Sony Vaio EB2
Not enough notebook for your money?
Review The Sony Vaio EB2 is available in a choice of brown, black or pink. Presumably Sony mistook your reviewer for a teenage girl as they sent me the pink version, which was a nasty shock.
More importantly I got a pre-production sample with a Pentium P6000 CPU which runs at 1.87GHz and does not support HyperThreading, unlike the production 2.26GHz Core i3-350M. You can see the effect this has in our test results, but expect better things from the EB2s you'll see in the shops.
The list of features is decent and includes Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi and an ExpressCard 34 slot, but you don't have to scratch hard to find there isn't much beneath the surface. The screen is basic and looks fine if you sit squarely in front of it but the colours are nothing special. I also found that the mouse buttons felt very clicky, and the way the touchpad merges into the chassis makes it tricky to find by touch.
Thankfully, the keyboard is good to type on and the separated keys are a nice touch.
I was annoyed by the ribbon across the top of the Windows 7 screen as it is loaded with Sony utilities that offer little value to the punter yet take up precious pixels. The Start menu is filled with similar bloat. If you buy one of these machines, for you or a nipper, go straight to the Programs control panel and use the uninstall option with abandon.
Although the Vaio EB2 is a reasonably cheap way of buying the Sony label, you don't get much for your money and the barrage of bundled Sony software is rather vexing. ®
Netbooks Group Test