Sony VAIO EB1E0E review

Price when reviewed

The EB1E0E looks stylish from the word go. With a subtle juxtaposition of gloss and matte materials, and an almost imperceptible sparkle to the finish, it’s undeniably an elegant notebook.

It feels the part, too, with tank-grade build quality and a perfectly-pitched keyboard. The ensemble’s finished off with a 15.5in TFT that’s warmer and richer than we normally see at this price. Spot the EB1E0E in a shop and you’d be forgiven for getting your wallet out right away.

Of course, with such a swish exterior, there’s not a lot left in the budget for high-powered components. The processor is a bog-standard Core i3-330M, supported by 3GB of RAM. That gave the EB1E0E a result of 1.31 in our benchmarks – a reasonable score, but some way off the performance offered by Core i5 models (such as the Sony VAIO EB1Z0E).

[IMG ID=150226F]Sony VAIO EB1E0E[/IMG]

Predictably, there’s no discrete GPU either, so high-performance gaming is out. And although the 1,366 x 768 screen looks sumptuous for DVDs, the speakers are a let-down at high volumes, regularly succumbing to unpleasant distortion.

Sony does provide eSATA and ExpressCard/34 slots, but card reader options are limited to Sony’s own Memory Stick media and SD cards. If you’re one of the few who uses xD, you’re out of luck.

One piece of unequivocal good news is the battery. A 3,500mAh battery sounds small, but somehow the EB1E0E manages to eke a very respectable lifetime out of one. In our light-use benchmark it lasted 4hrs 4min – well above average for a typical notebook.

And although a 1hr 14min performance in heavy use isn’t so outstanding, it’s still perfectly credible. In short, this is a notebook you can use on the move – which is just as well, as it would be a shame to hide the EB1E0E away in a study.

Clearly the VAIO EB1E0E isn’t a best-in-class laptop. But it’s so aesthetically seductive that for a general-purpose role, where raw performance is perhaps less of an issue than usability, it could well turn your head.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions370 x 248 x 31mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.9kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-330M
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM55 Express
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size15.5in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity298GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskToshiba MK3265GSX
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveHL-DT-ST GT20N
Battery capacity3,500mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots1
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)4
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use4hr 4min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 14min
Overall application benchmark score1.31
Office application benchmark score1.22
2D graphics application benchmark score1.31
Encoding application benchmark score1.18
Multitasking application benchmark score1.55
3D performance (crysis) low settings19fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition, burn own recovery discs

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