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Sony Adds 14in & 17in Models to Vaio E Series

Gordon Kelly

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Sony Adds 14in & 17in Models to Vaio E Series

Seems like the expanded Thinkpad Edge range isn't the only line of laptops adding new models and sizes today...

Not wanting to be left out, Sony has announced its acid inspired colourful Vaio E series is now available in 14in (VPCEA1S1E) and 17in (VPCEC1S1E) variants with the choice of Intel Core i3 and i5 processors and dedicated ATI graphics.

Other notables include heart warmingly high native 16:9 resolutions of 1600 x 900 on the 14in model and Full HD (1920 x 1080) on the 17 incher. Blu-ray drives also give the line a multimedia-centric feel along with HDMI, eSATA, wireless n, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and Dolby Home Theatre v3 audio.

Elsewhere specs are equally impressive with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 500GB HDDs coming as standard while they remain reasonably portable for their respective form factors at 2.35Kg and 3.3Kg including battery. As for the choice of garish colours - you'll just have to do some deep thinking to decide what choosing the pink model says about you as a person.

On the downside Sony does continue to stuff its laptops full of bloatware (17 Sony branded pieces of software were listed in the last Vaio laptop I spent time with) and the E Series adds to this the 'Assist' tech support programme which is likely only to appeal to the more technically challenged. I would generally advise a format and Windows reinstall - it's quicker.

That said, the E Series looks set to keep up the Vaio's rep for excellent build quality and keyboards that are the envy of everyone other than a Thinkpad. Touchdown will be in next few weeks with the VPCEC1S1E landing before the end of the month and the VPCEA1S1E turning up in early April. Pricing remains a mystery for now, but with many other manufacturers bizarrely lacking high resolution models in their portfolios you could do far worst...

...unless you pick the pink one.

Link:

Press Release

usedtobecivil

March 23, 2010, 12:52 pm

What excellent build quality? They look nice - but they go wrong pretty fast with a fault which has plagued Sony Vaio owners over the years and cost them a lot of money





My Sony Vaio died at 13 months with a burnt out graphics card welded to a motherboard which was consequently rendered useless. The only solution was to replace with an identical setup - costing several hundred pounds. Just one problem - it was very likely to do the same thing (see below). So that was very nearly £1,000 down the drain.





I found out that there are threads on computer forums dating back to the introduction of the Vaio concerning problems with the graphics card (ones used /how mounted). Pages and pages and pages from people who all have identical problems with graphics cards malfunctioning and the impossibility of replacing them on a Sony Vaio laptop.





My local repair shop has an extremely steady business trying to fix Sony Vaios because of the problems with the build qualities. So much so he now has an advert targeted at precisely the type of problem I had.





A few weeks ago I found out from the man at John Lewis that Sony don't actually build their Vaios - they now contract out all the work to 'people who build laptops'





So don't feel like you're going to get the reliability and build quality we've associated with the likes of the Sony Trinitron in the past - because you're not. Plus you might find you've got a very big hole in your pocket.





I suggest you do a seach online for "Sony Vaio problems" or "Sony Vaio Blank screen beeps" and you'll start to see just how many people are completely hacked off with Sony for a fault which occurs again and again and again and again. Plus of course the only way it can be fixed is to pay Sony a lot of money - all over again.

usedtobecivil

March 23, 2010, 12:54 pm

I forgot to say - I now go round advising everybody to not touch any sort of Sony Vaio. They look fabulous but after a few months they don't work

Ed

March 23, 2010, 2:11 pm

@usedtobecivil: Vaio is the blanket name for all Sony laptops. As such any comment on build quality simply doesn't hold up - there are models spanning a huge range of prices and spec levels all of which are built to different standards. As for graphics card problems, this is in fact a well known issue with all laptops that used a particular range of nvidia graphics cards. This is not a Sony specific thing and should've been covered by a special extended warranty issued by nvidia.

Steve

March 23, 2010, 3:21 pm

@ usedtobecivil





I have 3 Vaios, a Z11, new X & a new S series and I can't fault their build quality! They are exceptional but they should be for the prices I paid for them!

uber

July 8, 2010, 5:48 pm

This is probably exhuming some dead comment thread, but I've got (not had, they all still work) three VAIOs. First one was bought in 2003 and still in use. I've only ever had one problem with my S-Series, which turned out to be a bit my fault for blocking the vents on the bottom so it overheated. Despite that, Sony repaired it free of charge even though I'd had it for a year because they include a 2-year guarantee.





That particular laptop even survived a motorbike accident I had, can't fault that sort of quality.

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