The Bottom Line
- Smaller Dimensions Thanks to 14.1-inch Screen
- Good General Performance
- Integrated Graphics
- Lacks Some Modern Peripheral Connectors
- Poor Internal Speaker
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 3GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 14.1" WXGA (1280x800) Display with 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA X4500HD Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 2.0
- Three USB 2.0, FireWire, ExpressCard/34, Memory Stick Slot, SD Card Slot
- 13.2" x 9.8" x 1.5" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium, Works, VAIO Suite, Microsoft OneCare
Guide Review - Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E 14.1-inch Thin and Light Laptop PC
11/20/08 - The Sony VGN-CS118E provides a smaller overall footprint for a thin and light system thanks to the use of a 14.1-inch panel. Even with the smaller overall width of the system, it still retains a fairly thick profile. This detracts somewhat from its smaller dimensions but it still provides a good reduction from larger 15.4 and 16-inch based laptops.
Performance in the system is quite good thanks to the newer Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor. It gives a good balance between power usage and performance that many will enjoy. Sony has decided to use 3GB of PC2-6400 DDR2 memory for the system rather than newer DDR3. This keeps the overall cost of the system down but it does reduce performance compared to systems using the newer memory technology.
One area of issue with the VAIO CS118E is the graphics. Most systems in this price range are starting to include some dedicated graphics processors. Sony instead uses the newer Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics. While this does have improved performance for things such as accelerating high definition media streams, it still lacks the 3D performance for any real type of 3D gaming.
Another surprising aspect of the Sony VAIO CS is the lack of several newer peripheral interfaces. The only external display interface is a VGA connector rather than a DVI, HDMI or even DisplayPort that allows for better external display performance at higher resolution. Many of the new laptops are also starting to feature an eSATA high performance external storage interface that is missing from the laptop.
All of this adds up to the Sony VAIO CS118E being best suited as a slightly smaller general purpose laptop. Those looking for something with 3D graphics definitely will need to look elsewhere.