Sony has dropped its not-a-netbook Vaio P into a vat of candy-colored paint, tossed in an accelerometer, a 3G chipset, GPS, a compass and a pair of touchpads and given it a good shake. Amazingly, given this low-tech approach to R&D, the new P turned out pretty good.
The Vaio P, now officially dubbed a notebook by Sony’s PR team, is the familiar purse-sized computer we’ve come to know and ignore: It runs Windows 7 on it’s too-small 8-inch 1600×768 screen via the ultra-mobile Atom Z540 chip (with Intel GMA 500 graphics), 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM, and it eschews a trackpad in favor of a nubbin. The new hardware certainly takes it into the iPad/iPhone/Android league of portability, with the compass, GPS and 3G hooking up with turn-by-turn navigation.
In fact, you can even wander down the street and use the Vaio P as you obliviously bump into fellow pedestrians, just like you can with a cellphone, thanks to an optical trackpad and mouse buttons either side of the screen, for “two-handed operation while standing or walking.” The cellphone/iPad comparisons fall down with the battery life. Sony claims just five hours, which should be halved to get the real time. You can, if you like, pop on a bigger pack for double the life.
Finally, the accelerometer will also flip pages as you turn the Vaio P on its side, which will let you read it like a book. A very tall and thin book, but you get the idea.
The new Vaio P will be available in June, price to be decided. Given that the current 64GB model is $1000, Sony might want to lower the price to a more iPad-competitive level. Then again, an extra $200 for a keyboard and crappy battery life might be just what some people are looking for.
Press release [Sony]
First Look: Sony Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC
Just Why Isn't the Sony Vaio P a Netbook?
Video: Sony's Svelte Vaio P Runs OS X
Source: Gadget Lab