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Sony VAIO C-Series review

Do Sony's dayglo laptops put style before substance?

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

Sony's VAIO C-Series laptops can be configured via the website, and the VPC-CA2C5E review model we were supplied with sat firmly in the middle of the customisation options: not too bad, but could be slightly better. It's powered by an Intel Core i5 2410M processor, backed up with an AMD Radeon HD 6470M graphics chip and 4GB DDR3 RAM.

The laptop can be configured with a Core i7 or i3 processor, as well as Intel onboard graphics and 6GB of RAM.

The body of the laptop feels substantial, and there is very little flex in the casing. At 2.3kg, it's not going to break your back – but we wouldn't want to have to carry it for extended periods. It can get a bit noisy and warm as the fans kick in when you're playing videos or games, but it's by no means a deal breaker.

As has become standard on Sony's laptops, there are three buttons for quick access to help, the internet and the VAIO media portal. They're by no means essential, and we do miss the screen-off button that's adorned previous VAIO laptops such as the VGN-NW11Z/S – it's incredibly handy when you want to connect the laptop to a TV to watch a Blu-Ray.

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

There is, unfortunately, none of Sony's own Blu-ray magic in our C-Series review model; it can be added in the build process, though.

Connectivity is amply handled by HDMI and VGA outputs, as well as three USB sockets – one of which is the speedy USB 3.0. The standard mic and headphone ports and a dual memory stick and SD Card reader complete the lineup.

Sony's screens are nothing short of amazing, and The C Series' 1366 x 768 display is no exception. Colours are vibrant and the contrast strong, but the viewing angle is a minor let-down. The size means you won't be watching films on this, though, and it's easy enough to connect to a big screen TV.

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

The built-in webcam is similarly impressive, offering clear images and video thanks to a 1.3MP Exmor sensor. However, for a company that prides itself on its high quality CD players and Walkmen, the tinniness of the speakers is disappointing.

As with Sony's other laptops, the C Series is an absolute joy in terms of usability. The separated keys make typing a doddle, and you're not likely to get crumbs underneath them. There is a slight flex to the keyboard, but not enough to be noticeable.

The trackpad and buttons are equally responsive, and Sony's integrated multi-touch makes zooming and scrolling nice and easy.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6470M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeYes
Maximum Battery Run Time6.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
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 Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
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