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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49 Comments

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Nice but a silly amount to pay for what's really a netbook. The Asus seashell, for example, is about 1/3 the price of the bottom end Vaio and is plenty small/light enough for most people (1.13KG). Throw in a SSD and knock a bit off that weight. Also considering how much I paid for my Vaio notebook I haven't been impressed by the quality, doubt if I'd ever buy another Sony, they're not worth their premium price.

The price is more ultra portable pricing, I wouldn't call this a netbook.... Netbooks are cheap and nasty this is nice and costly.

Netbook just sounds cool these days and people are caught up with it all.

If you value reliability, good service and your business, I would NOT even touch Sony with a barge pole, hope this saves others from serious down-time when using VAIOs for business. I am absolutely convinced Sony VAIO is designed to fail and a complete rip-off. They should be avoided for their arrogant and incompetent customer service, especially in Europe.
Once it BSODs you're left with an expensive brick, go with a manufacturer that *tries* to back up their products, it's a scandal the way Sony handled the GPU problem.

I've been using VAIO laptops since 2001 and I think the build quality is geneally good for the size. The only bad experience I had was the TX, which was a bit too thin and flimsy. After a couple of years of roadwarrior use, it broke.

It comes down to what size you buy and how you treat it.

HDMI would have been tons better than VGA, but whatever. Aside from that it still looks sexy as hell, and I'm still not rich enough to buy Sony.

Looks nice!

Too bad it doesn't have TrackPoint...it's hard to use a laptop that doesn't have TrackPoint once you're used to it.

Come on guys you know better, First you have to drop 400$ just for the 4 letters in the word S. O. N. Y.

Jezz, didn't you get the memo? Least with apple you get 5 letters.

It's one good looking notebook and 8 hours of battery life is a plus. However, anything that has an Intel Atom processor should not cost more than $1000 before taxes.

Tom W said,
It certainly is, it's very sexy.

Can't say I see anything 'sexy' about this laptop. There's nothing wrong with it, just doesn't appear to be anything special about it either.

excalpius said,
Yes, even compared to the underpowered, overpriced, outdated MacBook Air. Sony rocks.

Actually, your statement applies to the VAIO X...It uses AN ATOM PROCESSOR with intel GMA500 graphics chipset.!!
Compared to the macbook air, the VAIO X is a shiny piece of turd. It is an underpowered, overpriced and outdated NETBOOK.

I mean i think the MBA is a piece of **** myself...but dude...your statement shows that you're blinded by apple hate!

Well, ladies, at least the Sony has somethat that the Macbook doesn't. It has lots of software it can run. Does anybody still do Mac software?

that VGA port on the side looks bad could've replaced it with some kind of mini connector like mini-dvi or something....

Agree, it looks so out of place, it's almost as thick as the laptop itself, maybe even thicker and sticks right out like a bad smell :S

At least it's a good way for you to understand just how thick the laptop itself is. The VGA port isn't all that thick at all when you get right down to it.

That aside, VGA is still used way more than HDMI or even DVI. I got a new LG 22" monitor 2 months ago and it doesn't have DVI. I'm using a DVI to VGA adapter that came with my graphics card.

VGA is only used in projectors and really cheapo LCD displays these days. I see no reason to have it, especially considering how big the connector is. Should've had Displayport or HDMI instead.

Not a fan of the keyboard. The right side shift key is just hopelessly small and why the hell does it have a num lock/scroll lock button even though scroll lock hasn't been used by anything for the last 10 years? Surely some more useful function could've been fitted there.

Also does the "low profile" LAN connector require some special cable because it looks pertty small to me. If it does that's just crap.

LaXu said,
Also does the "low profile" LAN connector require some special cable because it looks pertty small to me. If it does that's just crap.

It's up at an angle.

Crikey! I would hate a laptop without a VGA connector.

Too many times I have seen at conferences people scrounging for a converter for their Mac. And all this while looking sheepish and unprepared.

It's still too early to assume that a conference location has anything other than a VGA cable to plug into.

DonC said,
Crikey! I would hate a laptop without a VGA connector.

Too many times I have seen at conferences people scrounging for a converter for their Mac. And all this while looking sheepish and unprepared.

It's still too early to assume that a conference location has anything other than a VGA cable to plug into.

I agree mate.

LaXu said,
VGA is only used in projectors and really cheapo LCD displays these days.


It's targetted to business travelers - you know, the ones that tend to give alot of presentations and connect their laptops to projectors using VGA cables...

Genius said,
that VGA port on the side looks bad could've replaced it with some kind of mini connector like mini-dvi or something....

n nifty little port called the hdmi port??

Beastage said,
I agree, this is a brand new laptop, it should have had DisplayPort only with included DP to HDMI/VGA/DVI adapter.

that was my first reaction lol

I don't know about you guys but in my lab's conference room the default connector on the (nice) projector is VGA.

I agree that the VGA port is ugly but I think it comes down to appearance vs. functionality. It's hilarious to watch all the people with macbooks try to find the right adapter to use with presentations - nearly every generation has a different cable. Everybody with a PC laptop can easily just plug into a projector.

Wannes said,
The VGA(?) port destroys the design! :(
Agreed. The industry has been moving away from VGA for years and it's not relevant anymore. Any projector less than 10 yrs old has at least DVI inputs as well. A mini-DVI connector carries both analog & digital and would be the obvious choice. DisplayPort would be even better but it's expensive to license.

I can't but shake my head watching the video review of the laptop plugged into the AC adapter. I mean, if they're going to pick it up and show all sides, why keep that dam AC plug tethered. This thing is a laptop, IT HAS BATTERIES!!1!! :P