The PCMark05 benchmark results where par for the Pine Trail course, as was the 3DMark06 score of 159 underlining the fact that price, keyboard, battery life and aesthetics are now the primary determining factors of netbook purchase for most people. What's underneath is all pretty much the same no matter what the badge on the lid says.
Easy on the eye, but not on the ear – the fan blows pretty much all the time
Sadly, Sony hasn't resisted the temptation to load the Vaio M with bloat. So you get the pointless Vaio Gate application launcher, Vaio Care, Vaio Media Plus, Vaio this, Vaio that, Vaio the other plus the usual trial guff from the likes of Microsoft, Norton and McAfee and a fair amount of other nonsense. This sort of tripe does Sony no favours - the first order of business on buying a new computer shouldn't be to spend half an hour removing stuff that you didn't ask for, don't want and don't need.
The combination of a specification at the top end of the scale with Bluetooth and 802.11n wireless included, a price on the right side of £300, an attractive design and peripheral features usually found on more grown up laptops should have made the Vaio M strong competition for the slightly more expensive Samsung N220. However, the Vaio M's failings are just too many and too glaring to overlook. As it stands Sony's first attempt at a bog standard netbook is a decent enough effort hampered by a poor keyboard, weak battery and, evidently, no option to upgrade its 1GB Ram. ®
Thanks to Laptops Direct for the loan of the review sample.
More Netbook Reviews…
"Sony has opted to put all three USB ports side-by-side on the right edge of the machine...[which] appeals to my sense of order."
Until you end up sitting somewhere where USB devices on the right side of the laptop are bound to be destroyed by passers-by, such as the edge of a desk or the 'C' seat on a 737. Headphone sockets on the front are not so very clever for similar reasons, but I usually have my USB headset adapter with me anyway.
e.g.: I like having USB ports in different places around the machine. It's practical.
@ AC 10.45
Not so sir, I slotted two broadband dongles and a chunky old Xporter 32GB USB key into the M's USB ports and they all fitted with room to spare. The space between the three USB ports on the M is actually rather more than between the two adjacent USB ports on either my N140 or Dell Mini 10v.
well out of the running
even before the first page was over I knew that the main runners are still the Dell mini10 and the samsung N220.
this Sony device brings nothing new to the table and is a quick and ill-judged plan. pity...i had high hopes that Sony could deliver a new touch to this sector
@No way macros undo
"Then they'll install iTunes with QuickTime to go with their iPod/iPhone and all of a sudden you'll have conflicts between 3 media apps and their techie friend will get a call and have to spend 3 hrs of their own time untangling the whole mess all the while cursing Sony's name under their breath."
3 hours just to uninstall 2 media players??? There friends cant be very techie then can they ??
The 3 USB ports on one side are fine for USB cables, but as soon as you use a dongle of any sorts, then goodbye to two USB ports.
Also the memory restriction is simply perverse, netbooks can be made to fly with more ram and dedicious use of RAMDISK.
Sorry but the Sony Viao label and paintjob aren't enough.