Sony there for not shipping a 4GB laptop with 32bit Windows, which is a little pet hate of mine!
In fact the more you look at it the more impressive it is: the screen manages a resolution of 1366×768 whilst selected (read expensive) models have VAIO Display Plus with 1920×1080 which will merit the ATI Mobility Radeon 5000 series graphics (with 1GB ‘video RAM’).
I could go on for a bit longer with the specs which include WiFi, optional Blu-Ray, Bluetooth, MOTION EYE camera, HDMI out and an eSATA/USB port but the three features you’re less likely to have come across are the three buttons aimed to make your life that bit easier: ‘WEB’, ‘ASSIST’ and ‘VAIO’.
The ‘VAIO’ button is simply a shortcut to the Vaio media gallery which although plays elevator music when you first go on it, is generally nice and practical enough! The ‘ASSIST’ button does exactly what it says: assist you. It’s essentially a way to access the ‘VAIO Care’ which allows you to ‘maintain, diagnose and troubleshoot’ your Vaio E seies laptop, which I imagine could be pretty handy for those familiar with PCs.
Finally there’s WEB which I think is definitely the most useful as it allows you to browse the web without the need to boot up the PC which saves valuable battery power and time which is a much needed commodity on the move – and with tabbed browsing and split windows added to its repertoire then it’ll be great for quickly checking emails, or the football score!
So that’s the Sony Vaio E Series. Personally I think it’s pretty impressive and it really is a great all rounder for anyone that doesn’t want to do anything stupidly fancy… however you will have to pay for this luxury and although prices aren’t out yet I can’t imagine you will see much change out of £1,000 when its released later this month which is a shame, but the price you have to pay for quality!