Sony has officially announced what everyone was expecting, the Vaio P notebook. It is the worlds lightest 8-inch notebook at just 1.4 pounds (and because of its small size I will now call it a netbook, even though Sony doesn’t want me to). The netbook features Windows Vista, a 1600×768 resolution LED backlit LCD display, 802.11n, 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, 4-8 hours of battery life (depending on whether or not you get the high capacity battery), and GPS.
Sony has also decided to include an “instant on” OS that boots into Sony’s “Xross Media Bar” interface. The device will start shipping in early February for $900 and will come in garnet red, emerald green, onyx black, crystal white, and classic black.
I do have some more opinions on the hardware itself, The Sony Vaio P is more attractive closed than open. The keyboard seems more cluttered than the Palm Centro’s, and that is a device significantly smaller than the Vaio P.
I like the idea behind using a wider display to make more room for a decent sized keyboard but the display is just too darn small. in my opinion I’d rather have a slightly taller screen and a little bit more of a lip below the keyboard, this will of course make the netbook itself larger but the increased screen real estate would be well worth it.
I have no problem with their choice of mousing device, too many netbooks have trackpads that are just too darn small, the little nub in the center of the keyboard was a much better choice than a tiny trackpad. But, the mouse buttons are just too close to the edge of the device, although I haven’t played around with the netbook at all it appears that using one hand to mouse around and a second hand to click with (as I do often on my MacBook) would be uncomfortable.
The pixel density on the screen appears to be too high, which undoubtedly will leave many squinting while trying to read text on the screen.
Sony is just doing what it usually does, build a very decent notebook that seems to focus more on form than function. I had high hopes for this device but Sony really missed the mark.