VAIO C Notebooks in any colour you like
Sony’s latest series of trendy notebooks, the VAIO C, comes in many colours including red, orange and black. The outer shell of the notebook is primarily made up of translucent plastic, making it look more like a kid’s toy than anything else.
Sony's latest series of trendy notebooks, the VAIO C, comes in many colours including red, orange and black. The outer shell of the notebook is primarily made up of translucent plastic, making it look more like a kid's toy than anything else.
The lid has a bit of flex, but the screen is sturdy and doesn't ripple when its edged are pinched. The chiclet-style keyboard is backlit and the best part with an ambient light sensor automatically turning it on or off according to the lighting conditions.
The notebook may look like a toy, but it packs in serious horsepower beneath those flashing lights. Intel's Core i5-2410M takes centrestage, running at a speed of 2.3GHz with the ability to turbo up to 2.9GHz. There's a single 4GB DDR3 memory stick, so you can add another one yourself later. For storage, you get a 500GB hard drive spinning at 7200rpm. The C series makes for a decent gaming laptop as well, with AMD's HD 6630M and dynamic switchable graphics.
The 14-inch LED backlit screen sports a resolution of 1366x768, which is good enough for general and multimedia playback. The 1.3MP webcam also features Sony's 'Exmor' video engine for a clearer picture. The Core i5 processor is a very capable performer for everyday tasks and copes well even under stress. Games run fairly well too.
Keyboard is great
At 2.45kg, you'll definitely feel the VAIO's weight in your backpack. That aside, the keyboard is a dream to use with great play. Even while charging, the notebook only gets a bit warm, which is impressive. Finally, the built-in speakers are loud and clear but lack bass.
This is one of the first notebooks we've come across which has a dynamically switching graphics card. The Catalyst software in the notebook has a new option called 'Switchable Graphics' that lets you configure which programmes use the dedicated graphics card and which ones use the onboard hardware. But this feature is not as polished as compared to Nvidia's Optimus.
Average battery life
Under average usage, you should easily manage 2.5-3 hours with 'Power Saver Mode' on and brightness level set to medium.
What we like
Good choice of colours
Powerful Intel Core i5 processor.
Easy to install a new hard disk or memory
What we don't
Average battery life of only 2.5-3 hours
Switchable graphics not as good as Nvidia's Optimus
At R 55,990 for the model we tested (VPCCA15FG), the VAIO C is a good buy given its features and performance. Funky looks apart, it has ample firepower under all the hippie lighting effects. Highlights include the auto-switchable graphics, auto-backlighting of the keyboard and a comfortable keyboard. It can also handle DX10 games pretty well without compromising too much on quality. Just watch out for so-so battery life and the weight.