Home / Computing / Laptop / Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop

Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop review

Andy Vandervell




  • Recommended by TR

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Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • Sony VAIO CW Series (VPC-CW1S1E/P) - 14.1in Laptop
  • VAIO CW14FX/B 14" Notebook - Core 2 Duo T6600 2.20 GHz - Black (1366 x 768 WXGA Display - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD - DVD-Writer - nVIDIA GeForce GT230M - Bluetooth - Webcam - Windows 7 Home Premium - 6 Hour Battery - HDMI)


Our Score:


Plenty of manufacturers offer their laptops in a range of colours, but Sony has been at it for longer than most. One can trace this all the way back to the C Series in February 2007, which was replaced by the CR Series in August that year and then the CS Series last year. Unfortunately, while the outgoing CR was rather smart, the CS was quite a significant step backward, so we weren't surprised to see it swiftly replaced by the CW with the advent of Windows 7.

There are five colours available: white, red, pink, blue and black. As you can see we have the pink version which, regardless of personal preference, is probably the least desirable option of them all. Even those who like pink will find that the brighter, more vibrant shade seen on the lid and palm rest doesn't sit well with the rather sickly, pale shade used on the rest of the machine. No real complaints can be made of the other choices, though, and we particularly like the red/black and white models.

As for the overall design, the CW isn't a style icon, but it is another solid, very well put together machine from Sony. While competitors tend to over-complicate their designs in an effort to stand out, Sony manages to generate a sense of style in a far more restrained manner. Everything is in the right place and has a purpose, leaving your choice of colour to make the statement - if that's what you're after.

Choice isn't restricted just to colour, either. Though we're reviewing one of the retail bound SKUs, which go for between £650 and £700 depending on where you look, Sony offers customisation options via its website. Options aren't that varied, but you can opt for less RAM, slower graphics, slower CPUs and a resultant £579 starting price or upgrades that include a 500GB hard drive and Blu-ray drives, giving you a little flexibility.

As for our model, it's powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo P7450 running at 2.13GHz that's supported by a plentiful 4GB DDR3 RAM. Sony has also had the foresight to install a 64-bit version of Windows 7, so all that system memory is being put to good use. A 512MB nVidia GT 230M graphics cards serves up the graphical treats, while for storage you get a 320GB hard drive. Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all present too, completing a thorough specification.

Connectivity isn't too bad, either. While the CW does lack eSATA or USB 'sleep and charge' capabilities, it does have mini-FireWire - an increasingly rare connection on laptops of late. Everything else is pretty standard, including: three USB ports (2x left, 1x right); HDMI and VGA for video; a 34mm ExpressCard slot, audio jacks (1x headphone, 1x mic); an Ethernet port on the back and separate memory card slots for Sony's proprietary formats and the more commonly used SD card format.

Don Kanonjii

November 27, 2009, 7:14 pm

Bought one of these for my wife as an early xmas present. Utterly fantastic. Performs like a trooper and plays games well even on battery. Runs very cool and very quiet. Couldnt recomend it enough.


November 28, 2009, 12:16 am

I've got one of these in the dark red colour. Really nice laptop! I wouldn't say it runs quiet, the fan is on all the time just on low speed. It's unfortunate that it doesn't support vanilla nVidia Forceware drivers, we have to wait for official Sony ones to update and i really doubt those will ever come.


November 28, 2009, 1:37 am

suprised at the choice of graphics - equivalent to the geforce 9700m GT, it wasn't so long ago that kind of power was in alienware gaming laptops...


November 28, 2009, 2:07 am

Strange scoring. Looks like a great laptop, I think the only complaint I can find is with the screen... The most important two scores (performance and value) are 9/10 but the final score is 8/10.


November 28, 2009, 9:31 pm

For what you pay for, it's pretty good. It's heavy, only complaint i have.


March 29, 2010, 12:35 am

I had a very bad experience with fan noise, thermal management and fan failure on a CS11, a problem that is widely documented by owners on the Internet, including in a thread on the VAIO Club forum at http://club.vaio.sony.co.uk... but I came across this review so thought I might reconsider. I wish I'd seen the score you gave the CS11 before I bought it, but it was, unusually for me, an "impulse" purchase because I needed a replacement computer quickly and the CS11 was in the local shop window. I went for it because of the Sony name, I suppose, but that has been tarnished by my experience with the CS11, which I now no longer own. I was not happy when Sony staff advised me the device was running within parameters after it had been sent back to them. (A replacement fan they installed was similarly noisy, all a poor BIOS control issue, I believe, and it too began to fail.)

I wonder, Andy, if you noted excessive fan noise in testing the CW.

If build quality is better and fan noise more bearable should I look at this again? Does anybody notice a tendency of the fan to spool up to a noisy high speed for just two or three seconds, every nine or ten seconds, even when just putting the CW through light use such as browsing and e-mail? That's what happened with my CS11, on a background of the fan spinning relatively noisily all the time in between, too, and many other CS11 and CS21 owners reported the same behaviour.

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