Hands on: Sony VAIO X Windows 7 Notebook

Sony took the covers off its new X series range of notebooks yesterday at a press event in London and Neowin was waiting in the wings for an early hands on.

The new X Series is incredibly light and slim, weighing just 0.78KG (including battery). It's hard to describe just how elegant and slim this notebook is, the chasis measures no more than 13.9mm in width at any point across its body. It's so light that Sony is claiming the X series is the "world's lightest laptop." Sony has designed this latest notebook for portability, performance and style. Marketed towards business travelers, this ultra-premium notebook is sexy in a choice of three finishes; gold, black and premium carbon.

Aside from its looks this notebook packs a punch and is full of essential features for those always on the move. The screen is sharp and colourful, powered by a 11.1" X-black widescreen LCD that utilizes the very latest LED backlight technology. From every angle the display maintains a detailed and vivid viewing experience. To keep the display pumping out your documents, web pages and videos Sony have included a lithium polymer battery that is capable of offering approximately 8 hours battery life with a single charge. An optional extended battery is available that provides approximately 16 hours battery life.

Sony has also included a WWAN adaptor on board which allows access to the latest 3G HSPA mobile broadband networks at speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. 2x USB, Gigabit Ethernet and a VGA port are also included. The usual 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth is included and Sony has also thrown in a card slot for Memory Stick and SD media and a Motion Eye camera to allow for Skype and other video conferencing. The only bad points we could find on the X series was the inclusion of a VGA port instead of a HDMI port and no optical drive. The VGA port is most likely there for compatibility with most existing AV equipment.

Sony is excited that it will be offering Windows 7 this fall, the X series includes Windows 7 Professional which takes advantage of the SSD Flash hard drive included. Boot times are decreased and simply working with documents and web pages feels zippy with the X series. Sony has taken the opportunity to customise Windows 7 by including some VAIO themes that modify the Aero Theme, Wallpaper and Login screen of Windows 7 to fit the Sony branding. The changes are subtle and Sony has clearly been reluctant to load the X series up with un-necessary software. The VAIO X series notebook will be available from November 2009 priced at £1,299 for the basic model through to £1,899 for a 256GB SSD and 2GHz Atom Processor powered model. More information can be found over at the Sony X-Series site.

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