The Bottom Line
- Excellent Keyboard
- Strong 3D Graphics
- Well Priced
- Below Average Battery Life
- Limited Viewing Angles
- Intel Core i5-520M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.5" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, Memory Stick Slot, SD Slot, ExpressCard/54
- 14.6" x 9.8" x 1.2" @ 5.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, VAIO Suite, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VPC-EB1LFX/BI 15.5-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
May 19 2010 - Sony's VAIO VPC-EB1LFX/BI is a very different approach by the company and is actually a very affordable laptop. Priced at $900, the system is one of Sony's growing line of affordable but feature packed notebooks. Performance isn't sacrificed either as the laptop comes with the new Core i5-520M dual core processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory to provide it with some solid performance.
The storage features of the VAIO VPC-EB1LFX/BI are fairly typical of a sub-$1000 laptop. The system comes with a 320GB hard drive that provides a decent amount of storage space for applications, data and media but it is much smaller than the 500GB drives many companies are moving towards. The drive also spins at the more sedate 5400rpm rate. A standard dual-layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. Many people may want to opt for the VPC-EB1JFX/BI that comes with a 500GB drive and Blu-ray drive but drops to a Core i3 processor.
Graphics are mixed in the Sony VAIO VPC-EB1LFX/BI. The 15.5-inch screen does not have the same level of quality as previous Sony displays. In particular, there are very limited viewing angles where the colors quickly wash out and fade. The glossy coating on the display also makes it difficult to use outdoors or in certain lighting. On the other hand, it comes with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics processor with 1GB of memory that provides it with a very solid 3D performance. The system can handle most games up to the panel's native resolution of 1366x768 but some more intensive games will require a lower resolution.
If there is one area where the Sony VAIO E series laptop sacrifices it is on the battery. It comes with a fairly standard 6-cell battery pack that is common of laptops in this price range. In my DVD playback test, it was only able to reach just under two hours before going into standby mode. This is well below what other similarly priced laptops are able to offer. More typical usage will probably yield around two and half to two and three-quarter hours.
While the Sony VAIO E Series may not have the best external design of their laptops, it still features the very well designed isolated keyboard layout. It is probably one of the best available in this price range and provides a very solid typing experience. Sony has also positioned their trackpad in the middle of the space bar which is more natural for users during typing than the more traditional center of the laptop design.
Overall, the Sony VAIO E series offers a solid computing experience for those wanting a feature rich laptop without going over $1000. It does have the downside of a below average battery life and a sub-par display for Sony's standards. The biggest detractor from this model may be the aforementioned VPC-EB1JFX/BI that has more storage features but a slower general processor.