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Sony Vaio VPCEC3S0E/WI review

A great-looking, high-powered desktop replacement that's very easy to like

Our Verdict

Offering stunning big-screen usability and ample power, the VAIO PCEC3S0E/WI is a fantastic home laptop

Product features

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

View full specification

For

  • Light for a 17-inch laptop
  • Plenty of graphics power
  • Dedicated numeric keypad
  • Great looks

Against

  • Screen not Full HD
  • Battery life not great

Sony's VAIO E-Series has been very popular of late, offering a range of high-quality yet affordable machines that are ideal for home use. The VAIO VPCEC3S0E/WI (£919 inc. VAT) is a big-screen model aimed at those seeking a stylish desktop replacement.

Using a combination of white and silver plastics, the large chassis looks every bit the high-end home media centre and looks great in the home office or living room.

With its huge 17.3-inch screen this is a laptop designed strictly for home use. The chassis is by far the largest in this group test and is not one that you'll want to carry far. At 3.1kg, it is a little lighter than we had expected, however, so you can work around the house in comfort.

Of course, the benefit of such a large screen is the excellent multi-tasking and multimedia abilities it provides. Multiple windows can be placed side by side with ease and movies and photos look great, thanks to the stunning brightness, colour and contrast the screen provides. The screen also features the highest resolution in this group test, allowing it to provide stunningly sharp images.

While it is not fully HD compatible, it renders software, photos and videos with impressive clarity, adding to the entertainment ability of this machine. With a dedicated ATi graphics card driving the screen, there is plenty of power for playing games, watching high-definition (HD) videos and editing your photos.

The HP Envy is significantly more powerful in this area, however, reducing the impact of the Sony somewhat.

Home office performance is more in line with its rivals in this group and equally capable. The Intel Core i5 processor runs software with effortless speed and makes it easy to multi-task several applications at once.

Sony vaio vpcec3s0e wi

Excellent usability

Usability is excellent. The wide chassis provides enough room for a full-sized, isolation-style keyboard and features a dedicated numeric keypad. Along with the Asus U53Jc Bamboo, this is one of only two laptops here to feature such a pad.

Adding to the value of the Sony is its excellent software. Microsoft Office Starter provides market-leading word processing and spreadsheet tools, while McAfee Internet Security will help to keep your laptop safe against the plethora of online threats currently out there.

Offering stunning big-screen usability and ample power, the VAIO VPCEC3S0E/WI is a fantastic home laptop. While it lacks the graphics performance or battery life of some of its rivals, there is more than enough to compensate, making it a worthy winner.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 5470
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time2.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyVAIO EC
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-460M
ColourMatte White
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2.53 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)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height31.9 mm
Width409.1 mm
Depth273.8 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesEC
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCEC3S0E/WI
Product NameVAIO VPCEC3S0E/WI Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCEC3S0E/WI.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Whether it's open or closed, the VAIO E Series will turn heads. Choose from eye-catching colors and subtly patterned lids to contemporary neutral tones that look truly unique. Plus, the VAIO E Series line of laptops offers a display size for every need, including 14", 15.5" and 17.3" models. With so many options, this laptop is for those looking for more than "business as usual" from their PC brand.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCEC3S0E/WI Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord
  • Documentation Pack