Last September I had the pleasure of going to Berlin for the IFA and attending the Sony press conference where they revealed the astonishingly good looking Sony Vaio X which is a 14mm thick, sub 800g, carbon fibre netbook.
Recently I was lucky enough to borrow the laptop for a review, and to be quite honest, as much I love Sony and love the looks I approached it with a certain amount of scepticism. Regardless of looks this is still a netbook and it is using an Intel Atom processor while costing in excess of £1500! I have previously reviewed the Dell Mini 9 and while it was a decent little netbook it was woefully underpowered and I was very worried the Vaio X would be the same.
Anyway, when I received the laptop I have to say I was taken back by just how good it looks, the build quality and just how ridiculously light and thin it is, it is seriously like no other laptop I have ever held it is that light. It is also so thing the Ethernet port actually has to be click open because the main body is thinner than the Ethernet socket.
The next big thing i noticed is the way the keyboard is laid out, for Mac and Sony laptop users you are already used to it, but the key are separated apart, now i believe this is a love it or hate it style, personally I love it, it looks smarter and there seems to be less chance of typos especially on a smaller keyboard.
Turning on the Vaio X was shocking to say the least, I was sort of expecting to be waiting around for the sluggish CPU to load Windows 7 but this is not the case at all. The Vaio X comes with an SSD and the boot up time is seconds, far far faster than my Quad Core desktop that uses a mechanical velociraptor HDD.
When it comes down to general use the Vaio X was surprisingly good, I could easily browse the net, use Digsby, go on Spotify at the same time without any obvious slow down. I also tried it out with various types of media this included some standard def AVIs and a 720p MKV and it managed them all fine. The fact that it managed to handle the MKV was quite a surprise as it used integrated graphics and normal Atom CPUs fail with HD content. It is worth noting that this is a 2.00 Ghz Atom with 2GB of ram, whereas the Dell I previously testing was 1.6 Ghz with 1GB of ram.
It is also worth noting the screen is excellent, it is paper thin (ok that’s an exaggeration) with a really crisp picture quality and more importantly a decent resolution of 1366×768.
In summery I love the Sony Vaio X, a lot, but it is very hard to ignore the price tag. I think it is important to realise that this is clearly not aimed at the mainstream, it is aimed at people with too much money, commuters that need adequate performance while adding negligible weight to their bag. Personally if I was that rich and didn’t mind carry something slightly larger at double the weight I would chose the Sony Vaio Z Series where you literally get desktop performance in an ultra portable size.