Sony VAIO EE2 review
Sony’s E Series is just as good as ever, but AMD’s Vision spectacularly fails to excite
Review Date: 11 Jun 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £416 (£489 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
In recent years, AMD has struggled to compete with Intel’s dominance in the laptop market. But given the sheer enthusiasm with which it’s launched its Vision 2010 platform, that may be all about to change. Sony is the first major manufacturer to usher AMD’s Vision platform into its range, and this, the EE2E1E/WI, aims to bring a bit of Sony style to the budget laptop arena.
Make no mistake, this AMD-powered E-series is aimed squarely at the budget end of the market. Sony has plumped for the entry-level Vision platform, pairing a dual-core Athlon II P320 processor running at 2.1GHz with an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics chipset.
After the excitement of Intel’s Core i3, though, the performance of this AMD partnership will come as a disappointment. Where the Core i3-330M in the identikit chassis of Sony’s VPC-EB1S0E clocked an impressive 1.35 in our application benchmarks, the AMD-powered model barely scraped 1.01 overall.
Graphics performance marks a tiny improvement on Intel’s HD integrated effort, but it’s nowhere near enough to redeem AMD Vision’s low-end duo. The ATI Radeon HD 4200 struggled through our lowest-quality Crysis test at an average frame-rate of 21 frames per second, barely two frames per second faster.
Any hopes that the AMD partnership might major on power efficiency are swiftly dashed, too. Even sitting idle the Sony stopped just short of the three-hour mark, finishing our light-use test in 2hrs 53mins. Pushing the processor to its modest limits, meanwhile, drained the 3,500mAh battery in just 1hr 8mins.
As you might anticipate, at just £416 exc VAT the EE2E1E/WI is a decidedly no-frills affair. But despite the low price and the AMD Vision sticker proudly proclaiming the hardware inside, the E-series’ charms are enough to distract from the performance limitations. It comes as no surprise to find luxuries such as a high-definition screen, Blu-ray drive or even a dedicated graphics chipset are missing, but if you’re expecting a boring, nondescript 15.5in laptop best hidden away from design-conscious eyes, you’re in for a surprise.
Emerging resplendent in a combination of white and silver, all smooth curves and neat, unfussy design, this is one budget laptop that doesn’t wear its price tag on its sleeve. The glossy white wrist-rest gleams with a subtle sparkle, and the two-tone silver and white design looks far classier than much of the competition.
- Audioboo to become Audioboom in app revamp
- Apple slaps down Google and police, as it takes high ground on user privacy
- Amazon releases high-end Kindle Voyage Touch
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Virgin carpeted again for broadband speed claims
- Microsoft set to make more job cuts
- Sony warns of massive loss on smartphones
- Dropbox app doesn't work properly with iOS 8
- Dark clouds for Adobe as profits slide by 46%
- Amazon and Microsoft spend big on Google ads
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6 (X or Shamu) release date, price and specs rumour roundup
- Best of IDF: top tech and memorable moments from Intel's tech show
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- Abuse magnets: the people behind corporate Twitter accounts
- Putting people at the centre of software design
- How to use remote-access software
- Tech support horror stories
- Become a tech support superhero
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office