Sony VAIO E review: Sony VAIO E

The more advanced A6 chip in the HP Envy was slower than, but still a reasonable match for, comparable Intel parts. The E2-1800 was not even in the same ballpark performance-wise, and fell well behind in our benchmark tests. Looking back over the laptops we've tested this year, only the Lenovo ThinkPAd X130e, with an AMD E-300 CPU and a Toshiba C655, with an Intel Celeron processor, had somewhat similar scores.

Several years ago, when Intel Atom Netbooks were popular, you could get away with sluggish performance on a laptop, but zippy ultraportables and even Apple's very fast-feeling iPad have changed consumer expectations of how powerful even a budget laptop should feel.

All that said, using the 11-inch Vaio E was nothing close to a sluggish Netbook-like experience. In everyday Web surfing, using social media sites like Facebook, and basic productivity, it was fine, with hardly any stuttering or slowdown.

Even though this is a low-end CPU, AMD includes its entry-level Radeon HD 7340 graphics, allowing you to play surprisingly complex games. Our Street Fighter IV test, at 1,366x768 pixels, ran at 20.2 frames per second, which is about as good as many laptops with Intel's new HD 4000 integrated graphics do. I was able to load up Skyrim at the same resolution, and by turning the settings down to low, get a reasonably playable experience. A more forgiving recent game, Portal 2, ran excellently.

Juice box
Sony Vaio E11 Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.77
Sleep (10 percent) 1.05
Idle (25 percent) 7.78
Load (5 percent) 23.51
Raw kWh 32.30
Annual energy cost $3.67

Ultraportable laptops such as this are designed for on-the-go use, and therefore should have excellent battery life. The latest generation of Intel Core i-series CPUs do well in that regard, and are very power efficient. AMD has traditionally lagged behind, but the last couple of AMD-powered laptops we've tested have turned in surprisingly good battery life scores. This system ran for 5 hours and 10 minutes in our video playback battery drain test, putting it ahead of the 13-inch Acer Aspire S5, but behind Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air.

Sony includes a standard one-year warranty, which can be upgraded at the time of purchase. Those upgrades include $179 for an extended three-year service plan, or $279 for three years plus accidental damage protection.

With 13-inch ultrabooks dropping in price, the audience for 11-inch laptops has largely drifted away, especially as a system such as the 11-inch Sony Vaio E is thicker and heavier than many 13-inch models. That said, the sub-$500 price makes a compelling case, and the lower-end CPU is fine for casual use.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Annual energy consumption cost
Sony Vaio E11113FXW
$3.67 
Origin EON11-S
$7.50 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Sony Vaio E11113FXW
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz AMD E2-1800 APU; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 384MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 7340; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch (Summer 2012)
OS X 10.7.4 Lion; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 384MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 64GB Apple SSD

Origin EON11-S
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-3612XM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 650M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; HDD No. 1: 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Acer Aspire S5-391-9880
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 128MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 256GB LITEONIT SSD (2x RAID 0)

HP Envy 6-1010US
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.4GHz AMD A6-4455MM APU; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 7500G; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

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Where to Buy See all prices

Sony Vaio E Series SVE11113FXW

Part Number: SVE11113FXW
Low Price: $3,508.58 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Weight 3.3 lbs
  • Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 7340
  • CPU AMD E2-1800 1.7 GHz
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