Sony VAIO E Series (VPC-EA1S1E/P) - 14in Laptop - Performance & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


For performance comparison we've used the Samsung R580 and HP Pavilion dv6-2113sa, both of which walked away with Recommended Awards recently. While the spec of the Sony is broadly similar to that of the Samsung, the E Series benefits from a 64-bit OS and this is reflected in the seven per cent advantage in the overall PCMark Vantage result.

We're far from convinced you'll notice this difference in real-world use, though, and given the Sony costs over £100 more we'd expect a greater advantage. It's still a perfectly capable performer, but for the money it doesn't really shine and we recently spied a version of the HP Pavilion dv6 (DV6-2105EA) with a faster Core i5 processor for just £640.

It's a similar story in the gaming benchmarks. While the Sony doesn't embarrass itself, it hardly sets the world alight either. In fact in the Trackmania Nations tests it's the slowest of the three, albeit at a playable 36.7fps, only to reverse this by being the fastest in the more demanding STALKER: Call of Pripiyat test. In any case it should do decent service for casual gaming, but anything beyond that is stretching things a mite.

This solid, but not outstanding, performance is concluded in our battery life tests. Again the Sony performs similarly to the Samsung R580 here, but given it weighs 2.35kg and is smaller in size - and is therefore more portable - we'd like a little more than the 199 minutes (3hrs, 19mins) of Productivity it managed. Another of Sony's 14in laptops, the CW Series, lasted four hours when we reviewed it last year, which is much closer to our expectations.

Ultimately, then, the E Series lives and dies on the quality of its display: it's the only stand-out feature. If quality and resolution are particularly important to you then the E Series instantly attains greater value, but we'd wager that those who care about such things mightn't be as keen on Sony's garish/bold (delete as appropriate) colour designs.


This is another good laptop from Sony that lives up to its reputation for good quality design. It also benefits from an excellent display, but for the money its performance doesn't quite live up to expectations.


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 (

@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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