We ding Sony for screwing up sometimes (lack of a real MP3 player), but it's not because we don't like them, it's because we actually love them, really. In fact, if you look around here, most things have a Sony logo on it, so when they mess up we're the first to be disappointed, and when they nail it Sony-style like with the U50/70 we're equally enthusiastic about it.
The U50/70 is the smallest and lightest full-power PC on the market. The hardware really speaks for itself, we took a lot of photos and video make sure to check'em all out.
The U50 we reviewed, had the following specs:
Intel Celeron M 900 MHz
L1 / L2 Cache:
64K / 512K
PCGA-DVRW1 (iLink DVD-RW drive) - optional
PCGA-CRWD2 (iLink CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive) - optional
PCGA-DVD1/A (iLink DVD-Rom drive) - optional
PCGA-UFD5 (USB Floppy Drive) - optional
Graphic / Video Features Chip:
64MB (Max - shared with Main Memory)
5 " SVGA TFT
800 x 600
External: 1600x1200, 1280x1024, 1280x768, 1024x768, 800x600
Sound system, Sound Card:
PCM 16bit audio, integrated speaker
USB 2.0 ×1; 802.11b/g Wireless LAN; Speaker; CF Card Slot; Memory Stick slot;
USB 2.0 ×4; i.Link; VGA Out; LAN;
Input / Output Devices
QWERTY 87 Key, 17mm pitch, 2mm keystroke
Standard Battery: 2.5 hours
Enhanced Battery: 5.5 hours
100-240V / 50-60 Hz
6.57(W) x 4.25 (L) x 1.03 (H) [inch]
167mm× height 108mm× depth 26.4mm
1.21 lbs / 550g
Windows XP Home Edition (or Pro).
You can read the full specs on the u50 and the u70 here.
So, who needs this? Corporations with some unique application that benefits from the smallest possible PC. People who are always on the go, and want to have all their data and all their programs with them always and everywhere. you can have: 2 sets of accessories (TFT, mouse, keyboard, docking station, ac adapter) and take the U70 between home and office. Go to a meeting, or on a business trip, slip the U70 and folding keyboard in your bag. Totally convenient, totally unobtrusive. It's not an attempt at an OS, it's the real deal, a full version of XP running, with all your apps, any apps.
We put the U50/U70 through a week's worth of mission critical email, instant messaging, IRC, web browsing, IRCing, Powerpointing and it's we found it extremely fast and usable.
One of the features we really liked is the fact the screen is actual touch screen, in other words you could you use your finger or whatever stylus to write and do things, this feature along had us preferring the u50 over a Tablet PC.
After you look at all the pictures be sure to check out the video, it's 10 minutes and gives a good overview of what you can do with one of these puppies.
USB, Firewire, VGA…
Back view of cradle.
iPod on U50 action.