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Summary:

Sony’s latest mobile computing entry truly straddles the blurring line between netbook and notebook. The computer is light and über-thin — just 1.5 pounds with a standard battery and thin enough to barely contain a full-sized VGA output jack. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here’s a […]

sony-vaio-x

Sony’s latest mobile computing entry truly straddles the blurring line between netbook and notebook. The computer is light and über-thin — just 1.5 pounds with a standard battery and thin enough to barely contain a full-sized VGA output jack. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here’s a shot showing the right side with VGA and Ethernet jacks.

sony-vaio-x-right-side

So it’s light and skinny like most netbooks and it’s powered by an Intel Atom. But the display is a high resolution 11.6-inch unit capable of 1366 x 768. And this isn’t your father’s Atom platform — Sony is using the Z550 running at 2.0GHz paired with the Intel GMA500 / US15W Chipset for graphics. That graphics combo isn’t going to offer the capability of Nvidia’s ION package, but it’s better than the netbook standard. Whether you call it a netbook or a notebook, you can also call it pricey. The base model will set you back $1,299 if you hit the Sony Style site right now to get on the wait list.

Sony does offer a solid package here — not $1,299 worth in my opinion, at least not when looking solely at the specifications. But there is quite a bit to like when reviewing what’s available in the VAIO X:

  • Extended battery that offers 12 to 14 hours and a standard batter for 2.5 to 3.5 hours — both are included
  • Up to a 128GB SSD
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Card reader for SD and MemoryStick PRO
  • Electro-static touchpad
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, integrated 3G through Verizon Wireless, and a GPS receiver
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Integrated webcam with face-tracking and microphone

Again, I’m not sold at this price but it’s typical for the Sony VAIO line. My initial thought when we heard rumors of this device was that it would use an Intel CULV chip for the price. Of course, Sony could refresh the line in three to six months and do just that or even go with Intel’s PineTrail platform. In the end though, $1,299 is a tough sell for a super thin netbook / notebook with these specs. At least for me it is. How about you?

 
  1. Sony = ripoff

    Sexy gold paint + Sony = I just paid the price of two notebooks for this one

    Clearly a show-off toy for the folks who think gold computers work better.

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  2. Sony’s always been about the premium market. And there are always going to be people for whome thew Sony Name has a certain benefit, especially outside the US.

    While I personally don’t like to use Sony’s, my dad loves the and has been a T Series (The 10″ Ultraportables) user for years.

    Every time I try to convince him to get something else, in the end he just goes back to the Sony and it has everything (Size, Weight, Battery, Ports) that he wants, which other notebooks in that size don’t have or cost more or the same.

    In the End, while overpriced, Sony does provide its user’s what they want in s Sexy Package and those useres are willing to pay the Sony Penalty, the same wasy Mac users are willing to pay the apple tax.

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  3. You know, at first, I was aghast at the price/spec ratio. But it’s sexy enough that if they’d stick ION on that thing, i’d pony up the $1300. Ideally, they’d get rid of the vga too and put in an hdmi port.

    Anybody know what kind of ssd? A 64 GB SSD these days is about $200 anyway.

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  4. For those of us that place extremely high value on lowest weight and smallest size, the Sony P (and now X) seem unmatched. Expensive? You bet! But can anyone else point to a highly functional sub-2 pound netbook that’s easy to carry around? So am I willing to shell out the $2000 (by the time you add netbook, 2 power supplies, service contract)? Not sure. But I’m truly sold on carrying around less than 2 pounds, not 4!

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  5. I feel Sony may have just come up with the PC version of the Macbook Air. Same design really, almost the same specs, though with user replaceable batteries.

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  6. There is just no alternative in this weight-class! So dictating the pricing is what they can do. We will have to see how the real battery life is, but its a good thing, they include 2 batteries.

    BTW the SSD is a 1,8″ SATA drive. I dont know what chips and controllers are being used.

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  7. You can pick up a Toshiba Portege R500 for a similar price. Only slightly heavier/thicker (1.72 lbs with weight saver, around 2lbs with optical drive) but with a larger screen, core 2 duo processor and integrated optical drive.

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  8. I bought a Sony X505ZP way back in 2004 that was about this size and weight. If I remember correctly that set me back about $3,500, but for me it was absolutely worth it. I was traveling a lot and a real computer at only 1.5 pounds was worth any price. Nothing on the market for years afterward could compare. One unanticipated benefit – it was a great conversation starter on planes and in coffee shops, better even than a puppy or baby. Priceless.

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  9. It is certainly a sexy looking machine. But the $1200 price tag for the 64GB version is a little hard to swallow. Portability matters to most everyone nowadays, myself included. I have many gadgets to chose from and when I want light and thin I go with my Acer 3810T timeline, running the CULV means I don’t sacrifice too much performance and it beats the Atoms hands down. The Sony is lighter since the Acer is 3.6 pounds, but the standard battery on the Acer gets me 8 hours of real world time for that slight weight gain. To get that on the Sony you will need to use the extended battery which Im sure will put the Sony heavier than the Acer. I went with the 1.4ghz dual processor, 4 gb ram and 500 gb hard drive version and it cost me $799 plus tax a couple months back. So for me this Sony is a no go. But for some it will be perfect. But based on price and components there are better options out there. Im also looking at the HP Mini 311 with the Nvidia Ion as that will be a nice all around rig.

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  10. What I don’t get is paying a premium and not getting 5GHz for the WiFi, sigh. Also no mention on if Sony is shipping this unit with VT enabled.

    All I have to say is “Sony, if you want to be premium you need to supply all the little premium things.”

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