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Sony VAIO X Series Hands-on

We've already mentioned the presence of WWAN, but it's worth sketching out the rest of the admittedly sparse tech specs. Naturally Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both included, so wireless connectivity is pretty complete. Graphics processing is provided by Intel's GMA 500 chip, which does have some HD video decoding credentials. 720p video should be possible using the latest drivers, though we've yet to test this to the full. SSD options, as already touched upon, range from a 64GB drive to as much as 256GB.

While connectivity is understandably limited by the minute dimensions, Sony has done an impressive job nonetheless - once again putting the MacBook Air to shame. There are two USB ports, a headphone/microphone jack, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a VGA port for video. Regrettably there's no HDMI, but incredibly Sony has found enough space for a memory card reader. It's not a pointless Sony propriety one, either, supporting MS and SD card formats in one.

We've got this far and we haven't even mentioned the display. It's typically a strong area for Sony and the X Series looks to continue this trend. Measuring just 11.1in it sports the now industry standard 1,366 x 768 native resolution and Sony's usual X-Black finish. What's particularly good about Sony's finish is that, while it boosts contrast and richness like normal glossy displays, it's nothing like as reflective. Combined with the exceedingly sharp dot pitch, it's a great thing to behold.

This just leaves pricing to deal with and it's no surprise to discover the astronomical £1,500 starting price. Clearly, desirable or not, the X Series is strictly for the more money than sense crowd. It'll go on sale in November.

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Chris

October 9, 2009, 8:29 pm

£1500 for a glorified netbook... OK, there's much more to it than the average netbook, but I'd pay £700 or £900 at most, which is already twice the price of a good netbook. £1500 is ridiculous; it actually makes the Macbook Air look like reasonable value.

ilovethemonkeyhead

October 9, 2009, 8:37 pm

take note apple: the Fn key in the correct position, here.

Steve

October 9, 2009, 9:04 pm

As I was saying yesterday, I'm still very keen on this! The Atom CPU is a bit of shame and the price is horrendous, but it still hasn't put me off. Andy, when do you think you'll be able to review this?





In the UK we are getting only 2 models to start with, VPCX11Z1E/X (2GHz, 256GB SSD, Carbon Black) & VPCX11S1E/B (1.86GHz, 128GB SSD, Black). So the VPCX11Z1E/X is the one to go for (£1700!).

PSV

October 9, 2009, 9:30 pm

I don't understand why some companies produce models with square trackpads for widescreen displays; to me it seems natural to have a trackpad that is in the same proportion as the screen.





Also, why do laptop manufacturers still insist on placing a VGA port on a laptop? Surely that is a little old by now and they should be using DVI or something a little more modern, perhaps even HDMI.





Personally, if I had a choice, I think I'd rather have the Vaio P over this, since it brings back fond memories of the Sony PictureBook, which I always craved to own when I was younger, but never had the cash for one.





Still, I do admire Sony for occasionally bringing out these insane super-thin laptops, ever since they launched the X505.

Andy0d2

October 9, 2009, 11:36 pm

overpriced, underpowered, stupid touch-pad. Personally if I was in the market I would get a TT - so much more functionality without much less portability, for a similar price (give or take a few hundred - depending on model). A few compelling reasons not to buy this. One to buy - its crazy thin - actually has a worrying but not surprising amount a flex on the prototypes at-least due to this.

Marco Vloothuis

October 10, 2009, 5:14 am

If you value reliability, good service and your business, I would NOT even touch Sony with a barge pole, hope this saves others from serious down-time when using VAIOs for business. I am absolutely convinced Sony VAIO is designed to fail and a complete rip-off. They should be avoided for their lousy and incompetent customer service, especially in Europe.


Once it BSODs you have an expensive brick, go with a manufacturer that *tries* to backup their products, it&#8217s a scandal the way Sony handled the GPU problem.

Victor 2

October 10, 2009, 2:17 pm

You can get a top model of this in Japan for just $1200 tax included, $1500 in USA.


I totally don't understand why UK customers always have to pay much much more, are we the richest or dummiest?

georgegl

October 10, 2009, 5:29 pm

Is this a fan? In the "inside x" layout picture, at the end of the aluminum piece, is this a fan? I thought that this beauty was without a fan...

Steve

October 12, 2009, 2:36 pm

Andy, what gestures are able to be performed on the touchpad? How does it compares to the gestures available on the Macs? Thanks.

Bernie Marais

June 3, 2010, 5:37 am

I agree with the comment made by Marco Vloothuis he is right. The Sony VAIO I owned crashed and Sony's Europe customer service did not come to the rescue, in fact they did not want to know about it. I can guarantee that you are left with an expensive paper weight.

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