The Bottom Line
Oct 31 2011 - Sony's E series laptop remains physically unchanged in its latest revision. While the system gets a boost in the performance thanks to the new Core i3 processor and storage thanks to the larger 640GB hard drive, it falls to pull far enough away from just being an average budget laptop. In particular, at nearly six pounds, it is one of the heaviest of the 15-inch laptops available now.
- Large Hard Drive
- Comfortable Full Sized Keyboard With Numeric Keypad
- Heavier Than Average 15-inch Laptop
- Lower Resolution Webcam
- Intel Core i3-2330M Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.5" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n
- Four USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Memory Stick, SD Card Slot
- 14.6" x 9.8" x 1.5" @ 6 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Sony VAIO VPCEH24FXB
Oct 31 2011 - Sony may have updated its VAIO E series laptops with the new EH models, but the exterior design pretty much remains identical to those we have seen in the past. They did change the glossy exterior to feature a patterned glossy design that does hide fingerprints and smudges a bit better than the past designs. Thankfully, the keyboard and trackpad layout remain unchanged. The keyboard spans the full width of the laptop and has nicely sized backspace, enter and right shift keys along with a full numeric keypad that make it very pleasant to type on.
The VAIO EH series uses the second generation Intel Core i processors. For the VPCEH24DXG, the Core i3-2330M dual core processor is used. This is slightly faster than the typical $600 laptop that uses the 2310M version. In the most basic tasks such as web browsing, word processing or watching media, users won't notice a difference. It does get a slight advantage in more demanding tasks like desktop video editing but this is still better suited to quad core or more powerful dual core processors. The processor is paired up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which is standard for most laptops and provides a relatively smooth experience in Windows 7.
Most budget laptops come equipped with a standard 500GB hard drive. Sony packs in a 640GB hard drive with the VAIO VPCEH24FXB. This provides it with nearly thirty percent more space for applications, data and media files that the standard laptop priced around $600. It spins at the traditional 5400rpm rate but the higher data density does give it a slight performance edge as well. While this should provide plenty of storage space, those who want to add external storage may be disappointed that it does not come equipped with a USB 3.0 or eSATA port for use with high speed external devices. Sony has also dropped the iLink or FireWire ports from many of their laptops which leaves just the standard USB 2.0. A dual layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
The display for the Sony VAIO VPCEH24FXB retains its slightly smaller 15.5-inch display. It provides average performance with a fair amount of glare and reflections caused by the glossy coatings used by pretty much every consumer laptop design on the market now. Like the majority of budget laptops, it relies on the integrated graphics solution from Intel. The new Intel HD Graphics 3000 offers improved performance over past models with the addition of Direct X 10 support but it still lacks sufficient 3D performance to be used beyond the most low resolution and detail levels for PC gaming. It does make up for this lack of 3D performance by integrating QuickSync allowing the graphics to help accelerate media encoding when using compatible software. The system also has Intel WiDi 2.0 compatibility allowing the use of compatible wireless receivers to use with external HDMI monitors or HDTVs without cables.
Sony includes a standard six cell battery pack with their VAIO EH series laptops but it has a slightly smaller 4000mAh capacity rating which is about ten percent less than most of its competitors. Sony claims that this can achieve up to three and a half hours of DVD playback. In DVD playback testing, the laptop was able to run for under two and three quarter hours. This is well below the company's estimates but in line with what is achieved with many competing laptops with their slightly larger batteries. More traditional usage should yield over an extra hour worth of running time.