Ralf HallerRalf Haller April 9, 2009

Sony VAIO P – new innovative netbook design

The new Sony VAIO P netbook is an eye catcher. This is due to its bright colors and its unique form factor. When you take a closer look it impresses with its lightweight and the bright display. It definitely looks and feels different to what you are used to and that alone is an innovative design no doubt. Looking at the technical specs on the positive side are: good keyboard, integrated mobile broadband, integrated GPS and a few neat zoom in/out and screen alignment buttons that make work more comfortable. On the negative side is clearly that they decided to  use Windows Vista as OS which is clearly the wrong choice for such a device, also they should have chosen the faster 802.11 n WLAN standard. (latest: it has n WLAN actually as I found out so the below table is not fully accurate)

BTW, the P stands for pocket and I think they tried to establish a new product category with it but while the design is great it does not fit into a pocket and to try to convince people with pictures like the one below that it does is plain ridiculous and they had to pay for this already with funny comments from the likes of e.g. Engagdet. This is what happens when some marketing communication folks get smart but lack deep understanding of the technology or market positioning. We see this often with Sony or Samsung where marketing does not match their design and engineering talent.  Laptop Magazine had an early look at it and liked it too. I am playing with the idea to get one as I am receptive for good design, ultra-portability despite the fact that the price tag is higher than with other netbooks. Overall I think they have done a very good job. If they now also offer other OSs such as Windows XP or Linux then it will be true winner IMHO.

Note: as expected without even testing it, Windows Vista makes this netbook entirely unpractical on the road. The German newspaper FAZ had the time to test it still and found that it is indeed practically unusable. surprise, surprise. I will now wait until enough drivers and utility support is available for Windows XP and then check it out myself. The nice design and the very low weight make it quite tempting for traveling I think also when using a larger battery that gives 6 hours of runtime.