After all that teasing, Sony’s finally unwrapped the small and slim Vaio P. And as Sony’s spin has it, it’s not so much a netbook as a Windows Vista-running, super-widescreen “Lifestyle PC,” so very sleekly designed it almost redefines the netbook class.
And, to be honest, I won’t argue with that statement since netbooks are touted as super-portable, low-powered cheap devices, and the Vaio P only meets the portable part of that. Think “miniature notebook” says Sony.
The screen is an 8-inch 1600 x 768 pixel which blows standard 16:9 widescreen out of the water, and is LED-backlit. Meanwhile it runs an “Intel 1.33GHz processor” which sounds like an Atom Z520, and it packs in a hefty 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM with a 60GB hard drive and options of up to 128GB SSD. There’s also 802.11 b, g and n wireless aboard, alongside Bluetooth with full A2DP, and integrated 3G broadband — though you’ll have to sort out your own network supplier. The full 82-key QWERTY keyboard is a 90% version of that found on the larger Vaio TT. There’s even integrated GPS, though one has to wonder a bit about that one.
With the standard battery you’ll get around 4 hours of life, and there’s an 8-hour extended battery too. There’s also an SD/MMC card slot, Sony’s standard MemoryStick slot and a webcam with unspecified resolution.
All in all, you can see that this really is a miniature notebook. Its screen looks ideal for watching a movie while you’re on a flight, and the fact that it runs Vista and has 3G broadband and a decent keyboard means you could consider it as an ultraportable business option. The one sticking point, as suspected, is its price: When it goes on sale it’ll be a cool $900.
Not a netbook then. But its unusual format, high specs and lack of trackpad almost puts it in a new class, a bit like the MacBook Air did for ultraportables last year.