The Sony VAIO VPCEA290X is a CTO (Customize To Order) laptop from Sony. When we first heard of these CTO laptops we thought it was another way for Sony to rip some money out of us. However, this is not the case here. This process actually allows users to customize a laptop to their exact needs. Whether they need a more capable processor, more RAM, a better video card, a larger hard disk drive, or just some different colors and customized texture, they can use the CTO webpage to configure their laptop and order it.
Sony VAIO VPCEA290X’s price starts at $769.99 for the basic configuration. Let’s see what the basic configuration looks like. First of all, it features an Intel® Core i3-350M processor (2.26GHz) processor which is quite capable and managed to do very well in our tests. We always tell our readers that small processors are better for laptops due to their lower power consumption. Laptops are made to be portable devices not desktop PCs. Next, we were impressed by the 4GB (2 GB x 2) DDR3 RAM, working on a Front Side Bus (FSB) of 1066 MHz. The quantity and speed of the memory works very well with the Sony VAIO VPCEA290X’s processing power.
Next, the video card, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD which is Intel Wireless Display Ready comes as a great addition and is able to output true HD resolutions. We were a little disappointed when testing the hard disk drive. Unfortunately, at a size of 320 GB and spinning at just 5400 rotations per minute (RPM), the hard disk drive decreases the overall performance of the laptop. Although not drastically, one can feel the disadvantage of a 5400 rotations per minute hard disk drive when playing games and even running multi tasking applications. However, if you require more space and speed, you can opt to have the 500 GB hard disk installed, which spins at 7200 rotations per minute. It will cost you just $100 more.
When purchasing the Sony VAIO VPCEA290X, you also get some free software that will be very useful. To start with, the Genuine Windows 7 Home 64 bit operating system is one of the best available and you get it for free! Also, for all your office needs, you receive the Microsoft Office 2010 Starter. And if you are a designer and work with graphics, or just a Photoshop enthusiast, you get an entire Adobe Bundle. Also, the basic configuration comes with a Gunmetal Black color theme and has no keyboard skin.