Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG notebook

A 15.5in Sony VAIO laptop with a Full HD screen

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Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG
  • Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG
  • Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG
  • Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • HDMI output, decent all round performer, reasonably fast for basic tasks, excellent keyboard

Cons

  • Grippy touchpad, short battery life, not suitable for heavy gaming, questionable build quality

Bottom Line

The Sony VAIO VPCEB16FG notebook is a nice all round performer, although the build quality leaves something to be desired and its battery life is poor.

Would you buy this?

The Sony VAIO E-Series VPC-EB16FG is a 15.5in notebook designed for everyday use. The term 'stylish' is an understatement when it comes to describing this laptop: our review unit came with a bright, eye-catching aqua lid. With a Full HD (1920x1080), LED-backlit display and HDMI output, the Sony VAIO VPCEB16FG is a nice all rounder. However, questionable build quality and poor battery life hinder its appeal.

The screen's size and Full HD resolution make watching movies on the Sony VAIO E-Series VPC-EB16FG a reasonably comfortable experience, but the glossy display has poor viewing angles and below-average contrast. The side-mounted HDMI port will let you hook the laptop up to a TV, however.

Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG build quality

The Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG's overall build quality leaves a little to be desired. The base lifts off the desk if you try to open the lid with a single hand, the body creaks when picking the notebook up the side where the optical drive is, and the touchpad feels rather 'grippy'. The screen also exhibits a bit more flex than we'd like, though there was no sign of puddling when we pressed on the lid.

The Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG's keyboard is excellent. The well-spaced keys provide excellent tactility and make typing a comfortable experience, but the absence of a backlight for night-time use is a little disappointing. The notebook's function keys above the keyboard can be used to open a range of preinstalled Sony software.

Weighing 2.7kg, the VAIO VPC-EB16FG's is not a laptop you want to carry with you on long journeys; however as it's somewhat of a desktop replacement notebook this isn't too much of a concern. Sony has provided customers with the choice of overwhelmingly bright colours to choose from instead of the standard black option. These include lime green, white and aqua colour schemes; they definitely make the VAIO VPC-EB16FG stand out from the crowd.

Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG specs and performance

Running one of Intel's new 2.13 GHz Core i3-330M processors, the Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG notebook's specifications make for decent, if not overwhelming reading. You'll also find 4GB of DDR3 RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), a 500GB hard disk drive and a DVD burner. The VAIO offers 802.11n/b/g/ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Unfortunately, the 5400rpm hard drive is slow when compared to many new notebooks and Sony doesn't offer an SSD option.

The Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG comes with a 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics card, so it should be capable of playing most games at low to medium settings. The score of 5983 in our 3D Mark 06 confirmed this, but also suggests that this notebook hasn't been designed for hardcore gamers. While you can play games on the VAIO VPC-EB16FG, we suggest changing the screen resolution to 1024 x 768 and enabling low to mid image quality for best performance.

The Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG delivered noteworthy performance in our benchmark tests. It took just 1min 51sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s. We also found the VAIO VPC-EB16FG handles multitasking without any issues, such as Web browsing, music and video playback and uploading multimedia files.

Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG connections

The Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG has a wealth of connections including four USB 2.0 ports (one of which doubles as an eSATA port), headphone and microphone ports, an ExpressCard/34 slot, a 10/100 Ethernet port, an SD card reader, a Memory Stick slot, and VGA and HDMI ports. You'll find more space between the three USB ports mounted on the right side of this VAIO than on the Apple's MacBook Pro, but larger USB flash drives may rob you of access to the next USB port.

Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG battery life

In our battery rundown test — during which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi and turn up the screen brightness, then we loop an Xvid-encoded video — the Sony VAIO VPC-EB16FG lasted just 1hr 12min. This is a poor result when compared to some similar notebooks we've tested, such as the ASUS N61Ja and the Medion Akoya MD98330 which recorded results of 1hr 47min and a whopping 2hr 44min respectively.

Additional reporting by Ross Catanzariti

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