Review Sony Vaio
It's the ultimate status symbolâ¬"with a price to match. Once is shaking up the very clichÃÂ©d netbook category, this time with a design that is not only half as light and half as thin other machines in its class, but also includes a battery that lasts twice as long as many models. Sony didn't stop there, adding integrated 3G and GPS for those mobile tycoons who are able to afford its sticker price ($1,299 to start, $1,499 as configured). Yes, this ultraportable is not for everyone, but for those who want to travel really, really light, the VAIO X (VPCX115KX/B) may be worth the splurge.vgp-bps12
Sony touts the vgp-bpl8 as the world's lightest notebook, and at 1.4 pounds (with the four-cell battery), it is; even the, which has a similar processor but a smaller 7.0-inch screen, weighs 1.8 pounds. When you put the extended battery on the VAIO X, the weightâ¬"2.2 poundsâ¬"is still more than half a pound lighter than most 10-inch netbooks.
Measuring 11.0 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches (without the extended battery), the VAIO X rivals the in terms of thickness; however, its footprint is similar to other netbooks with the same screen size. When the extended battery is attached (by means of two screws that give the underside a quasi-steampunk feel), the back of the system is raised up by about 0.3 inches, and slants towards the user. The battery ofso doesn't lie flush with the underside of the system; it's designed with gaps in it to aid in the cooling of the netbook.
So how was Sony able to achieve such a thin and light netbook? The VAIO X's chassis is made of a magnesium alloy, and the lid is built from carbon fiber. This material allows the screen to flex, which can be a bit unnerving, but Sony said that it's designed to bend somewhat. Also, by using an Intel Atom Z-series processor, which uses less power (and creates less heat) than the N-series Atom chips in most netbooks forhe company was able to make the netbook incredibly slim without requiring a fan.
The lid of our review unit was matte black, as was the inside, with a bronze underside that felt slightly rough to the touch. Sony also offers the netbook with a Champagne Gold lid, but only for the model with a 128GB SSD (more on that later).
Keyboard and Touchpad
Like other Sony vgp-bps8, the keyboard on the VAIO X is island-style, but at 88 percent of full size, it's a bit smaller than most netbooks with 10- to 12-inch screens. Measuring 9.5 x 3.5 inches, the keyboard is about half an inch smaller in both directions than theÂ even though the VAIO X has a larger keyboard deck. This is because there's about half an inch of space on either side of the keyboard.
With the exception of an undersized right Shift key, the keys of were decently spaced and sized, but overall, it felt slightly cramped. Also, as a result of the netbook's thinness, there's less travel to the keys than on other systems, so we ended up hitting them harder than we're accustomed to.
The VAIO X's touchpad was a decently sized 2.1 x 1.6 inches, and offered little friction. However, like the keyboard fort could have been a smidgen larger, especially considering it's capable of recognizing multitouch gestures, such as pinch and zoom. Two mouse buttons below are also small but responsive.
Display and Audio
As befitting a netbook that costs $1,500, the VAIO X's 11.1-inch screen has a higher-than-usual resolution of 1366 x 768; we've only seen this standard on the This is becoming a more common option, however, such as on the While this resolution tends to make icons too small on 10-inch netbooks, we didn't mind it as much on an 11-inch screen.
When watching content streamed over the Web or played offs hard drive, we were impressed with the crispness and wide viewing angles of the display; we could turn it nearly 90 degrees to either side without seeing image reversal or egregious reflections.
Being as thin as is, we're not surprised at the lack of audio quality in the VAIO X. Songs were thin and tinny; the bass line in Aerosmith's "Dream On" streamed over Pandora was nonexistent, and the speakers could barely fill a small office with sound.
Ports and Webcam
Despite its small stature,manages to cram in most of the connectivity options seen on almost every other netbook. On the left side are two USB ports and a headphone jack. On the right is a VGA port and Ethernet. Just underneath the front lip is an SD Card reader and a Sony Memory Stick slot. On a system this expensive, we were surprised at the omission of an HDMI port, although since this netbook isn't designed to output HD content, it's not a huge loss.
While not overly detailed, video from the VAIO X's VGA webcam was well balanced, and showed accurate skin tones in a call over Skype