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Sony Vaio C Series review: Sony Vaio C Series

If you need a moderately powered laptop, the Sony Vaio C Series will deliver what you need — so long as you're a fan of DayGlo finishes.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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The C Series sports one of those love it or hate it looks — coming in bright neon colours that reflect ambient light and dazzle the retina. Coming in orange, green, pink or white for the Core i5 version, and a more modest black for the Core i7, the series has an AMD Radeon HD 6630M-powered system that timeshares with Intel HD graphics.

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8.0

Sony Vaio C Series

The Good

Affordable machine for the performance and connectivity. Backlit keyboard.

The Bad

Screen has a slight blue/purple cast.

The Bottom Line

If you need a moderately powered laptop, the Sony Vaio C Series will deliver what you need — so long as you're a fan of DayGlo finishes.

Unlike Nvidia's near seamless GPU switching technology, AMD's still needs a lot of work, with annoying pop-ups appearing almost every time you run an application asking if it should be using the discreet or embedded GPU.

We received a white Core i5 2410 version of the C Series, with 4GB RAM and a 500GB 7200rpm hard drive. It was somewhat stormtrooper-esque in look, and had backlit, silver-island-style keys.

Connectivity is good, with two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI, VGA, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and mic jacks, Bluetooth and 802.11n 2.4GHz supported. Notably, Sony has given up on giving Memory Stick its own card reader on the C Series, combining it with an SD card reader. About time!

The 15.5-inch, 1920x1080 screen was quite good too, although it had a blue/purple cast that may annoy some.

Software was standard for a Sony notebook, running on Windows Home Premium 64-bit, featuring the vastly annoying drop-down dock known as Vaio Gate, Office 2010 Starter Edition, Skype, ArcSoft WebCam suite, Evernote, McAfee antivirus and Norton Online Backup.

Putting the C Series through its paces saw respectable benchmark scores, hitting 6451 in 3DMark06 and 7247 in PCMark05, making this a good choice for mid-level gaming and definitely something that will chew through productivity and office work.

Playing back an XviD movie on full screen with all power-saving features turned off and screen brightness and volume set to maximum, the C Series lasted one hour and 58 minutes — bang on average for a laptop of this size and power.

If you need a moderately powered laptop, the Sony Vaio C Series will deliver what you need — so long as you're a fan of DayGlo finishes.