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Sony Still Doesn't Know What the Vaio-P Should Be

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Is it a netbook or is it a tablet with a keyboard?

When Sony first launched its Vaio P notebook, we joked that even the company didn't know what it was. When it was revealed on stage at CES 2009, Sony's president and CEO, Howard Stringer was adamant that this was not a netbook. However, with an Atom processer, an 8-inch LCD and a weight of 1.4 pounds, it certainly looked liked one. In fact, the only thing un-netbooky about this device was the price. At $800 it was too expensive for many to even consider.

Sony this week gave the miniature laptop a wee makeover, refreshing the specs and adding a few more features. Unfortunately, the device is as undefinable as ever as it now incorporates some tablet-like functions as well. Sony has finally added in a touchpad (before, users were restricted to a pointing nub in the centre of the keyboard and left and right click buttons that were squished in under the spacebar), choosing to position it along the left hand side of the LCD. On the opposite side, Sony has added in left and right click buttons. These features coupled with an accelerometer are supposed to allow users to use the computer's screen like they would a tablet.

That's it for the major changes. The Atom Z530 is being replaced but it's not much of a bump, with the Z560 stepping in to take its place. Sony has also added an ambient light sensor that dims the screen depending on your environment. Storage options remain what they were with the older models; a choice between 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB SSD. The P Series comes with 2GB of RAM and Windows 7 Home Premium.

Unfortunately the $800 price remains. Sony did introduce some new colors though, if that's what'll get you.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    sliem , May 12, 2010 10:02 PM
    It is an overpriced piece of shyat. That's what it is.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    NapoleonDK , May 12, 2010 9:09 PM
    I will side with Sony, because I also have no idea what it is. :p  What an interesting form factor! I saw these when they first came out, but never got the chance to try typing on one. =\
  • 1 Hide
    Honis , May 12, 2010 9:15 PM
    Here's an actual review (better than an editorial):
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/10/sony-vaio-p-series-review/

    It even has a video.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    AMW1011 , May 12, 2010 9:18 PM
    Umm, I'm going to take a stab in the dark about what it is, a UMPC...
  • 10 Hide
    sliem , May 12, 2010 10:02 PM
    It is an overpriced piece of shyat. That's what it is.
  • 5 Hide
    kelemvor4 , May 12, 2010 10:39 PM
    $800!! They're out of their minds!
  • 1 Hide
    builderbobftw , May 12, 2010 10:45 PM
    What a fail.

    Thats a very full laptop price.
  • 0 Hide
    rooseveltdon , May 12, 2010 10:45 PM
    800 dollars would buy me a 15.5 inches sony vaio with everything i need why would go for this?
  • 1 Hide
    micky_lund , May 13, 2010 12:10 AM
    sliemIt is an overpriced piece of shyat. That's what it is.

    indeed
  • 0 Hide
    miloo , May 13, 2010 12:16 AM
    800 bucks LOL with that crap ?! ATOM Z560 ? come on man, you guys can do better than this
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 13, 2010 3:21 AM
    Pricing is perfect for people like me who aren't considering anything in that price range.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 13, 2010 4:01 AM
    It's a netbook, it's a tablet, its a...what?
  • 0 Hide
    tainted_peak , May 13, 2010 4:23 AM
    Well if the 256 GB SSD version is $800 than its somewhat understandable since the cheapest one I can find (mind you on newegg) is in the $600 range.
  • 0 Hide
    Moshu78 , May 13, 2010 5:13 AM
    The only wrong thing with this Sony (except the pricing) is the screen resolution. It is too high for the screen size thus most applications in Windows will look like damn miniatures and you'll need a magnifying glass to find the menus.
    Other than this, it's a cool piece of hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    Tamz_msc , May 13, 2010 5:22 AM
    I'll tell you what it is :its a useless, overpriced device which requires you to get a good magnifying glass in one hand while you try your best to work the touchpad with the other and navigate Windows 7 on a slow processor.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , May 13, 2010 6:14 AM
    I actually like the 7" MIDs. A ULV chip over Atom any day though.
  • 1 Hide
    vaughn2k , May 13, 2010 1:43 PM
    "Sony Still Doesn't Know What the Vaio-P Should Be..."

    Hehe! Now you made my day...

    :na: 
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , May 13, 2010 4:02 PM
    sony bashing time : it's junk!!!!1

    better get a RMA on it ASAP to speed up the process!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , May 13, 2010 5:36 PM
    If only this product was released by Apple, I suspect the comments would not be "piece of junk" but "well, after it was on the self and everyone who was cool was buying it, I realized it has its place."
  • 0 Hide
    hp79 , May 13, 2010 7:47 PM
    You bashers should admit it. It's a really awesome netbook with a touchscreen...
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    if you don't consider the price tag.

    I tried the new X series when I was in the mall couple days ago. It was really super light / super thin, and I wanted it so badly. Simply amazing. Of course I can't afford it. Oh well, if I get rich enough to drive BMW's, I will definitely buy it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 16, 2010 4:44 AM
    Simple answer: anyone can make a 3 pound netbook. Making a 1.5 pound netbook is a genuine feat of engineering.

    For the same weight and $300 more than an iPad, you can run real Windows apps and have an onboard keyboard.

    The real problem is that it's not clear that this is something people actually want to buy. Maybe they should market it as a purse computer? It does come in pink and such.