The Sony Vaio VPC-EB1SOE/WI is a new laptop targeted at the average consumer. Boasting an all new chassis design, the laptop impressed us with the level of performance, portability and usability available at such a decent price point.

The 15.5-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel resolution display is typically bright and sharp, making viewing photos and videos a pleasure. Colour reproduction is also good, although colours are not as deep as we've seen on other Sony models.

The new chassis design is very attractive, and the mock metal and white plastic finish look great, although the subtle glittery effect on the palmrest might put some off.

Excellent keyboard

The laptop's keyboard is very firm with only a slight hint of flex and the isolated style keyboard that Sony often uses is in evidence, providing a very comfortable and accurate typing experience. There's also a dedicated numeric keypad.

Intel's latest processing power comes courtesy of a Core i3 processor, alongside 4096MB of DDR3 memory to produce extremely fast performance. You'll have no problems running everyday office applications or more resource-intensive programs such as editing suites.

An ATi graphics card from its latest Mobility Radeon HD 5000 series gives the laptop some 3D punch, and its 512MB of video RAM means you'll have no issue rendering images in editing suites and playing less-resource intensive games.

The 500GB hard drive is more than capable of holding thousands of files, folders and videos, and also provides a good deal of future-proofing.

Portability is decent enough and the 2.6kg the machine weighs won't be a hassle to carry around. The 179-minute battery life is just about acceptable.

The laptop comes with a wealth of features unique to Sony, including a new Assist button that helps you maintain your laptop and diagnose any issues you're experiencing, a web button that allows you quick access to the internet without booting up the Windows 7 operating system and, finally, a VAIO button, which gives you quick access to your music, movies and photos.

802.11n Wi-Fi is onboard, as is an HDMI port for sending high-definition (HD) content to an external monitor and an eSATA interface for backing up your files to an external device at high speed.

The Sony VAIO VPCEB1SOE/WI is a very impressive machine that provides great performance, power and usability. It's a great all-rounder with versatile performance and would make the perfect machine for the whole family.

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