Sony intros 8in notebook-not-netbook
Vaio P dubbed an... ahem... 'lifestyle PC'.
CES Yes, Sony did it: today, it unveiled an 8in netbook - or "ultra-portable PC", as the consumer electronics giant would rather you called it. It also used the term "lifestyle PC".
Sony's Vaip P: 'lifestyle PC' not netbook
Say hello to the Vaio P, a 640g mini laptop with a surprisingly better-than-netbook spec. Said 8in LED-backlit display, for instance, has a glossy coating and a 1600 x 768 resolution. Worried you won't get all your windows into that height? The P has a button that will reposition and reposition open windows side by side to fit the screen.
1600 x 768 glossy display
The P has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board and also packs in HSDPA 3G on some models. There's 2GB of memory built in, a 128GB SSD and a "1.6GHz CPU" - though Sony didn't say what kind of 1.6GHz CPU it is, Atom or Core 2. We can confirm it's an Intel part. Graphics come courtesy of the Intel chipset.
Update Yes, it's an Atom - a Z530, to be precise.
The P runs Windows Vista - though there's a fast-boot UI based on the PlayStation 3's XMB interface for quick-access to the net.
Sony claimed the unit features up to four hours of battery life with the bundled "standard capacity" battery. There's a GPS pick-up too, but only a headphone jack and a pair of USB 2.0 ports as far as standard portage goes. The P also has a proprietary "I/O port".
The Vaio P will retail in the US for $900 (£595/€660), so it's definitely for the well-heeled rather than the budget-conscious buyer. It goes on sale in the UK and Europe in February, but this month in the US. ®
Sony Notebook Reviews...
I had a play on one of these on friday at a trade show... I liked the look when i saw hthe CES preview... and im inlove now that ive used it for real! Vista, yes bloaty and a bit much for the atom, but... its not overly bad! the screen! WOW! crisp isnt the word for it! but the res does make for eyesquinting joy! text is miniscule!
build is tops... head and shoulders above any netbook... and the keyboard is almost full size! £600 is a lot for a netbook clone... but this isnt one of those! yes it has netbookish specs, but its more than that! when 'she' isnt looking i would like to make one mine!!! :)
Very cool device indeed!
If I didn't already have a UX1XN, I'd be getting one of these.
Sony will obviously not call this a Netbook, as Psion have rightly been asking companies not to because they own the trade mark for "Netbook". Why I have not seen this covered by Reg I am not sure.
Close, but I won't be buying...
I like the screen, and I'd probably be able to live with that irritating keyboard nubbin mouse, but there are some other issues.
Lack of an Ethernet port is no good really. Sony should have called this thing the Vaio Air. The fact is that I probably won't have an 802.11N network for a while, and even when I do, it won't be nearly as fast as the gigabit port on my HP2133 (or probably even as fast as the piddly Via cpu bottleneck will allow an nfs copy to go.) They'll probably supply ethernet via a docking station that goes in that proprietary port.
Mostly, though, I just seriously doubt that Linux will work on this device at all. Sony has historically done things in as proprietary and bizzare a way as possible, so you more or less have to run Windows and use all the Sony software. Who knows if you'd even be able to run XP.
So I guess I'll just wait for that HP2140, since it's so cheap I can justify replacing my 2133 after a year... especially if I can get the damned video drivers to work properly.
It's an Atom
It's an Atom. French Sony site lists some of the configs as an Intel Z520, which is a 1.33GHz single core Atom. Others are the Z530, which is the 1.6GHz single core part.
Pity as it's pretty much the only downside I can see to this machine...