Sony VAIO C-Series review

Do Sony's dayglo laptops put style before substance?

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Our Verdict

A stylish laptop to rival Apple products, but its terrible battery life and lack of substance aren't worth the high price

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Startling design
  • Nice screen
  • Usability
  • Great for kids
  • Very solid


  • Awful battery life
  • Poor performance
  • Too pricey
  • Design may put some off
  • Poor speakers

Sony's latest VAIO C-Series laptops have taken a good few pages out of Apple's big book of design and usability. The curvaceous aesthetics, well-spaced keyboards and not-too-intrusive extra software mean that they look and function amazingly well.

The Sony VAIO VPC-CA2C5E we were sent for review looks the part, finished with ludicrous levels of bright green perspex and plastic – although its hue will surely divide its target market.

The C-Series certainly puts the fun back into computing: we haven't seen such bountiful use of translucent plastic since the iMac back in the early 2000s.

When it's powered up, the keyboard is backlit and the whole thing glows eerily, complete with etched Sony and VAIO logos. Kids seem particularly attracted to it, which explains a lot given its positioning as a family laptop. It's available in a range of different colours, including more conservative blacks and whites and more vibrant pink, red, green, orange and blue.

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

There's a big gap in the market for a fun and funky laptop, especially in this 14-inch form factor. We've seen netbook manufacturers attempt to spice up computing with Asus's Disney Eee, and Packard Bell's Dot SE.

People seem to like customised laptops, too, and most of Dell's XPS 15 allows cases to be customised before you buy them. But Sony really has taken design to another level. It's a brave move, and one that's certain to attract people who are more into designer specs than computer specs, but what's Sony done inside the C Series?

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6470M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeYes
Maximum Battery Run Time6.50 Hour
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyVAIO C
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli3-2310M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.40 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height27.9 mm
Width341 mm
Depth235.2 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesC
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelVPCCA2C5E
Product NameVAIO VPCCA2C5E Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTrack Pad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCCA2C5E
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationBeautifully finished

Stand out and be noticed. VAIO C Series are designed to be true style icons with a unique material finish that's like nothing ever seen before. Some models have increased transparency combined with a light emitting effect which reflects light within the material and emits it from the edge of the notebook. The ideal design statement for those looking to move on from just bold colours.

VAIO C Series is also available in subtle colours with increased surface transparency. Looks good by your side and complemented by a variety of colour-coordinated optional accessories.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO VPCCA2C5E Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter