A sexy new notebook from Sony

Sony's big news announcement at CES involves a very tiny package.

Sony's big news announcement at CES involves a very tiny package. But don't call it a netbook. Sony spokesfolk were adamant that--even though the newcomer packs an Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM--this superslim P-series computer is a lifestyle machine. The distinction sort of makes sense, too: At the $899 starting price that Sony expects the unit to command when it ships in February, it had better do more than be small.

Small it's got down: Weighing 1.4 pounds and measuring about 1 inch thick, the pint-size PC can slide snuggly into a coat pocket or purse. But inside the P series are such impressive components as a 60GB hard-disk drive (you can invest in a 64GB or 128GB solid-state drive if you prefer), a battery that promises 4 hours battery life (8 hours with the optional battery upgrade), 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Qualcomm's Gobi chip set for wireless broadband. That's on top of what you'll find inside any computer that sports an Atom processor: two USB ports, a headphone jack, a display/LAN adapter connection, a Webcam with built-in mic, an SD Card slot, and a Memory Stick card slot. Technically, I think that outdoes the MacBook Air. And all of this goodness sits inside a slim, screwless case that will be available in several colors.

Of course, the screen and the keyboard are crucial components. The device was built around a QWERTY keyboard that is 88 percent the size of a standard desktop keyboard, and we won't know whether it is comfortable and usable until we conduct some fingers-on testing. Sony laptops typically have sweet screens, so I'm anxious to see this backlit LED up close and personal--especially since the P-series notebooks have a resolution of 1600 by 768 pixels, a 16:7 aspect ratio. Sony reps say that the screen will allow users to view two full Web pages side-by-side, but I'll have to see it before I believe it.

Sony plans to have this machine run Windows Vista Basic rather than Windows XP--the usual operating system of choice for thin-and-light-on-horsepower laptops. This design decision could prove to be a performance stumbling block for Sony's wünderdevice. At least Sony has taken a cue from the HP Voodoo Envy 133 and from Asus's laptops by incorporating a quick-launching (20-second startup) Linux shell. The Instant Mode boots into a cross-media bar interface that should be familiar to anyone who has ever used a PlayStation 3.

Until I actually use this thing (I may try to swipe one during the show), I won't know whether a typical ham-fisted male adult will find the P-series machine even remotely usable. I sure hope that it's up to the challenge posed by my mitts, though, because it's a tempting box of lifestyle.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sonynotebooksultraportable laptopsCES

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Gladstone

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?