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Sony VAIO EC Series 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO EC Series VPCEC3AFX/BJ 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop Review
Image Courtesy Sony

Dec 19 2010 - The Sony VAIO VPC-EC3AFX/BJ laptop boasts a 17.3-inch full HD display for enhanced gameplay. With an MSRP of $1,199, this notebook is a decent value, considering it includes a Blu-ray player, Intel Core i5-460M processor, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 dedicated graphics card. Although the speakers aren't great on this model, the multimedia capabilities, abundance of ports (including HDMI), and support for up to 8GB of memory make the Sony VAIO VPC-EC3AFX/BJ gaming notebook a worthwhile buy.


  • Large Full HD Screen
  • Decent Processor
  • Blu-ray Player
  • Price


  • Touchpad Buttons Are Supbar
  • Speaker Quality Is Not Great
  • Poor Battery Life


  • Intel Core i5 - 460M Processor
  • 4GB PC-1066MHz DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • 17.3-inch Full HD 1920x1080 LED Backlit Display
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB Graphics
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Four USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Multimedia Card Reader
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 16.1" x 1.25" x 10.78" @ 7.3 Lbs
Sony VAIO EC Series Gaming Notebook ReviewImage Courtesy Sony

The Sony VAIO EC Series gaming laptop (model VPC-EC3AFX/BJ) is equipped with a 17.3-inch LED backlit screen with a max resolution of 1920x1080. The display is excellent for gaming due to its size and full HD resolution. The Sony VAIO EC Series also features an Intel Core i5-460M with 3MB of cache that runs at 2.53GHz natively with TurboBoost up to 2.8GHz. For the $1,199 MSRP, the processor is more than adequate.

The EC gaming notebook also comes with 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 memory, but the system supports up to 8GB. This is the fastest memory you're going to get at this time, as only quad-core chips support faster RAM. Graphics are supplied by the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 video card with 1GB of GDDR3 dedicated video memory. The card supports DirectX 11 games, but it isn't the fastest on the market. If you're playing mainstream games, such as World of Warcraft or Battlefield: Bad Company 2, this system offers decent gameplay. But for hardcore gamers who want ultimate performance, a more powerful system with better graphics may be necessary.

Luckily, the Sony VAIO VPC-EC3AFX/BJ laptop comes with a fast 500GB 7200RPM hard drive. The EC Series also makes a great multimedia machine with the included Blu-ray player and HDMI port. Watching movies is a pleasant experience, although the speakers could use some improvement. Sound quality was a bit dismal, as is the case in many budget-friendly notebooks. If you have a compatible HDTV, though, you can connect the laptop via the HDMI port to watch Blu-ray films on your television.

Another nice feature is the full numeric keypad on the Sony VAIO EC Series. The touchpad buttons can be a bit troublesome for detailed commands, so if you're gaming for long periods of time, you may want to invest in a Bluetooth mouse.

In terms of size, the laptop weighs in at a respectable 7.3 pounds. Although it isn't extremely portable, it does allow added flexibility over a gaming desktop. Battery life is disappointing, but there is an option to purchase a large capacity battery. And gamers typically cannot use battery power for battles anyway, as the graphics draw too much power.

Overall, the Sony VAIO EC Series VPC-EC3AFX/BJ laptop is a great value if you're a mainstream gamer. The large screen provides substantial room for gameplay. Plus, pair the Blu-ray player with the HDMI port to create an enhanced entertainment experience. At $1,199 MSRP, the Sony VAIO EC Series notebook is a worthwhile buy.

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