Sony Unveils Affordable, Colorful Updates to VAIO E and C Series Laptops

Just in time for summer and the back-to-school shopping season, Sony has announced refreshes to its VAIO E and VAIO C consumer notebooks, which will run the latest Intel and AMD processors, and feature vibrant color options.

Starting at $730, the Sony VAIO C series will be sold in 14 and 15.5-inch models, and run second-gen Intel Core i5 and Core i3 CPUs and Windows 7 Home Premium.  Higher-end configurations will have premium features such as Blu-ray drives and discrete AMD Radeon 1GB Hybrid graphics.

Available in two colors, Neon Red and Thunder Blue,  other nice extras include Intel Wireless Display technology, an HD Webcam and a backlit keyboard. The VAIO C will be available for pre-order starting June 19, and will hit store shelves in July. The Neon Red VAIO C will only be available at participating retail outlets (which include ABT Electronics, B&H Photo, Fry’s Electronics, J&R Electronics, MicroCenter, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Sony Stores), while the Thunder Blue version will be available at all other retailers at the same time. Pre-orders will also be accepted at Sony's web site.

Sony has also refreshed its VAIO E series line of laptops with new models shipping in 14, 15.5, and 17.3-inch screen sizes. The 14 and 15.5-inch portables will be available in midnight blue, glacier white, charcoal black and bluish pink. The larger 17.3-inch model will come only in charcoal black or white. All the VAIO E series laptops, however, sport an interesting geometric pattern on their lids and wrist rests that are also fingerprint resistant. Also included on the systems are HDMI ports for HD video output to HDTVs, a webcam with face-tracking technology, and Remote Play for PS3, which will let users access content stored on a PS3 over the Internet.

Starting at $550, the VAIO E will be available with Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, but one configuration of the 15.5-inch VAIO E will feature an AMD E-350 Dual Core CPU paired with AMD Mobility Radeon HD6130 graphics.

Pre-orders will start on June 19 at the SonyStyle Web site, and units are planned to ship nationwide in July. Stay tuned for in-depth reviews.

LAPTOP Senior Writer