Sony VAIO EB1E0E review
The EB1E0E looks stylish from the word go. With a subtle juxtaposition of gloss and matte materials, and an almost imperceptible sparkle to the finish, it’s undeniably an elegant notebook.
It feels the part, too, with tank-grade build quality and a perfectly-pitched keyboard. The ensemble’s finished off with a 15.5in TFT that’s warmer and richer than we normally see at this price. Spot the EB1E0E in a shop and you'd be forgiven for getting your wallet out right away.
Of course, with such a swish exterior, there’s not a lot left in the budget for high-powered components. The processor is a bog-standard Core i3-330M, supported by 3GB of RAM. That gave the EB1E0E a result of 1.31 in our benchmarks – a reasonable score, but some way off the performance offered by Core i5 models (such as the Sony VAIO EB1Z0E).
[IMG ID=150226F]Sony VAIO EB1E0E[/IMG]
Predictably, there’s no discrete GPU either, so high-performance gaming is out. And although the 1,366 x 768 screen looks sumptuous for DVDs, the speakers are a let-down at high volumes, regularly succumbing to unpleasant distortion.
Sony does provide eSATA and ExpressCard/34 slots, but card reader options are limited to Sony’s own Memory Stick media and SD cards. If you’re one of the few who uses xD, you’re out of luck.
One piece of unequivocal good news is the battery. A 3,500mAh battery sounds small, but somehow the EB1E0E manages to eke a very respectable lifetime out of one. In our light-use benchmark it lasted 4hrs 4min – well above average for a typical notebook.
And although a 1hr 14min performance in heavy use isn’t so outstanding, it’s still perfectly credible. In short, this is a notebook you can use on the move – which is just as well, as it would be a shame to hide the EB1E0E away in a study.
Clearly the VAIO EB1E0E isn’t a best-in-class laptop. But it’s so aesthetically seductive that for a general-purpose role, where raw performance is perhaps less of an issue than usability, it could well turn your head.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||370 x 248 x 31mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i3-330M|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM55 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD graphics|
|Graphics card RAM||256MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||298GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Toshiba MK3265GSX|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||HL-DT-ST GT20N|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||4hr 4min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 14min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.31|
|Office application benchmark score||1.22|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.31|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.18|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||1.55|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||19fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition, burn own recovery discs|