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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
(**NOTE: This review is of the Sony Vaio Fit 15E Core i3 1.9GHz model, and not the higher-specced i7 model.**) If you read all of the blurb in Amazon's product description for this laptop, you'll be led to believe that this device has "an intuitive touchscreen [that] helps you get the most from your media". This laptop does NOT have a touchscreen. According to its quick start guide, a touchscreen is available "on selected models only", and this model isn't one of them. Amazon's descriptions occasionally turn out to be slightly inaccurate, but this particular description really ought to be amended, since it contains incorrect information about an aspect of the product that's crucial to the way it functions.

Confusion over its touchscreen capabilities aside, the Sony Vaio Fit 15E (to give it its proper title) is a decent, solid, mid-range laptop. On the inside is an updated Intel Core i3 processor (i3-3227U), 4GBs of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. There's no discrete video card (only integrated graphics via Intel HD 4000). On the left side are two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a microphone jack and a headphone jack. On the right are two USB 2.0 ports and a DVD drive. All of the USB ports are situated close to the front corners, which is a bit of an odd, occasionally irritating design decision. A front-facing SD card slot completes the range of connections.

The screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and looks pretty decent. It's quite glossy, though this doesn't bother me. The keys are nice and responsive and the numeric keypad is a welcome addition. The touchpad is far from ideal, however. It features two areas at the bottom that correspond to the left and right click of a mouse, and there doesn't appear to be any way to change this. I prefer using a two-fingered tap to right click, but if there's a way to do this I haven't found it. There also isn't a way to adjust the direction of two-fingered scrolling; for some reason there appears to be a lack of customisation options when it comes to this device's touchpad. UPDATE: The touchpad does have many customisation options, including two-fingered right click and being able to change the direction of two-fingered scrolling. I'm not sure whether these options were added via a software update or whether I just had trouble finding them.

One area where the Vaio Fit 15E punches above its weight is audio. It has a built-in subwoofer, and the audio the laptop produces is clear, bassy and loud - much louder than other laptops I've used. The laptop is also very good at maintaining a decent Wi-Fi connection, though its Wi-Fi card doesn't support the 5GHz band.

If you're looking for a general-purpose, mid-range laptop, you could do a lot worse than the Vaio Fit 15E. Its updated i3 processor can handle most (non-gaming/video editing) tasks with ease, and the overall build quality is good for the price. Just don't expect a nice Windows 8-friendly touchscreen; you'll have to look to higher-end Vaio models if you want one of those.
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on 21 March 2014
Amazon seem to have an issue with product descriptions and reviews, with reviews for other models being displayed, causing a lot of confusion and giving an unrepresentative view of customer opinion for a particular model.

I ordered this laptop for my mum for Christmas, and it does have a touch screen (incidentally it was also about £100 cheaper then at £365). Not knowing what's going on with Amazon though, I cannot say whether if you order it today you will get a touchscreen.

Despite the astounding shortcomings of Windows 8 - you just need to bite the bullet and install Classic Shell (I was adamant to do it Microsoft's way: if the start menu is not there it must be possible to do without... I'll stop there or I'll go into a rant and this is not about w8), this is an elegant laptop of high build quality. I just bought a much more expensive higher spec Lenovo laptop (IdeaPad Z710 with i7, 8GB and a hybrid HDD with 8GB cache) and I'm disappointed - compared to this VAIO it's clunky: touchpad clicking is a disaster (/very nice on the Sony), USB ports seem like they're not quite the right size, and most disappointingly of all, standard quality video skips sometimes - this seems inexcusable.

Here is the trick: buy this VAIO or a similar high-build quality lower-spec laptop and simply upgrade the components. The cost difference between these and higher-spec components is I'm sure minimal to the manufacturer: it's all about pricing for the market, so the higher-spec models are disproportionately expensive. Do it in this order: SSD harddrive (~£100), extra 4GB memory, better processor. My hunch/understanding is that processors have plateaued and i3, i5, i7 is all much of a muchness. This VAIO, "on paper" has the same processor as my ten year old Acer - I'm hoping there's more to it than that, but certainly clock speeds haven't changed much. An SSD will give you the biggest boost, followed by memory and finally CPU. I note two access panels on the underside - so one of these three components may be a little harder to get to than the others. (Note: I am assuming the buyer is not much of a game player - I don't know how easy it is to change a graphics card in a laptop - sometimes they are built onto the mb - so buying a higher spec laptop might be a necessity.)

Finally, the touchscreen is very nice, and almost a necessity for W8 metro mode, though I doubt it is possible to do much other than waste time here. A touchscreen is also good if you suffer from RSI because it lets you interact in another way.
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on 13 May 2014
As if Windows 8 isn't annoying enough to begin with; if you make the terrible decision to buy one of these then your frustrations will more than likely increase ten fold.

I got my first one a couple of months ago just before I went on holiday. I wasn't enjoying my new laptop at all but I put it mainly down to Windows 8 getting me worked up. Then, without any warning and only a week old, it freezes. CTRL ALT DELETE had no effect so I had to switch off using the power button.

