back to article Hands on the Sony Vaio X

Sony's Vaio X is a skinny so and so, to a degree that puts even Apple's MacBook Air to shame. Likewise its weight. But is it too compact for a notebook? Sony Vaio X Sony's Vaio X: pricey for a notebook, very expensive for a netbook... which is what it is Sony is pitching the machine at business travellers, and since the …


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  1. Craig 12

    TZ replacement

    People are making a big deal about how 'bad' the specs are for this, but I disagree. It's essentially the TZ replacement, which was never a powerhouse (nor cheap for core solo!). The X however seems to be a lot smaller/lighter than the old ones. Sure, Atoms aren't brilliant, but add in Win7 and SSD, and most 'normal' tasks will be doable with this. It's not good value granted, but the premium price is warranted by just how well designed this is.

    My SZ must be 3 years old by now, and I still love it.

  2. Steve 154


    Wanted this since I first saw it at the start of September!

  3. RegMV2009

    Sony: Abysmal reliability and service

    If you're looking for reliabilty and service, I would NOT touch Sony with a barge pole, hope this saves others from serious down-time and embarrassment when using VAIOs for mission critical applications/business. Intrinisically designed to fail and become a rip-off.

  4. Shades

    Are Sony...

    ...having a f*cking laugh?

    I've never known any company to singularly be out of touch when it comes to pricing products than Sony.

    BTW, if Intel have relaxed it rules on screen sizes for Netbooks using Atom processors does this mean we can look forward to getting higher resolution replacement parts for our existing screens? Anything that allows me to watch 720p video, on the move (on my existing NC10!), without it being squished down to 1024x600 would make me very, very happy! To be fair though, 720p stuff squished to 1024x600 still looks monumentally awesome! :-)

  5. Mike Richards Silver badge


    Come on Sony, we're in the 21st Century now -DVI or Mini DVI please. That thing is HUGE on such a slender bit of loveliness.

  6. psyq

    I guess this is progress...

    Wow, if Sony really manages to pull this off - and get $2K for an Atom-based polished toy, I am really losing faith in the future of the mankind... This must be the most overpriced piece of IT equipment in the last few years.

    Core 2 Duo of "CULV" sort can wipe the floor with any Atom - and, Sony used to offer that with TZ and TT series... These little Core2 Duos were quite OK for many uses, with an SSD my old TZ was actually faster for day to day use than many higher-clocked C2D desktops (with the hard drive inside)

    The only good thing in this is US15W "Poulsbo" chipset, which is perfectly able to decode even 1080p content (with the proper decoders and players) - but then, man can get Dell's Mini 10 for the fraction of a price...

    What value add do you really get with X apart from carbon fiber? Bragging rights?

    Well, I guess - Apple proved the point that you can actually capitalize on those very well...

  7. Shane Sturrock
    Jobs Halo

    Atom processor?

    Ugggh. I don't see how this is a competitor to the MacBook Air which has a real Core 2 Duo at it's heart.

  8. eugene


    You could say Rolls Royce are 'singularly out of touch when it comes to pricing products'. But they seem to be just jusssttt fine. Just like Sony. Obviously their products are not aimed at value-minded people like you. Or me, for that matter.

    Some people would gladly pay for looks or trends. Many people buy Macbooks and run Windows on them.

  9. Alex 32


    "Sony: Abysmal reliability and service"

    Gah, I would speak to your account manager, or get a new one. 3 years of blissful transistion from Hp to Sony. Just like Dell to HP servers.


    Agree with the chap RE: it being a TZ - Yup, looks like it is

    (Still thinking it's expensive, but looks good)

  10. detritus

    @RegMV2009, @shades

    Just as a counter point - my 5 year old Sony Vaio endured about 2 years of daily cycle commutes to work in my backpack and has since been my 'communication machine' - on for at least 18 hours each and every day, getting lugged around my studio. I vastly overpaid for it at the time (I never did do any heavy grunt work or game playing on it as I had intended), but given that it'll likely troop on as my on-going heavy-use second machine for another couple of years, it'll equate to just over £200 worth of mobile machine per year. Not bad, for a well-made, aesthetically pleasing bit of tech that I enjoy using. Better than a sodding Dell, anyway.

    As for Shades - whilst I wouldn't buy this machine, I know of at least three monied friends who wouldn't even blink at 'paying over the odds' for a beautiful machine like this. Were I equally monied, neither would I. Neither would you if you were honest with yourself, I'm sure! :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Are Sony...have a f*cking laugh?

    Don't forget its casing is made of carbon fibre. That bumps up the manufacturing costs and consequently the retail price, considerably.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Craig 12

    "It's not good value granted, but the premium price is warranted by just how well designed this is."

    Odd how this doesn't apply to Apple kit, isn't it?

  13. Lotus 80


    I use an Fujitsu U820 UMPC with the Poulsbo chipset (Atom Z530 @ 1.6Ghz + GMA500 graphics) and while overall speed with Windows 7 is marginally acceptable, graphics performance, especially with video, is appalling. Any more than a couple of open windows slows Aero to a stuttering crawl and even 720p video doesn't always run smoothly. Even with 2GB of RAM and the SSD, I don't see how the VAIO X could be significantly faster.

    My 3-year old VAIO UX280P with a Core Solo ULV and Intel 945 chipset outperforms my Atom Z machine comfortably. Using this chipset may give good battery life due to its ultra-low power consumption, but performance-wise it's a step backwards. How much the poorly-written and underdeveloped drivers for the GMA 500 are responsible for this is an open question, however.

    This isn't a super-slim, high-end notebook - it's an oversized netbook in a thin bling case, just like the Vaio P was an undersized netbook in an oddly-shaped bling case. Way overpriced as usual for Sony.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    cheap version of a the black MacBook

    one would thing that sony would lead the way when it comes to designing windows pcs, but they just proved that not only their creativity has hit new low, they revealed to consumers that their copying (which is supposed to be cheaper) is actually more expensive.

    The keyboard layout is exactly like that introduced by the MacBook family.

    Another "pc" maker playing catch up.

  15. Roni Leben

    X505 successor - thinnest & lightest ever?

    I think a lot of people (Reg included) are missing the point of this machine:

    Thinnest & lightest 11" laptop ever. Period.

    Possibly lightest than any laptop ever (including small screen UMPC machines)?

    That's it. Nothing else matters. Other specs are unimportant.

    Sony has a history of making consumer devices smaller & lighter. It's been their motto for 60 years. Apple made one thin laptop & a really small mp3 player, whereas Sony has had hundreds of "smallest" devices over decades.

    Everybody also seems to have forgotten the machine's predecessor: Vaio X505 - thinnest & lightest machine released back in 2003. It's cost was $3000 for metal & $4000(!) for carbon fiber version. In Europe, the cheaper metal version cost was EUR3000 / GBP 2000!

    X505 had a 10.4" screen. Carbon fiber unit weighted 785g. Max. thickness (battery) was 0.8". These are the only specs new X had to beat. It showed the world in 2003 what can be done with Pentium M processor.

    Sony arguably made no profit on X505 - this was a technology showpiece. The new X is while very expensive still quite cheaper than the old X was.

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