Sony discovered it had a major problem when the first round of netbooks hit the market in late 2007. Having spent years educating well-heeled consumers that small notebooks were expensive, shoppers were hit by a deluge of small, light laptops that did everything they wanted for a fraction of Sony's traditionally high prices. …
We bought one...
For our MD - He used it for about 30 seconds, then gave up. It is stupidly small and actually gave me a headache when setting it up.
It should play HD
...given it's the same chipset as the P series and that can (though admitedly, when it is playing HD, that's all it does). You'll be needing the 10.1 beta drivers for flash to get you tube going and a video playback program that plays nice with DXVA
Sony have completely lost the plot. For a little more cash you can get their own TT-series.
50% higher weight at 1.2kg and thicker but you get same 11.1 form factor.
With that extra weight you get a proper core 2 duo that offers over double the performance of an atom, dvd or blueray burner, 4gig of ram, and HD capable graphics with HDMI port. Plus everything else the X series does and a lot more besides like TPM.
If you really want a sony netbook you have the V and W series to choose from. The W series is a bog standard netbook with Sony style - the V is a quirky almost MID sized netbook with WWWAN. Either option is better than the X.
IF you want second hand you can get the older , but still briliiant TZ ultraportable from Ebay for around £500.
What nutter at sony green lighted this?
Expensive for ...
impoverished Reg hacks but affordable for us Road-Warrior, managerial types with aching, aging back muscles. And as an aging Mac fanboi (circa 1980's Mac SE) I went for the Macbook Air - almost as light, more power, bigger screen - and cheaper if you pick up a refurbished one. Looking at my own computer use I can't remember many occasions over the last 5 years when I've needed more than one USB device at a time. And with the ubiquity of WiFi and 3G I rarely need a wired network on the road.
Netbooks are for students and junior programmers (discuss).
Spectacular design, but lost the plot
Portable means able to survive portability. I would have expected a company from a country where _ONLY_ a TouchBook or a "Dell Brick" can survive the Tokio subway morning gro^H^H^Hrush hour to know that.
No thanks, I would stick to my S10-e. It may weight 1.5 times as much, but it is at least capable of surviving being carried around.
Me coat, the big grey-blue trench one with an S10-e in the left pocket.
Twice as pricey?
"it's not, say, twice as portable as netbooks such as the Dell Mini 10, despite costing well over twice as much"
Er, twice as much? Try over four times as much. Unless I missed the point where the Mini 10 got a price rise to £600?
A few points always come up about Sony stuff, and clearly el reg is not above all that.
"Oh the lid is so flimsy!"
Yes, because it's meant to be thin and light. It is still very well made, and will not break. I've had my 13" SZ for years now, taken it around the world, not been careful with the screen, and it's still in one piece.
"Old Sony stuff was so much more expensive than an eee pc!"
Yes, because the small machines of old were still powerful. If anything, eee pc has put a spanner in the works of truly powerful small computing. My SZ can play HD video, burn DVDs and has a 4 hour battery life. This is a 3 year old laptop!
In '98 we had a libretto which at the time was mind blowing, and it's sad to see the eee pc being the defacto small computer a decade on. (Has the eee pc really blown anyones mind?)
I realise this sounds like a fanboy rant, but hey, it's Xmas, it's not like I've got any actual work to do!
Eye watering pretty, mind bogglingly tiny.
Have worked on a couple and must say, especially at that price point, the performance is definitely below par. Achingly slow.
Unfortunate triumph of style over substance.
Having said that, I wouldn't turn one down if you gave it me as they are _that_ pretty, but I think I would get annoyed with it quite quickly if I actually wanted to use it for anything half serious.
i will stick with my macbook pro - Sony and M$ are best left in the way-back machine
Love sony kit
But at those prices, why buy a netbook class machine? I want more oomph for that cash.
sony viao? bleh.
my only expirience of sony viyoh laptops, has been:-
over heating. - unable to use on lap
shoddy assembly. - cracking case or screen mountings/hinges
poor quality components. - caps that crapped themselves after a year or so, optical drives that die...
other sony product lines have been well worth the money. but not the viyoh. avoid.
(not even mentioning batteries)
but that could be the particular facet of society i seem to see... being a helpfull technically minded induhvidual, people come to me to fix problems, so i never hear about a machine that people are happy with.
take crap product add sony name. add 400 quid to price. sell to image obsessed management drones. profit.
what utter nonsense, I've had a VAIO laptop for 5 years now, use it almost everyday for purposes as varied as facebook and video editing, it has survived countless train journeys, house moves and the only thing that has gone wrong is the headphone jack (frankly after 5 years of excellent service I wasn't even mildly annoyed, a £10 usb audio out sorted it)
awesome laptops and considering the longevity, excellent value for money.
after my experience with sony I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone - a colleague has had a mac for a simkliar amount of time and during that his has died TWICE because of apples "ever-so-helpful" updates.
