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Sony VAIO CA Series review

Cheerful and colourful family laptop, with Intel's latest Core i5

Sony VAIO CA Series
The Sony VAIO CA Series in its green glory

Our Verdict

Good performance and usability is let down by poor battery life and storage.


  • Colourful design (ooh)
  • Sandy Bridge performance
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Highly usable
  • Decent screen


  • Colourful design (ugh)
  • Below average battery life
  • Limited storage
  • Reflective display

Here at TechRadar Towers, we see an awful lot of laptops. Some are hulking desktop replacements, some are highly desirable ultraportables, but these days it takes something particularly eye-catching to stand out from the crowd.

One sure-fire method is to use a bright and colourful design. From Dell's XPS 15, which can be customised with an excellent variety of slick and surreal lid prints, to Packard Bell's red-tinted EasyNote range, it's always refreshing to see something a little different.

Sony has gone for full-on bright colours with its new VAIO CA Series, a range of family-friendly laptops that pack in Intel's latest Sandy Bridge technology. While the result will definitely get you noticed on public transport, reactions are likely to vary. Our green model gathered great interest, with some people loving the radioactive glow and others clutching their eyes, screaming in mortal terror.

If green doesn't suit, you can also purchase the VAIO CA in similarly bright orange and pink models. Otherwise, if you prefer something a little more subtle, the laptop comes in conventional black and white.

Sony vaio ca series

As with most Sony laptops, build quality is strong. The plastic chassis is reassuringly tough with no obvious weak points, aside from some slight flex around the DVD drive.

And although the keyboard is a tiny bit spongy in the centre, it's a well-sized and quiet board that's comfortable to type on for extended periods. Each key pokes up through individual holes cut into the VAIO CA's chassis, a style that's highly popular at the moment. Backlighting gives the keys an eerie glow and allows you to work well into the night.

The touchpad is also highly usable, with a beveled surface that proves responsive to all of your swipes and prods, and two firm mouse buttons that sit underneath.

With a weight of 2.3kg, the VAIO CA can definitely be carried around if needed. Be warned that the 39mm chassis is fairly bulky, however, so you'll need to clear some space in your bag first.