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Sony VAIO VPC-EC2SOE/WI review

Great usability as always from Sony – if only this laptop were stronger graphically

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good power
  • Excellent usability
  • Blu-ray writer
  • 6GB of RAM

Against

  • Portability
  • Graphics power

Sony's VAIO E-Series launched earlier in the year and yet it's already received a small refresh. The VAIO VPC-EC2SOE/ WI is the result and proves itself to be a fantastic all-round laptop.

The combination of size, weight and average battery life means portability is limited to very short trips. Basically, this is a laptop you'll be using around the house. That shouldn't be a problem, however, as the laptop is very much designed as a desktop replacement system.

With that in mind, it's designed to deal with all the tasks a desktop PC can and, for the most part, it proves impressively capable.

The powerful Intel Core i5 430M processor is combined with 6144MB of DDR3 memory and during benchmarking we found the Sony to be only slightly less powerful than the Core i7-powered Mesh Edge DX11-R.

As a result, you'll be able to edit your home videos and photos with ease, as well as record and play music.

Mid-range graphics

To keep costs down, a mid-range ATi Radeon HD 5470 graphics card is included, and it can't compete with the likes of the Mesh or Samsung R780 in the graphical power stakes.

The latest games will run, but you'll have to turn down the graphics settings somewhat for them to run smoothly.

Blu-ray writer

The 500GB hard drive provides more than enough storage for a whole family's data, while the writable Blu-ray drive provides a second back-up option and, of course, you can watch HD films on it.

As you would expect from Sony, the 17.3-inch, 1600 x 900-pixel resolution screen impresses. Yet despite the crisp colours and detailed images, we prefer the excellent offering from Mesh, so you've got to consider whether you're happy to sacrifice a little bit of image quality for a larger screen size when buying the Sony.

The simple white and silver chassis design is attractive, yet some might be put off by the glittery effect on the palmrest.

Sony detail

The keyboard is excellent, fending off stiff competition from the Apple MacBook. It's the crisp typing action that impresses most, while the keys also travel a very pleasing distance. The inclusion of a dedicated numeric keypad is a welcome addition as well.

The latest in networking technologies are present, as are four USB ports for attaching peripherals, and both HDMI and VGA connections, for hooking up to analogue and digital external monitors.

We're very impressed by the VAIO VPC-EC2SOE/WI. It offers great everyday performance, excellent usability and a healthy features list. A more powerful graphics card would have made this an unstoppable force, but that might not unduly bother many potential buyers.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 5470
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyVAIO E
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-430M
ColourMatte White
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2.26 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.30 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM/DVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height31.9 mm
Width409.1 mm
Depth273.8 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesE
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCEC2S0E/WI
Product NameVAIO VPCEC2S0E/WI Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCEC2S0E/WI.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Watch your favourite multimedia on a true real-wide screen with high contrast and vivid colours. With up to Full HD 1920x1080 resolution* and a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can enjoy movies with reduced black bars and scroll through the Internet with ease. Fast-moving action is smooth with high performance ATI graphics.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCEC2S0E/WI Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord