Pros Excellent Excellent Keyboard. CNET isn't wrong. As a touch typist and someone who's a longtime user of thinkpad laptop keyboards, I'm quite happy. I Just wish it had a trackpoint nub. It stays cool all day long, low powered i3 prob to thank for that.
Cons One major gripe: The 500gb HDD is partitioned stupidly, with a hidden recovery sector that takes up like 20gb! What the heck Sony? And they didn't include a Win 7 install DVD so I'm going to have to pirate a OEM .iso to do a clean install. timewaster
Summary I needed a laptop ASAP so I was forced to buying from Worst Buy. my budget was >900 so It boiled down to the samsung q430-11, this Vaio EA the hp dm4. Although the HP and Samsung had nice solid aluminum casing and the Samsung was better spec'd (i5 and dedicated nvidia 310m graphics) I still chose the Sony EA.
Why? Because the keyboard and trackpad on the HP and Samsung were just not as good. And lets not even get into the keyboards on the Dell, Toshiba, Asus, etc offerings at Best Buy in this price range: they were even worse. Forget about shiny cases and tech specs. If I'm paying this much for a computer, then I want one that won't make me want to throw it across the room because the keys are sticking, flexing, slipping and slowing down my typing with key presses that don't register or register unintentionally. As a person who has to type thousands of words everyday, a slow keyboard means lower productivity. That's why companies (caveat: non-creative), from their drones all the way up to the C level executives are given a blackberry and a thinkpad laptop, two devices with industry leading keyboards. (Notable exception is Google who switched from thinkpads to macbook pros for security reasons. Also, Macbook keyboards are pretty much clones of Sony's)
What Else? The color and font of the computer (white/grey) is really retro which brings back fond memories of the windows 3.1 - XP era, before the Japanization of technology styling, an age when computers were all ugly black, beige, or white bricks devoid of color. Don't get me wrong, this is one stylish computer, but I appreciate the uncomplicated design and the lack of faux chrome lining/accents that somehow equates to quality among most consumer laptops. That being said, B est Buy also stocks this lappy in a garish neon pink and blue for those so inclined to bring all the attention in Starbucks to themselves, perhaps leveraged to be even more successful than a glowing apple trademark.
There are tons of ports (esata) and a business-user friendly express card slot (features that were missing from the q430-11). Headphone and Mic jack are thankfully in the front as not to disturb the occasional use of a wireless mouse.
I would have preferred if their was no Blueray and Wireless Display, and in their place an i5 520m and a higher res screen like 1600 X 900. Well, it is a pre-built consumer model for Best Buy. To me these multimedia features are frivolous. First of all, Blueray is already defunct in an age or steaming HD media (i.e. fiberoptic from FIOS) and cheap NAND flash storage. Also, the monitor is only 1376 x 768(slightly more than 720p) which is to low to even appreciate the full 1080P(1920x1080) Blueray offers. The inclusion of wireless display is another headscratcher as well. Is it really that much work to attach an hdmi cable? I'm not willing to pay $99 for a box just to use this gimmick.
Overall the device feels premium with some nice effects like the power button pulsing when battery is low and onscreen display for volume and screen brightness. Battery life is decent, around 3-4 hours. Screen is nice and sharp but would have prefered a matte one over the somewhat glare attracting glossy screen (though its not as bad as a Macbook Pro, for comparison sake... and yes I've owned a macbook pro, I'm not just bashing Apple)
Performance is what you'd expect from an i3 laptop with integrated graphics. Fast enough for everything except heavy gaming and video editing (though Sony Vegas runs pretty well). Battery life is 4 hours using office, firefox, statistical software. During Video playback it's probably half that, so you'll need an outlet eventually. Speaking of which, the power brick is well-made, quite small, and has a much appreciated L shaped plug.
In summary, this is a great little laptop. Given more time, in this price range I probably would have opted for an i5 equipped thinkpad edge/L/T for the durability and features like a spill-proof keyboard (and of course the venerable trackpoint). Nonetheless, this is a great computer for the price and pound for pound the best sub-900 laptop at Best Buy for a PC power user. If you want more horsepower for games/video editing go with the arguably better looking Samsung q430-11 which would have been my first choice had the keyboard and trackpad had not been so disappointing. Just realize the build quality doesn't feel as solid as the Sony and you'll be losing a few ports along with blueray.
