Hands on the Sony Vaio X
We get our mitts on the World's lightest, most expensive... er... netbook
First Look Sony's Vaio X is a skinny so and so, to a degree that puts even Apple's MacBook Air to shame. Likewise its weight. But is it too compact for a notebook?
Sony's Vaio X: pricey for a notebook, very expensive for a netbook... which is what it is
Sony is pitching the machine at business travellers, and since the entry level X will be priced at around £1300 few others are likely to be able to afford one. Even if they can, there's the fact that you can buy three 11in netbooks for the same price as the X, which also has an 11in screen, albeit one in a rather more bendy lid than most other machines of its ilk possess.
Intel may have relaxed its rules about the screen sizes Atom processors can be coupled with, but Sony has still kitted the X out with Z-series Atoms, chips designed for handheld terminals. We didn't have a chance to benchmark the 2GHz X today, but we can say it scores a mere 2.5 for its Windows 7 Experience rating.
Ethernet included. Beat that, Air fans
Whether the machine's CPU or its integrated GMA 500 graphics core is the weakest link that drags the overall WE score down, we can't say. It won't be the SSD, which felt reasonably nippy in use.
Only two USB ports, and a headphone socket - no input, alas
Drive, chips and motherboard are incredibly compact, the entire front half of the machine's lower section being taken up with the battery that, Sony claims, delivers up to eight hours' runtime. Maybe, but with screen brightness on max and Wi-Fi connected to a basestation, Windows reported just under five hours' usage from a 100 per cent charged battery.
A decent touchpad
Above the battery, at the front of the X are the SD and Memory Stick slots. Sony has also kitted it out with two USB ports, 3.5mm audio, an Ethernet connector with a fold-down panel that expands it to the correct size, and a VGA port. The latter looks out of place, the way DVI ports did when they first appeared on notebooks.
cheap version of a the black MacBook
one would thing that sony would lead the way when it comes to designing windows pcs, but they just proved that not only their creativity has hit new low, they revealed to consumers that their copying (which is supposed to be cheaper) is actually more expensive.
The keyboard layout is exactly like that introduced by the MacBook family.
Another "pc" maker playing catch up.
X505 successor - thinnest & lightest ever?
I think a lot of people (Reg included) are missing the point of this machine:
Thinnest & lightest 11" laptop ever. Period.
Possibly lightest than any laptop ever (including small screen UMPC machines)?
That's it. Nothing else matters. Other specs are unimportant.
Sony has a history of making consumer devices smaller & lighter. It's been their motto for 60 years. Apple made one thin laptop & a really small mp3 player, whereas Sony has had hundreds of "smallest" devices over decades.
Everybody also seems to have forgotten the machine's predecessor: Vaio X505 - thinnest & lightest machine released back in 2003. It's cost was $3000 for metal & $4000(!) for carbon fiber version. In Europe, the cheaper metal version cost was EUR3000 / GBP 2000!
X505 had a 10.4" screen. Carbon fiber unit weighted 785g. Max. thickness (battery) was 0.8". These are the only specs new X had to beat. It showed the world in 2003 what can be done with Pentium M processor.
Sony arguably made no profit on X505 - this was a technology showpiece. The new X is while very expensive still quite cheaper than the old X was.
You could say Rolls Royce are 'singularly out of touch when it comes to pricing products'. But they seem to be just jusssttt fine. Just like Sony. Obviously their products are not aimed at value-minded people like you. Or me, for that matter.
Some people would gladly pay for looks or trends. Many people buy Macbooks and run Windows on them.
"Sony: Abysmal reliability and service"
Gah, I would speak to your account manager, or get a new one. 3 years of blissful transistion from Hp to Sony. Just like Dell to HP servers.
Agree with the chap RE: it being a TZ - Yup, looks like it is
(Still thinking it's expensive, but looks good)
Just as a counter point - my 5 year old Sony Vaio endured about 2 years of daily cycle commutes to work in my backpack and has since been my 'communication machine' - on for at least 18 hours each and every day, getting lugged around my studio. I vastly overpaid for it at the time (I never did do any heavy grunt work or game playing on it as I had intended), but given that it'll likely troop on as my on-going heavy-use second machine for another couple of years, it'll equate to just over £200 worth of mobile machine per year. Not bad, for a well-made, aesthetically pleasing bit of tech that I enjoy using. Better than a sodding Dell, anyway.
As for Shades - whilst I wouldn't buy this machine, I know of at least three monied friends who wouldn't even blink at 'paying over the odds' for a beautiful machine like this. Were I equally monied, neither would I. Neither would you if you were honest with yourself, I'm sure! :)