Sony Vaio E17

The Good The Sony Vaio E17 has an affordable base price, a lot of upgrade options, and a bright 1080p screen.

The Bad The small and uncomfortable touch pad is hard to use with Windows 8 gestures. Graphics performance isn’t up to snuff compared with other game-playing laptops.

The Bottom Line If you want a reasonably priced desktop-replacement big-screen laptop, the Vaio E17 is worth a look. But it’s not a good Windows 8 showcase machine, and it lacks any touch interface other than a small touch pad.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Battery 4.0
  • Support 7.0
6.9 Overall

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Sony Vaio E17
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Price $979 MSRP $979 MSRP $100,000 Lenovo $980 HP $1,549 Amazon.com
Design
6
7
9
9
9
Features
8
9
8
9
7
Performance
7
8
8
8
8
Battery
4
7
9
9
8
Support
7

Review

Windows 8 laptop without the touch

Windows 8 isn’t all about flipping, touching, and transforming, although to most people it might end up being the defining feature of new Win 8 hardware. Despite the crazy-looking laptops and tablets you’ve been getting glimpses of, there will be indeed be regular, plain-old normal Windows 8 laptops and desktops, too.

Sony’s Vaio E171290X is just such a machine. A 17-inch expansion to Sony’s midrange E-series line, this is a high-end desktop replacement computer in a pleasingly curved white-and-black plastic body. It’s not overly heavy (7 pounds), or overly expensive (base configurations start at $650 for a Core i5 processor, 320GB hard drive, 1080p screen, and 4GB of RAM). In its upper echelons, like our review sample, it’s packed to the gills: a quad-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, AMD Radeon HD 7550M graphics, a Blu-ray drive, and a 1,920x1,080 display, costing $1,020. That’s actually a pretty good price, considering what’s under the hood.

That’s enough to cement the E17 as a very good computer, but as a Windows 8 laptop, it falls short. It lacks a touch screen, and its included touch pad just isn’t up to the task for Windows 8’s gestures. The battery life is also very short, although that’s common for big-screen laptops. However, if you’re looking for a good value in a full-featured laptop with plenty of upgrade options, the E17 is a solid bet. It’s the other side of Windows 8: the conventional one.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $979
  • Brand Sony
  • Type 3rd Gen Core i7
  • Capacity 750 GB
  • Diagonal Size 17 in
See full specs

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