For AU$999, Sony's 14-inch Vaio E brings a tonne of value, something we wouldn't typically expect from a company that prides itself on premium.
- USB 3.0: 2
- USB 2.0: 2
- Optical: DVD±RW
- Video: VGA, HDMI
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n
You get a backlit keyboard, for one. An external Bluetooth mouse is also bundled in, and the screen, although not as vibrant as we would like that is slightly warm in colour temperature, comes in at 1600x900, instead of the usual 1366x768. Correcting the overly-brown screen is as easy as opening Vaio Control Center, heading to Display, then Color Mode Setting and telling the software to not apply any modes.
In our review model, the SVE14A15FGB, a Core i5 2450M could be found inside, with a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive, 4GB RAM and a Radeon HD 7670M. You can get a SVE14A16FGH with Core i7 3612QM for the same price, but you do sacrifice on screen (1366x768) and graphics (Radeon HD 7550M) to get there. If you want to maintain both and just get a faster processor, expect to shell out AU$1499.
There's a pair of USB 3.0 ports, another two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, along with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz 802.11n. A tray-loading DVD&plusm;RW drive sits on the right.
For the price involved, it's also just a little bit stylish, with the laptop available in pink, black with red trim, silver with light blue trim, white with light blue trim and black with gold trim. The lid, itself, is slightly shorter than the base, so you can see status indicators, and the laptop possesses enough curves and design nouse that you can't help but feel it should be in a price tier above its current station.
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
- 352HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
- 353Asus K55V (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
- 378Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
- 380Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
- 386Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
- 541HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
- 763Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
- 766Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)