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Sony VAIO CA Series review

Cheerful and colourful family laptop, with Intel's latest Core i5

Our Verdict

Good performance and usability is let down by poor battery life and storage.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Colourful design (ooh)
  • Sandy Bridge performance
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Highly usable
  • Decent screen

Against

  • Colourful design (ugh)
  • Below average battery life
  • Limited storage
  • Reflective display

Here at TechRadar Towers, we see an awful lot of laptops. Some are hulking desktop replacements, some are highly desirable ultraportables, but these days it takes something particularly eye-catching to stand out from the crowd.

One sure-fire method is to use a bright and colourful design. From Dell's XPS 15, which can be customised with an excellent variety of slick and surreal lid prints, to Packard Bell's red-tinted EasyNote range, it's always refreshing to see something a little different.

Sony has gone for full-on bright colours with its new VAIO CA Series, a range of family-friendly laptops that pack in Intel's latest Sandy Bridge technology. While the result will definitely get you noticed on public transport, reactions are likely to vary. Our green model gathered great interest, with some people loving the radioactive glow and others clutching their eyes, screaming in mortal terror.

If green doesn't suit, you can also purchase the VAIO CA in similarly bright orange and pink models. Otherwise, if you prefer something a little more subtle, the laptop comes in conventional black and white.

Sony vaio ca series

As with most Sony laptops, build quality is strong. The plastic chassis is reassuringly tough with no obvious weak points, aside from some slight flex around the DVD drive.

And although the keyboard is a tiny bit spongy in the centre, it's a well-sized and quiet board that's comfortable to type on for extended periods. Each key pokes up through individual holes cut into the VAIO CA's chassis, a style that's highly popular at the moment. Backlighting gives the keys an eerie glow and allows you to work well into the night.

The touchpad is also highly usable, with a beveled surface that proves responsive to all of your swipes and prods, and two firm mouse buttons that sit underneath.

With a weight of 2.3kg, the VAIO CA can definitely be carried around if needed. Be warned that the 39mm chassis is fairly bulky, however, so you'll need to clear some space in your bag first.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
WimaxNo
Product FamilyVAIO C
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-2410M
ColourBlue
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium with SP1
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height27.9 mm
Width341 mm
Depth235.2 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesC
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCCA2Z0E
Product NameVAIO VPCCA2Z0E Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCCA2Z0E/L.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationBeautifully finished

Stand out and be noticed. VAIO C Series are designed to be true style icons with a unique material finish that's like nothing ever seen before. Some models have increased transparency combined with a light emitting effect which reflects light within the material and emits it from the edge of the notebook. The ideal design statement for those looking to move on from just bold colours.

VAIO C Series is also available in subtle colours with increased surface transparency. Looks good by your side and complemented by a variety of colour-coordinated optional accessories.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCCA2Z0E Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord
  • VAIO International Repair Service Guide