Pros fast core i3 very fast boot time, has a bright and full high definition 1080p display and has a very good graphics card and its windows experience is 6.9 points.and quite a good design and good in looks. Full sized keyboard not cramped up.
Cons The worst battery life at default settings last only for about 3.5 hrs and during dvd playback for less than 50mins. The gloss surface gets a lot of fingerprint marks. And it very heavy and has a few heating problems. No backlit keyboard.
Summary Not ment for people who want a great battery life and is a will do for gamers with that ATi HD card in it. Overall will do type.
Pros Beautiful Keyboard, Clean, Fast.
Cons Mouse pad is slightly annoying and touchy.
Summary I love the product because it is everything I need in a laptop and it is cheap.
Pros I've got the iridescent blue and it's absolutely gorgeous. Bright screen. I have the i5 M580, 7200rpm hdd, 4gb of ram and I can get from turning on the computer to opening a webpage in 40 seconds. It's never slowed down even with many programs open
Cons The speakers are weak. I would have liked separate media control buttons for sound, video control, etc. The trackpad is textured, which I personally don't like. Average battery life ~4-5 hours on the large capacity battery. The fan is audible.
Summary I really like this computer. It's sleek and fast. The cons are pretty minor. (I would recommend getting the 'fresh start' option though, because I've never uninstalled so much useless bloatware crap before)
L-Shaped Power Thingy...
Lots of slots
Real switch to turn wireless+bluetooth off/on
Splashtop Browser OS
Cons Battery Life
Screen Dust Collector
Webcam (But I don't use it often so...)
The DVD/CD optical drive slot seems flimsy
Summary I customized mine online at the Sony Store, getting an i5-520m CPU and ATI Radeon 5470 GPU. I stuck with the 320GB hard drive, and went without a blu-ray player. I use my laptop at school a lot (pretty much all day, every day), so the battery life was a major disappointment (luckily, my school has lots of power outlets). I game with my friends at lunch, and the GPU is sufficient to run demanding games (Black Ops) on medium-low settings (I didn't really try it on high). The smorgasbord of slots is great for connecting my laptop to monitors, TVs, SD Card slots and USB drives (simultaneously).
The keyboard is AWESOME! When typing out essays I usually ditch the keyboard skin, but keeping it on really helps (especially when eating around the keyboard, saved my rear end on a couple occasions).
Boot up time was pretty quick for a while after I got my laptop. But then I (stupidly, and accidentally) got a virus, and after removing the virus, the startup time tanked...
The trackpad is KILLER! The textured trackpad gives you enough resistance for you to get a good feeling that you are actually moving the cursor, but not too much to impede your moving of the cursor. The way it is recessed also makes it fancy, as scrolling down/up pages with one finger at the right side of the pad is easy (and you can do it without looking).
BATTERY LIFE: VERY BAD, if you want respectably battery life, at least upgrade to Sony's large capacity battery (which would get you to approx. industry-standard) Their regular battery is pretty bad. I can squeeze 3 hours max by operating on wifi+bluetooth off, lowest brightness, and only typing out on Microsoft Word.
The Webcam is not very good, but it is of little consequence to me as I ignore it.
The colour of this thing is AWESOME! I got the blue colour scheme, and it does attract lots of stares and compliments.
The DVD/CD optical drive slot is flimsy (picking up the laptop while it is open there will produce creaking and groaning and a noticable flex in the laptop). However, most of my friends' laptops are similar in regards to that problem)
The Splashtop Browser is great for when I need to check something on the internet without turning on Windows. This is not unique to this laptop, but its inclusion is pretty cool.
The Lid of the laptop and the palm rest collect finger prints...like A LOT of finger prints. The Screen? Same deal, it also collects dust when left open for a while. Of course you can rectify the problem with a micro-fiber cloth, but I don't have one...
The L-Shaped power plug is great for when my laptop is close to the wall. Its a great way to prevent bending of the cable, and to make plugging it in easier.
I would definitely recommend people to buy this laptop, unless of course they need a heavy duty gaming rig or one that they can lug around with them all day. Also, I recommend to get the large-capacity batter, it is an improvement (not great, but still an improvement) that will save you SOME headaches when you are away from a plug.