Sony Vaio NR430E/L review: Sony Vaio NR430E/L

In the labs, the Sony Vaio NR430 did well for itself, keeping pace with the identically configured Dell Inspiron 1525-121B and finishing at or near the top of all of our benchmark tests. Both models feature a low-end Intel Pentium Dual-Core CPU and finished ahead of Compaq and Toshiba models that use a comparable AMD Turion X2 chip and had an extra gigabyte of RAM. Our results show that a third gigabyte of memory doesn't have much--if any--effect on performance; the Toshiba Satellite L305 features the same Pentium Dual-Core chip and 3GB of RAM and finished behind or statistically tied with the Vaio NR430 and Inspiron 1525 that had 2GB of RAM. We found the Vaio NR430 had enough pep to power Vista Home Premium, even when we had a half-dozen applications open at once. Of course, any laptop at this price will feature integrated graphics and isn't a wise choice for gamers.

The Vaio NR430 took top honors among our five entry-level back-to-school laptops, running for an impressive 3 hours and 14 minutes. Our video playback test is fairly grueling, so you can expect the laptop to run longer by tweaking the power management settings.

Though purchased at retail, Sony's basic one-year parts-and-labor warranty applies to the Vaio NR430. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line, and an online knowledge base and driver downloads for this specific model can be found at Sony's support site.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio VGN-NR430 E/L
1,204 
Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875
1,287 
Compaq CQ50-115NR
1,355 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7815
1,561 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio VGN-NR430 E/L
266 
Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875
275 
Compaq CQ50-115NR
302 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7815
316 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875
229 
Sony Vaio VGN-NR430 E/L
236 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7815
242 
Compaq CQ50-115NR
243 

Video Playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Sony Vaio VGN-NR430 E/L
194 
Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875
148 
Compaq CQ50-115NR
111 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7815
104 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Compaq CQ50-115NRb Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz AMD Turion X2 Mobile RM-70; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G; 200GB Seagate 5,400rpm.

Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T2390; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 200GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

Dell Inspiron 1525-121B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR430 E/L
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 160GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7815
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 200GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Sony Vaio NR430E/L

Part Number: VGN-NR430E/L Released: Jun 29, 2008

MSRP: $699.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 29, 2008
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Color night blue
  • Weight 6.3 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - fixed
  • Graphics Processor Intel GMA X3100
  • CPU Intel Pentium T2390 / 1.86 GHz