Have to agree that this seems to be a pointless, stupidly overpriced netbook with a gilded finish. Your review compares it to the Macbook Air, whereas I'd compare it to the Vaio TT, with dual core, built in optical drive and every possible gizmo in the world, all in a netbook size.
I also agree with Craig 12 that the complaint about the screen needs to be clarified - the SZ comes with a carbon fibre lid (I think... might be magnesium), and I have picked up a bad habit of carrying mine by the top corner of the screen... which lead to my chunky plastic work HP's screen developing lots of green and blue vertical lines after a year, whereas the Sony screen is still perfect after 3 years. Speaking of screens, the Macbook Air may well have a 1280x800, but that's exactly the same rez as my 10.6 inch Vaio TR from 2004, though it comes with built in DVD burner as well... My last contract at some big telco what sells netbooks saw many folk impressed at the screen the old girl had compared to the shiny new netbooks we were pedalling to the masses!
It's a ..
Macbook Air, that actually works, and allows to to install whatever software you want to, rather that just a very small subset of Mac stuff.
Macbook Air: Intel Processor+Boot Camp+Windows == install Windows crap if you must ...
No through my wallet
Look, i understand thin and light. Getting under 1.5KG (3lbs) and staying the size of a standard pad of paper is a nice acheivement. However, loosing 1 lb or so below that is not relevelnt, not is making it much smaller. 11.1" is TOO small. It does not sit on a lap properly, and takes of no less horizontal space in a bag. Too thin can also be a problem, as I'd suspect something this flimsy would be too easy to break. It really needs to be closer to the thickness of a pencil, and shaving a mm or a few off that is also still irrelevent to portability.
I certainly won't accept half or less performance for clearly minor aesthetic improvements.
An Atom? I'd have to have 2 notebooks when i really travel. This is TOO low performance. Someone's gonna ruin Sony's day by offering a similar design for half the price any day now...
I agree with you completely, but also think this applies to ALL sony products...
Sony is overpriced across their whole model line. Their TVs cost more and don;t look or have as good of specs as LG or Samsung. Their PCs are too proprietary and also too expensive for the spec. Their HT receivers blow up too often. Their speakers pale in comparrison to others like Klipsch and HK. Their cameras have nice lenses, but again proprietary, as is the memory stick format. Ericson phones have left the earth almost completely due to either high price or inferior design or both, as have the Sony PDAs.
Having worked several years in a retail shop, i can also attest that Sony had the highest percentage of non-waranty repairs by far, and were close to the bottom for product reliability under waranty (we tracked our sales vs repairs and provided this to our customers if they asked). Sony's reapirs also seemed to take longer...
Today I have no single Sony product in my house. I'm still considdering a PS3 only because there's no viable competition, and no xBox games interest me that are not also available on PC. (not to mention the included BR player and now NetFlix supprot).
Nice looks, shame about the GPU
I can live with an ATOM, even the 1.66GHz since this is available with Nvidia ION chipset.
I'd have to try it...
But it does look a bit lame on first glance... How this is better than an Eee, I cannot say. How this is worse I could. Less sturdy. Poor battery life. No audio input. Shall I go on?
If you are going to put out a stupidly overpriced netbook, then you should at least differentiate it a bit from the rest of the pack by, say, USING A DECENT GPU!!! <=== nVidia ION
Not that I would ever buy a PC from Sony and any circumstances, I'm just saying . . . .
Sony just has no sense of style and design.
Design means power. And at this price, this is extremely underpowered.
The screen will definitely break. I had one and it broke. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
Sony has lost its direction in regard to style and design.
This computer is too fragile. I had one of Sony's tiny computers and the screen eventually broke. You have to handle this computer with kid gloves. It definitely is not a road warrior computer due to fragility.
I have one and I like it!
I needed something small and light. All I use my X series for is MS Office and the internet and it does exactly what I need it to do.
I didn't buy it expecting to run Half Life 2, nor did I expect it to be more powerful than my desktop or Vaio Z. But the X is so small I don't even notice I have it in my bag! That is the beauty of this machine. It's the ideal travel companion.
I went for the top of the range model (cost a whopping £1700). There's no other machine in the world that is as small and light as this. It's not worth £1700 (what laptop is?) but I am very happy with it.
In response to James Katt
"You have to handle this computer with kid gloves."
No you don't. Granted, you can't mistreat it, just like you can't abuse any other laptop. But it's not made of glass!
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