Considering the VAIO C’s target market, we weren’t expecting to get all-day battery life, especially not when we noticed the removable battery only has a capacity of 4,000mAh/44Wh. Indeed, the VPCCA1S1E only lasted a minute over three hours in our low-intensity Productivity test with screen brightness at 40 percent and wireless radios turned off, so that’s pretty much the longest you can expect to get out of it.
Mind you, a lower spec C Series without the dedicated graphics should do a little better, but if you’re after a laptop for on the go, this isn’t it – especially since it weighs a not inconsiderable 2.45kg. The Toshiba Satellite R380 would be a far better choice in this regard, or if you want something with a larger screen, a cheaper configuration of the Dell XPS 15z (which despite being a 15.4in machine only weighs 2.54kg and will last you up to twice as long on a charge).
When we get to value, Sony doesn’t demand too much of a premium for this laptop’s funky looks. A bit of searching will get you a 14in C Series for around £600, though prices vary depending on your colour of choice. However, for £630 you can get a similarly-specified Dell XPS 15 (including the optional backlit keyboard), except with a larger, faster 500GB hard drive, superior Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics, better connectivity, a longer-lasting battery and far more configuration flexibility, not to mention that rather stylish aluminium lid. On the other hand, Sony does throw in a two-year warranty as standard, which is a £100 extra from Dell.
Basically then, it comes down to whether you want metal or neon (oh, and a rubber keyboard cover, of course). We know which we would pick, but if you’re after a particularly colourful orange, pink or green laptop that you won’t need for too long away from a socket, Sony has one of the only options on the market.
If you’re a fan of neon colour choices, transparent overlays and rubber keyboard covers, Sony’s 14in VAIO C Series is the only choice. A decent screen, backlit keyboard and two-year warranty as standard certainly don’t hurt it either, though it doesn’t excel in general performance and its battery life is below-par. If the warranty isn’t a primary concern, you can get better-specified, better-built laptops for less, but they won’t be as colourful.
Score in detail
Battery Life 5