Power, design, and brand are the three main things people look for in today's devices. These three factors plus an irresistible price tag is guaranteed to bait in consumers looking for a main to-go computer. In this respect, Sony Philippines lent us one of the killer portables they have in their arsenal, the Sony VAIO E Series 14.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14 is Sony's answer to those that let their tech go hand in hand with fashion. Sure enough, it's available in a multitude of colors. Read on and find out if this notebook is for you.
It's difficult to differentiate a brand with the state of the market today. Lots of portables look nondescript, save for Intel and Windows 7 stickers. Not the VAIO E. With its distinctive chrome VAIO text, you can spot this beauty from afar.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14's skin has a matte black finish which is nice to the touch, but is easily smudged especially if you have sweaty or oily fingers. The plastic lining the screen meanwhile has a mirror finish that also easily picks up fingerprints.
Like most in the VAIO family, the E Series 14 sports the same keyboard layout with spaces in between keys. The lack of dedicated navigation keys are a mild annoyance (considering that there's quite some room left), since you need to press the Fn (Function) key over and over again to access secondary key functions.
The VAIO Assist, Web, VAIO Care, and power buttons lie just above the keyboard. The touchpad—lined by a chrome bezel—is comfortably within reach.
The HD web camera is located at the top center of the plastic lining on the screen. Standard USB 2.0 terminals x3 are found at the right side of the body, just beside the 24x DVD SuperMulti disc drive. At the left side of the body is a headphone jack, a mic jack, a USB 3.0 terminal, an HDMI port, a standard 15-pin external display port, a network connector port, and the power input. Lastly, a PRO Duo slot and an SD card slot is located at the front of the body.
With dimensions of 344 x 25.4-33.5 x 243.6 mm and a weight of 5.29 lbs (with battery attached), the VAIO E Series 14 rightly belongs at the notebook class. For reference, the MacBook Pro weighs 4.46 lbs.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14 sports a 14-inch WXGA display in a 1366 x 768 resolution. The WXGA resolution is intended for wide-screen output aka the 16:9 aspect ratio.
The gloss on the E Series 14's screen is mirror finish good, gives it that "expensive" feel. Colors are lively enough that even the PCMark test video popped out. Viewing angles are also decent, maintaining both image clarity and eye comfortability.
What good is an expensive notebook if it has nothing under the hood? We've ran several tests on the machine, and here are the results.
The Windows Experience Index, with a top score of 7.9, gives the Sony VAIO E Series 14 a 4.6, determined at the lowest subscore, which is its desktop graphics performance. A 4.6 is just right, given that most VAIOs score right around this number.
Averaging the subscores will give a 5.76, which has no significant value other than summing up the machine's total performance.
The PassMark tests are more forgiving, ranking the Sony VAIO E Series 14 a high overall score of 963. Even then, the results agree that the E Series 14's down point is its graphics processing power.
A summary PassMark benchmark against other motherboards shows that the Sony VAIO E Series 14 notebook outperforms the ASUS M2A-VM by a few points.
Lastly, the PCMark 7 benchmarking software gives this stylish notebook a score of 1811, just about right considering the specifications of this machine.
For reference, the VAIO E Series 14's closest score match is the ASUS N73SV at 2000. It's worth noting that the latter sports an Intel Core i7, an Intel Core i7 2630QM, and a 500GB HDD. A stock Apple MacBook Pro Retina meanwhile scores a whopping 4885, just below the highest mark you can go on stock (5000+).
Interpreting all of this data, the Sony VAIO E Series 14 is fast, but not blazing fast. I personally experienced some lag, probably because of the pre-installed bloatware from Sony and other various throw-ins such as an antivirus from Trend Micro. Removing unnecessary background processes should juice-up this notebook.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14's 1280 x 1024 HD web camera is powered by the Exmor technology. It's supposed to maintain image quality, but largely it still depends on the conditions upon taking an image or video.
Unless you're some sort of audio connoisseur, you wouldn't have beef with Sony's xLoud and Clear Phase technology. The sound coming from the speakers are clear and crisp. Even the tiniest of beats from the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and Tiesto come out audible. Unfortunately we weren't able to run 3D sound tests.
You know that feeling when you come to an exhibition room full of TVs playing animal sequences e.g. seagulls flying on rocky ocean islet, deer running on forest and go impressed? That's how you'll feel while watching the stock animal exhibition videos on the VAIO E Series 14's crystal display.
We took the liberty of taking a video still from the VAIO E Series 14 and here's an animal of some sort foraging through greens (not sure if squirrel or capybara).
(Click image to enlarge)
Of course it would be more fantastic if you were to witness this video in person. The VAIO E Series 14's 14-inch WXGA display is definitely one of its selling points.
Video output on the VAIO E Series 14 is also dependent on the video's quality.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14's stock 4400mAh VGP-BPS26 lithium-ion battery gives off just around the juice it advertises. We left the unit full charge running an MMORPG minimized, two movies queued, and with IDM downloading something in the background with comfortable screen brightness and audio, and it lasted us approximately 3.8 hours.
Sony advertises the battery can last up to 4.5 hours, but that is under a heavily controlled setting. You can always go for the higher VGP-BPL26 battery model, which would last up to 9.0 hours, but would cost you some more money.
The Sony VAIO E Series 14 laptop is like a $200,000 car. It sure is pretty, but it has the power to back itself up. It's ranked an 1811 on PCMark 7, it has Exmor for PC, it has xLoud and Clear Phase, and it has a god awesome WXGA display.
If you fancy carrying a fashion statement around you all the time that wouldn't let you down performance-wise, the VAIO E Series 14 would be an attractive choice.
Sony VAIO E Series 14 Price in the Philippines
The Sony VAIO E Series 14 sells for a suggested retail price of P34,999.00, VAT included. It's one of the more fashionable and affordable notebooks out there.
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'Till my next installment.
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