Sony is always pushing the envelop, or in this case, pushing a notebook into a less than letter sized manila envelope. The Sony Vaio X isn't just an ultralight, it's downright anorexic at 1.6 lbs. and 0.55" thick. In person, I was shocked at the notebook's size and weight-- it seems more like a prop for Star Trek than a real latop. It features an 11.1" LED backlit display that's scratch resistant and (yes!) non-gloss. It measures 10.95 x 7.29 x 0.55 inches- about the same footprint as an 11" netbook or the now discontinued Vaio TT but impossibly thinner and lighter. It weighs half as much as our Eee PC 1005HA netbook and less than half the weight of our MacBook Air and Sony Vaio Z 13" ultralight.
The Vaio Z will be available around November 20 and the 64 gig SSD version we cover here sells for $1,299. Not cheap, but you do get extreme portability, an awesome display, super battery life and a strong feature set. It comes with a standard and extended battery, has WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth, Verizon EV-DO Rev. A (we're liking that Verizon day-pass option that comes in handy for travel) and a GPS with MS Streets and Trips 2009. The machine runs on a 2GHz Intel Atom Z550 CPU with Intel GMA 500 integrated graphics, and we expected the usual lame Atom performance but the X has been running well with Windows 7 Home Premium edition and 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM. As you'll see in our video review, Flash performance is better than the usual Atom experience: YouTube HQ and Hulu both play fine. Since Flash is the bane of Atom machines with Intel integrated graphics, color us impressed. Daily tasks like MS Office work, email, web and even Photoshop hum along just fine.
The Sony Vaio X and the MacBook Air.
The Sony Vaio X and Sony Vaio Z.
We know, for the price you guys want a ULV single or dual core Intel CPU, right? Well, that's not likely because of the added heat and power consumption-- no way this notebook could be this thin and light with a beefier CPU. Not to mention, it's already pricey and higher end ULVs cost more than the Atom.
With extended battery, notebook upside down (good for about 9to 10 hours use).
Here's our 8.5 minute video review that gives you the skinny on the machine's design, ports and how it compares to other ultraportables like the MacBook Air. Note: Sony managed to fit 2 USB ports, a VGA port, 3.5mm headphone jack, Ethernet port, SD card slot and Memory Stick Duo slot on this thing-- makes you wonder about the port-starved 13" MacBook Air. We also demo the Vaio X playing YouTube and Hulu.
Our full review will follow in a day or two. Please feel free to post questions. -
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview