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Sony VAIO E Series (VPC-EA1S1E/P) - 14in Laptop - Keyboard, Touchpad & Audio-visual

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Of late, the keyboards on Sony laptops, as evidenced by the CW Series and NW Series, have been excellent and the E Series is no different. While the layout differs slightly, the E Series keyboard has the exact same isolation keys as found on both series and they deliver smooth, defined and crisp feedback. We must admit to preferring the layout of the CW Series keyboard by dint of its offset cursor keys and large right-Shift key, but on the whole the layout of the E Series keyboard is very good too.

Such competence is matched by the touchpad. Like on the NW it has a slightly dimpled texture to differentiate itself from its surroundings, which proves a pleasant surface to glide across. Multi-touch is supported but only for pinch to zoom, making it somewhat limited in scope and therefore not that useful.

Of much greater benefit is the high resolution of the screen mentioned earlier. Being 1,600 pixels wide makes it a lot easier to fit documents side-by-side and the extra 132 vertical pixels you gain over most laptop displays makes browsing long documents and web pages a little easier. We wouldn't say the high pixel density (the number of pixels per inch of screen) makes it particularly difficult to use, either - it's a great resolution for this size of display.

Even better is the quality of the display itself. Horizontal viewing angles are actually rather poor by typical standards, but they're more than made up for by the excellent colour production and contrast produced. Fine details in videos and photos are brought out very well, a fact further enhanced by the sharpness of this resolution on a relatively small screen and the deep blacks. It's a step above similarly priced laptops.

Things come back down to earth with a bump where the stereo speakers are concerned, though. While not the worst we've heard, not by a long chalk, they're still far from impressive. There's no discernible bass and the mid-range lacks warmth, leaving only the now familiar tinny sound found on so many laptops. We can probably forgive this particular weakness, however, especially considering the superlative display.


April 16, 2010, 1:25 pm

I've been looking at 13" ULV laptops so this would be more than powerful for what I need. The eSATA and Expresscard/34 and high res screen make this look like a pocket money purchase compared to the Macbook Pro 13". I'll happily cope with the lighter build quality for the connectivity which is essential for me.


April 16, 2010, 4:54 pm

7/10 for the battery? The laptop is otherwise fine but a 4 cell 39 watt hour battery is pitiful.

Apple just got a 63.5 watt hour battey into a laptop an inch smaller. I don't like Apple but that was a much more sensible idea..


April 16, 2010, 6:06 pm

I'm typing this on a 15" (in black - more sensible though still a bit glossy) E series variant of this (http://www.morecomputers.com/e....

@xenos: This isn't the kind of machine you buy for battery life, it's big and powerful. If you want something with longer battery life then (like @Wedge) you should be aiming at a CULV. 13" inch, low weight, low power, lower performance and lower cost, but very different machines for different uses. Even though the 15" I have is a bit bigger than the 14 reviewed here i'd still more call them desktop replacements that you'd carry around the house, but not out into the streets except for the occasional time.

The screens are great on these, mine goes upto 1900*1080 (full HD whatever that is, I just wanted it to compare documents side by side). As stated sound is pitiful and a disappointment, I guess these are really aimed at work more than multimedia or gaming. I guess having an HD screen and crappy speakers is a bit daft however. Plug in some external speakers or use headphones and you're fine.

I'm happy with this machine, the build is a bit plastic and doesn't feel as premium as I'd like, but for the money I couldn't see anything else out there that matched it. I could spend double to get a Macbook, another £200 on a similarly specc'd ASUS. (Seeing Sony, ASUS & Apple as the premium notebook manufacturers). Samsung, HP, they might be cheaper but I just doubt their long term reliability.


April 16, 2010, 6:29 pm

My wife has the 15inch version in white (she likes the styling) and have to agree with @HK. For the money I dont think there was a better option (taking into account that Sony is a premium brand).

It is interesting to hear that Asus is considered a premium notebook brand by some. I always looked at Asus as one of the cheapest options out there.


April 19, 2010, 3:45 pm

@sakul84: Acer are a (THE) cheap option, ASUS on the other hand are one of the best brand out there. I guess having the original netbook has diluted their image to some people, but even they are well built considering the price.


April 19, 2010, 11:56 pm

@HK: dont get me wrong, I am very glad to hear that, as I just bought and Asus N61 :) so I do hope it will work well as it is my first notebook ever :) (been using desktops so far).

BTW: waiting to see a review of that Asus N61. In case it gets reviewed I hope it goes well ;) wouldnt like to a see a bad review of a notebook that I just bought.


February 4, 2011, 11:38 pm

I bought one of these laptops - big mistake! It looked good but after 15 days of use the screen started having problems. Sony said the screen is cracked and not covered by the warranty!! I have not done anything to it so no idea how it cracked! Don't buy if you want something to last!


February 23, 2012, 10:45 pm

I have a vaio e series VPCEA36F
I have a major problem
This laptop take four hours for full charge when it is turned off, and it is a disaster when it is turned on it took like 5 hours .
Anybody have a suggest or can help?

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