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.