Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sony Vaio P Pocket style PC: A Review

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Sony launched its highly anticipated Vaio P series early this year. I'm lucky enough to get my hands on a test unit, model VGN-P15G to see how good it really is. The Sony Vaio P VGN-P15G runs on 1.60 GHz Intel Atom Processor, has 2GB DDR2 SDRAM and 64GB flash memory as its hard disk. It is powered by Windows Vista Home Premium edition.

The Vaio P was engineered as a PC that goes places. Its small, slim (19.8mm profile) and lightweight (594g) design allows you to effortlessly grab it with one hand. You can fit it into the back pocket of your jeans and if you like hanging out in cafes, the Vaio P will sit pretty on those cafe tables. The Vaio P looks great thanks to its unique size, glossy coating and magnesium body which was designed to scatter heat throughout the computer.

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Looks aside, the Vaio P aims to be a serious computer. Its 8" wide (1600 x 768) WUXGA high-resolution LCD display shows really bright and crisp images. Its notebook-sized isolation keyboard is compact but not cramped. You need some time to get used to it but once you do, typing on it is fast and easy.

It takes 1 minute 45 secs to start the Vaio P, the Vista operating system, and all programs that start automatically. Its Instant Mode which can be activated by pressing the Xross Media Bar button, fare much better. Instant Mode takes about 20 seconds to startup. You can only use it for web surfing, video playback, listening to music and looking at your photos but still, it is a great feature to have especially when you do not want to boot Windows Vista. Another feature I like is the Window arrangement button. One push and all the application windows that are currently open on the desktop are neatly organised.

My biggest disappointment with the Vaio P is surprisingly, its video playback quality. On my test unit, video is choppy and doesn't play smoothly. This is evident even when I play YouTube videos in full screen. I reckon this is a fault with the test unit because I tried out another set when I was recording a video demo with Sony's Richardson Lau and on his Vaio P, the videos seemed to work fine. Battery life on my test unit is also poor. After a full charge, the battery will last about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Other features you get on the Vaio P are the built-in Wireless LAN, built-in Bluetooth, Memory Stick Duo slot, SD Memory Card slot, built-in Motion Eye Camera and stick pointer. The Vaio P is priced at $1,699 for the VGN-P15G model. You can watch a video of the Vaio P in action above and view my photos of the Vaio P here.

Sony launches VAIO P, new pocket style PC
Sony Vaio P: A Video Demo
Sony Vaio P is in da house!


gia said...

Worth noting: I upgraded to the extended life battery, which gets me almost 9 hours with wireless disabled / 5 hours with it enabled-- but it DOES stick out slightly from the bottom of the machine, making it not sit flat on a table or other surface. Hasn't been a big problem for me though; the extra 2-6 hours of battery life is well worth it.

Anonymous said...

Videos work fine if you don't use the native Vista codecs. Dowload the freeware Vista Codecs package for smooth 720p video playback even with a 1.33 processor. said...

Works fine with me. Still a little more expensive than the usual netbooks found here in Asia. Otherwise, I'd stil go for a Vaio.