Sony Vaio E Series (SVE14A15FGB) review: Sony Vaio E Series (SVE14A15FGB)

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Typical Price: $999.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Higher resolution screen than usual. Good battery life. Backlit keyboard. Good specs for the price.

The Bad GPU underperforming in Skyrim and Witcher 2. Screen isn't as vibrant as it could be.

The Bottom Line Sony's managed to produce a laptop under AU$1000 that not only doesn't sacrifice on quality, but manages to trickle down some premium features like a backlit keyboard. Within its means, this is one of the best budget laptops you can get.

8.5 Overall

For AU$999, Sony's 14-inch Vaio E brings a tonne of value, something we wouldn't typically expect from a company that prides itself on premium.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 2
  • Optical: DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n

You get a backlit keyboard, for one. An external Bluetooth mouse is also bundled in, and the screen, although not as vibrant as we would like that is slightly warm in colour temperature, comes in at 1600x900, instead of the usual 1366x768. Correcting the overly-brown screen is as easy as opening Vaio Control Center, heading to Display, then Color Mode Setting and telling the software to not apply any modes.

In our review model, the SVE14A15FGB, a Core i5 2450M could be found inside, with a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive, 4GB RAM and a Radeon HD 7670M. You can get a SVE14A16FGH with Core i7 3612QM for the same price, but you do sacrifice on screen (1366x768) and graphics (Radeon HD 7550M) to get there. If you want to maintain both and just get a faster processor, expect to shell out AU$1499.

There's a pair of USB 3.0 ports, another two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, along with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz 802.11n. A tray-loading DVD&plusm;RW drive sits on the right.

For the price involved, it's also just a little bit stylish, with the laptop available in pink, black with red trim, silver with light blue trim, white with light blue trim and black with gold trim. The lid, itself, is slightly shorter than the base, so you can see status indicators, and the laptop possesses enough curves and design nouse that you can't help but feel it should be in a price tier above its current station.

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 352
    HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
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    Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
  • 386
    Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
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    HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
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(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

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