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Sony Vaio E Series review: Sony Vaio E Series

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Vaio Care is back and includes troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, while McAfee pulls security duties. Less useful is the annoying Vaio Gate, a dock that takes up precious screen real estate for nothing more than a few shortcuts already provided elsewhere, and there's also PMB, a Picasa/iPhoto stand-in but not quite as good.

Screen quality is where the E series suffers, with the 1366x768, 15.5-inch screen sporting pitiful viewing angles and supporting the axiom that you get what you pay for.

The VPCEB45FG features a Core i3 380M, 320GB hard drive and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470, and comes in pink, green, blue, white and black. The VPCEB46FG bundles a Core i5, 500GB hard drive and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, and is offered in blue, black and white. Both laptops feature 4GB RAM and run on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

The AU$999 EB45FG did well in the performance tests, with 3DMark06 and PCMark05 returning scores of 4242 and 6208 respectively, making it capable of handling most household tasks and some older games, or at least more forgiving ones like those that run on the Source engine. As is usually the case, though, with budget laptops is that the battery time wasn't great — with all power-saving features turned off, screen brightness and volume set to maximum and an XviD file played back, the EB45FG only made one hour and 46 minutes.

At AU$1299 the EB46FG provided a small boost thanks to its faster CPU and GPU, clocking in 6951 and 7147 in 3DMark and PCMark respectively. The hit on the battery wasn't as large as expected, giving out at the one hour and 36-minute mark.

Sony's E series are perfectly good budget laptops, with the only real detractors being the screen quality and battery life. But for the price, what you're getting is a good deal.

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