Graphics, meanwhile, are powered by Nvidia’s GeForce 230M chip. Launched back in the summer, this sits near the bottom of Nvidia’s latest mobile GPUs, but don’t go thinking that means it’s no good for gaming. Running Call of Duty 4 at the laptop’s native resolution of 1366 x 768, we were able to achieve a perfectly playable 22.7fps – we also had 4x anti-aliasing switched on, which makes this frame rate even more impressive. In Far Cry 2 at the same resolution, it sped along at 47.5fps.
Available in various flavours
Curious as to how it would cope with something a bit more strenuous, we fired up the notoriously resource-hungry Crysis. Unsurprisingly, frame rates weren’t quite so fluid, and at the native resolution it could only muster up 8.5fps. Still, overall we were pleasantly surprised by the VPCCW1S1E’s gaming performance.
What’s not quite so impressive is its battery life, and with a 3600mAh battery it only managed 93 minutes in our PCMark Vantage loop. Go easy on it and you’ll likely get just under three hours uptime, but we were hoping for more.
As for the competition, Dell’s Studio XPS 13 with the same processor but a 13in screen and GeForce 210M graphics will set you back £749 (this is actually a discounted price – according to Dell’s website the normal price is a shocking £968). Meanwhile, Acer has a more tempting alternative in the Aspire AS5739G, which features faster GeForce 240M graphics and a 15.6in screen for around the same price as this Sony Vaio.
Minor niggles aside, if you’re looking for a compact laptop that’s not short in the performance department, the VPCCW1S1E certainly delivers the goods. Its mediocre battery life is a shame and may be enough to dissuade more than a few potential buyers, but overall it’s very impressive little laptop from Sony. ®
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Sony Vaio CW
@AC 14:53 GMT
Educational software designed to run under 32 bit XP will run fine in windows 7 so no need for XP emulation.
...FEED THE TROLL!
Not sure why Reg is so surprised by budget VAIOs. This isn't the first. Their NW, AR and FW series has always been affordable too. It is just their high end VAIOs tend to get more coverage.
Anyway good notebook. My mate bought it last week and it is pretty darn good value, has a good build quality (quite unlike cheap HPs and Acers) and can play most games.
But it's a sony
which means that within 2 years when the power brick fails, Sony will have stopped selling them and you will be tempted to buy a cheap nasty replacement from ebay (which only has a 2 week life expectancy).
Likewise a replacement battery from sony will set you back three quarters of the price of a new laptop with specs better than your current vaio.
The only sony product I like is the PS3 because it has ongoing support (only because they make more money from the online store and the game licensing than they do the physical hardware).
Cheap and nasty
i was looking at one of these, but the case plastic is thin and it looks cheap, glad i have a Ford Mustang, well worth the extra money.