Last week, I got a chance to play around with Sony’s latest laptop, the Sony Vaio P. While most people most people consider it as a netbook, Sony officials note that it’s in a different category of its own since it can do more than a typical netbook. Though this argument is still open for debate, I will share with you guys my initial impressions of this ultra-portable laptop.
First thing you’ll notice is its size. It’s small, thin and very light that it can definitely be considered as the current king of ultra-portables. Heck, it can even fit in the back pocket of your jeans if their big enough. However, the reduced size comes at a price, both literally and figuratively.
To achieve the compact form factor, Sony got rid of some of the usual stuff you’d find in regular laptops. The trackpad, LAN/modem port, and VGA out options are all gone. Likewise, they’ve made the hardware of the Vaio P non-user replaceable/upgradable which will definitely turn off some potential buyers.
As for what it comes with, it’s pretty decent all around. The keyboard is one of the best in a laptop of its kind and the display lives up to the Sony reputation. It does a good job of running Windows Vista for the most part though it still shows some signs of sluggishness when opening multiple windows and apps at the same. Despite already coming with 2GB of RAM, Vista is still too much for an Intel Atom based PC to handle.
Wireless connectivity won’t be an issue as it comes with Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11b/g/draft N support. There’s also a Motion Eye webcam, and an instant-on feature to access multimedia content and the internet in a single press of a button.
Personally, I’m still a bit skeptical about how the Vaio P is being touted as better than netbooks such as the Lenovo S10 and HP Mini 2140. With the exception of its compact size and price, I personally don’t see anything that makes it that different from the current netbooks of today. However, if you’re a Sony Vaio fan boy, it shouldn’t surprise you at all anymore that the Vaio P comes at such a steep price as most, if not all, of their laptops come with a hefty price tag.
The big question is; is it worth its bloated price? If you classify it as a netbook, then the answer is a simple no. With ease of use taking a huge hit as a result of the small display and the choice to go with a trackpoint as opposed to the traditional trackpad, one has every reason not to buy the expensive Vaio P if he/she is on the hunt for a netbook that offers the best bang for the buck. However, if you can look past the Intel Atom processor and treat it as an ultra-compact laptop, then its price might just seem a little bit more reasonable. Practicality probably won’t be its strongest selling point, but its ultra-compact size and weight will definitely win over those who have the budget to splurge on such devices.