So I turn it back on and it heads into "auto repair". This pointless process only took about 2/3 hours to get through, nice and quick. The end result? Your computer could not be fixed. So I try to restore to factory settings, another 3/4 hours later. Still not working. Retry anything I can think of over and over and the brand new laptop just won't work.

Get another from Amazon eventually. On this one, the internet is literally slower than dial up days. There are 2 other laptops in the house, 2 Ipads, a PS3, a PS4 and 2 smart phones. All were working perfectly on the internet. The mouse is non-responsive half of the time also. You can click all you like but nothing's happening on the screen.

So 2 laptops, full of problems from pretty much the second I opened the box. Maybe I'm just unlucky, who knows, I'm just telling you about my experience with this horrible machine.
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on 2 December 2013
Experienced issues with the pre-installed Software. Had to re-install Windows 8 and then 2 weeks later the battery died of a critical failure. Tried to contact FozTronik who failed to reply to my request for a repair. Contacted Sony and sent back to their Engineers who discovered the laptop had been tampered with by FozTronik which had subsequently invalidated the Warranty. Report as follows "The serial number of battery inside unit does not match the configuration check, screws are either missing or fitted to the incorrect place, and cables have been incorrectly seated." Still waiting to hear back from FozTronik and I would definately avoid dealing with this seller again. Maybe they should advertise their laptops as being reconditioned [somewhat poorly] rather than new.....DISSAPOINTING..
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
One-liner: a solid all-round laptop, which looks and sounds great, but otherwise doesn't stand out from a very crowded market. At £499 it is around £50 over-priced.

The detail
For a few weeks I have been running this side by side with an HP Pavilion which I bought a couple of months ago. The spec is similar - the Sony has a slightly better CPU but less RAM, and otherwise they are extremely close, except for £150 of price difference, the HP being the cheaper.

It has been a while since pure computing power was a big issue, and we are using these as general family laptops, with YouTube, iPlayer, Moshi Monsters and iTunes being the most popular end uses. None of these pose any challenges to the hardware.

Both have been crippled with Windows 8 which has the whole family confused even after three months of use, but we can't really blame HP and Sony for that. Or perhaps we can.

Anyway, Sony know as well as anyone that laptops are commodity items these days and so have differentiated with an investment in sound quality. And it works - laptop speakers have been shocking since forever, leaving users forced to buy external speakers to get any sound lower pitched than a budgie. The Fit E sounds, well, not as good as external speakers, obviously, but genuinely acceptable.

Then we have appearance. White, yeah! Actually it looks really spiffing, with a satisfyingly curvy clamshell shape and a full portion of gleaming whiteness. It is quite tactile too.

It is a Mac wannabe? Probably, but envy is not a crime.

So a good family laptop with plenty of grunt power under the hood for some mid-range gaming action. Great (for a laptop) sound, and gleaming shiny whiteness to make it look expensive.

Which, to an extent, it is. Side by side, including a bit extra for it being a Sony (I am a bit of a Sony fan), I'd pitch it at £450 compared to the £350 I paid for my HP. At time of writing the price is £499, but a bit of shopping around should get you down to £450.

Four stars.
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on 14 September 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very decent laptop for the price. It basically has everything that you would expect at its price level. Be warned it does run windows 8 but is not a touch screen. Personally I don't mind it but it takes a lot of getting used to and I am a bit envious of people with touchscreen laptops.

This is perfectly adequate for most day to day use; browsing the internet, watching films using office software, playing free online or older games( though obviously this is in no way a gaming laptop) etc. Everything was fast enough. There are definitely more portable laptops out there but I didn't have too many problems using it on the train.
The screen was okay but the sound quality was a marked improvement on other laptops in this price range. Battery life is adequate but nothing more.

Personally I am not a huge fan of the keyboards on most Sony Vaio's but it isn't too bad.

To a large extent laptops have become something of a commodity so I would strongly suggest that people check the pricing very carefully and try to get your hands on them to see how you get on with the keyboards, like the appearance, investigate its ruggedness etc.
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on 17 September 2013
Having read lots of reviews I decided to purchase this one, since almost all negatives seemed to mention Windows 8 as the main problem.
The laptop was easy to set up and is working efficiently. I have loaded all my old favourites and selected the new Office 365. Although Windows 8 makes navigation slightly more difficult - just because of unfamiliarity- I think it is wotrh persevering with new systems.
The laptop is fast and seems reliable. Some people have mentioned problems with the touchpad, but I found it fine, although I always prefer to use a wireless mouse. The keyboard has a really comfortable touch and is very quiet and smooth.
All in all the laptop is great, easy to use and great value for money.
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on 23 January 2014
This touchscreen vaio laptop is a great buy! Great price, love the colour and slim design. Despite other reviews it does have a touchscreen. The only thing I would change if I could would be windows 8 which is a lot different to other windows packages I have used.
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on 15 October 2013
Bought for my daughter she is very pleased with it, not used to touch screen but getting used to it. Unlike her dad's one it doesn't seem to get hot on the knee. A lovely looking laptop as well.
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on 13 January 2014
This laptop handles really smoothly and is quick. It is streamline and lightweight so easy to to store. Has plenty of storage for music and photos etc.
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