Sony VAIO C-Series review

Do Sony's dayglo laptops put style before substance?

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Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

Sony's laptops may match Apple's in terms of usability and design, but Sony always adds a few bells and whistles to make them stand out from the crowd. Performance, unfortunately, seems to come second to design in Sony's world.

We liked

While the lime green colour of our Sony VAIO C Series review model is likely to inspire either slack-jawed awe or seething hatred, there's no denying that Sony has shaken things up in terms of design.

At the very least it makes a change from the black and silver hunks of plastic we've been toting since the early 2000s. It's a wonderful experience in terms of usability, and the bright screen, decent webcam and comfortable keyboard make it feel substantial and solid. For media tasks and general computing it performs very well, too.

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

We disliked

Given the array of hardware packed into the C Series, we were disappointed with its performance. Although it's capable of moderate gaming, there are better dedicated alternatives for a similar price.

Battery life is the biggest let-down here, and a mere hour at high load is frankly appalling. There are laptops out there that offer 10 times as much, and with the Samsung Chromebook's eight hour battery life, it's become an important part of choosing a laptop.

Verdict

Sony vaio vpc ca2c5e

It's unfortunate, but the Sony VAIO C Series let us down in exactly the way we expected: it's a complete triumph of style over substance.

Despite its amazing looks, and fairly beefy hardware, it just didn't perform as well as it should have. This is compounded by the price, which is too high. Medion's Akoya E6221 costs £240 less, but includes a similar level of hardware specifications and performs almost as well.

It's also clear that Sony is targeting consumers who like shiny and sleek Apple products, but has forgotten that the price tag has to be more competitive in order to truly attract this market.

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