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Sony VAIO C-Series review

Do Sony's dayglo laptops put style before substance?

The C Series comes in a range of colours - some more subtle than others

Our Verdict

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


  • 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?