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If there’s one thing that Sony does best, it’s giving top-notch performance without going out of style. Time and time again, techies glance and sigh at the sight of heavenly VAIOs. But unlike the E series’ pompous siblings, these vibrant-colored lappies aren’t out of reach… much.

VAIO laptops were never afraid of sporting bold colors (which *cough* Macs *cough* always shied away from) – towing in fash femmes who want more from their gadgets than just being a chunk of circuits and sorts. This time around, instead of taking on solid, candy-colored shells, the E series breaks through convention and stands out with gradient patterns – in pink, blue, green, white, and black tones. But if you’re the type who prefers things “toned” down, then there’s always the sleek matte black or white versions.

The chiclet style keyboard and glossy touchpad look and feel as though they’re built to last and would still look new even after a year of usage. We also give Sony’s switch to the plastic arm pad a thumbs up; you won’t get the occasional electrical shock here (a minor ground, really), unlike the CR series of yesteryears or the cheap round heaters you dump into your huge Orocan drums.

You’ll notice that unlike the usual smooth touch pad, the E series’ is padded with grainy bumps, which makes friction and smudginess much less of a problem. All the necessary ports are in the rightful places, including the HDMI and eSATA slots.

Performance-wise, the E series does above average as expected. You still got the slightly sluggish startup issues seen in previous VAIO laptops, and transferring files can sometimes take their precious time despite having an Intel Core i3 processor. The Motion Eye webcam does pretty well in recognizing its subject, but don’t expect it to take more than just webcam photos.

The speakers, on the other hand, really depend on the video you’re playing; you’re either going to need a louder external speaker or adjust your laptop’s volume to a minimum. But on the whole, the sound quality is excellent, which is what you should expect from the people who gave us Walkman (yeah!). We didn’t feel the E series’ Wi-Fi reception or battery life getting a boost, which can be a bit disappointing, considering you have a heavy (and expensive) piece of machinery inside all that glossy exterior.

As expected, the 14-inch screen’s no pushover and will give your eyes a sweet treat. Whether you’re playing videos (online and even from a wireless network group) or video games, the loading times are pretty impressive; you’ll rarely get hiccups or freezes.

The Sony VAIO E series is not exactly the best out there, and there are certainly cheaper alternatives. But if you’re looking for something extra sleek and elegant, plus superb screen and with vibrant exteriors, then the VAIO E series has got you covered.

Click here to see the Sony VAIO E VPCEA35FG in the Buyer's Guide.

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