To be brutal and blunt, Sony's 'affordable' laptops, till now, felt just that. There was too much compromise on build quality, specs and ultimately, the performance. However, the company's updated FIT series seems to be faring better than the predecessors. For starters, you don't realise this machine costs around Rs 35,000, just by looking at it. If we are to hide the price tag from you, its build quality would make you believe the price to be R 10,000 more, at least.
The matte black finish, with the typical VAIO rounded edges, makes the FIT have a rather curvy look. Not the slimmest machine around, but very manageable in terms of weight and footprint, keeping in mind the 15.5-inch display size.
Specifications are fairly basic, but that is the standard in this price band. The machine is powered by a third-generation Intel Core i3-3227U processor, which is paired with 2GB of RAM. The FIT's nearest rival, the HP Sleekbook 15-B002TX, has similar specs — Intel Core i3 — 3217U, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
The VAIO FIT 15E’s performance is, at best, limited. This is a machine that boots quickly enough and apps load without hiccups. However, multi-tasking will be restricted because of just 2GB of RAM. This is a machine meant for someone who is either buying their first laptop, or need one for basic daily usage.
Excellent battery life makes this a road warrior, if you so wish for it to be. In our grueling battery benchmarks, this clocked more than two hours on a single charge. Typically, for web browsing and document work, this should last over four hours with ease, something no other laptop in this price band offers.
What we really like is the VAIO FIT 15E’s display, which is crisp, bright and mostly non-reflective. This makes for comfortable screen viewing, even when you are sitting in an office with bright lights shining down from the ceiling. The keyboard is very well spaced out, and the key size is at par with the best keyboards out there — the Apple MacBooks and the HP ENVY dv6 series. However, key travel is a tad on the lesser side, and the key response isn”t ideal for quick typing; at least till you get used to it.
The VAIO FIT 15E is a very good laptop, particularly because of the excellent battery life. Alternatively, if the keyboard is of primary importance, the HP Sleekbook 15 will be a better bet.
Price: R 34,990