A Sony Mini Laptop | Does One Exist?

Is there such a thing as a Sony Mini Laptop? Until recently Sony would tell you no but what a marketing department says and what is reality are not always the same. Things change though and Sony now have a true netbook in the VAIO W Series.

Sony really doesn't need an introduction. No matter where in the world you live Sony is renowned for impressive technology with superb design. However Sony doesn't do cheap. If you want quality you are going to have to pay for it.

Started in 1945 as a radio repair shop Sony has become synonymous with innovation and style but the Netbook arena is one market they have seemed reluctant to test the waters of.

Despite releasing the P Series and TT, for a long time, Sony seemed to be intent on differentiating themselves from the 'standard' picture of what a netbook should be despite some models in the Sony VAIO mini laptop range fitting the bill pretty closely.

In mid 2009 they gave up on this and joined in the land grab and now, finally, as predicted, it's here. The true Sony mini laptop. The Vaio W Series. A breakthrough in performance and design. Pushing the netbook market to the next level. No. In fact apart from it's hi-res screen it's a pretty standard run of the mill netbook with a fairly hefty price tag. Not what we hoped for at all.

Sony Netbooks

Sony VAIO TT Laptops

The TT series of VAIO mini laptops measure 11.1” with a 1,366x768 resolution, weigh an impressive 1.19 kilos and are perfectly optimized multimedia players. Sony boasts “it’s the smallest blu-ray disc notebook”. No netbook features a blu-ray disc drive as yet so for Sony, this is certainly their unique selling point, allowing the user to watch DVD’s, play games and burn files onto discs.

They also promise an incredible 9 hours battery life, impressive for such a high spec laptop of their size and weight.

Sony VAIO TT Laptops

Sony VAIO P Series

The Sony VAIO P series has all the size and weight credentials that a netbook should have. It weighs a minuscule 638g, that’s around just two thirds the weight of the original netbooks. Like the heavenly thin MacBook Air, the P-series is also under 2cm thick at 19.8mm and only slightly larger than an office envelope.

The impressive specs don't stop there, and neither does the price - it is about 3x the cost of competing netbooks. Still, it's well worth a further look, especially if money is no object.

Sony VAIO P Series

Sony VAIO W Series

So at last Sony has succumbed and launched a genuine netbook but somehow we feel slightly let down. Yes it's pretty and has a hi-res 1366 x 786 screen but the poor battery life and lack of inovation anywhere else and the normal exclusive pricing mean that there is far better value to be had elsewhere. No doubt it will be great for 720p video content and will do all the basics well so don't rule it out if exclusivity is what you desire but if cash is tight then look elsewhere.

Sony VAIO W Series

Reviews of Sony Netbooks

Sony VAIO W Series - The first true Sony netbook but a bit of a disappointment. Sony style and quality makes it good value but apart from a great screen it has little to set it above the competition.

Sony VAIO TT - Sony get perilously close to a true Netbook failing only on size. With features that put many 'true' netbooks to shame the Sony VAIO TT is a beautiful machine with a beautiful price tag, deep pockets required.

Sony VAIO P Series - A technological marvel. Superb screen and large SSI storage in an incredibly compact design but a bit weak on the performance side. The price... ouch. What else would you expect from Sony?


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