VAIO P in-depth impressions
The shiny lid is incredibly smudgable, but while the screen on the flip side is fairly glossy, it's not distractingly so, and the utterly sharp and bright screen LCD cuts through any glare that might occur -- still, you're in for a bit of trouble using this thing outdoors. And that resolution? It's pretty dang squint-inducing, but for some reason it's clear enough to actually be usable, and if it's not there are zoom in and out function keys to make the experience a bit easier on the eyes -- just make sure to get your glasses prescription checked before you drive yourself to blindness.
Unfortunately, as well as much of this seems laid out, we're still having a bit of trouble with the form factor. It's difficult to use on a lap or when lying down, and even when flat on a desk there's some awkwardness to the "shortness" of it all. There's no palm rest, so as thin as the laptop is, there's still a bit of a lift to the keyboard, which isn't exactly angled to meet our fingers.
This is probably going to be the main pain point with this laptop. Windows Vista is a hefty load to bear, and even with a stripped down XP install or Linux distro, Atom is Atom -- all that sexiness doesn't make it go away. Perhaps the best illustration of this fact is Sony's own XMB, which has a dedicated shortcut button under the keyboard, is slow to load and choppy to use, ironic for an interface that runs just fine on a $200 PSP.
Other aspects of the OS seem a little better -- Word launches pretty fast, and we haven't had any trouble hopping into connection utilities and connecting to WiFi and EV-DO. Sony's proprietary apps and utilities are, as always, the real killers (in the negative sense of the word), and we're guessing a clean install that lets us avoid those entirely is the safest way to avoid slowdowns and frustration. Our other thought here is that Window 7 -- well enough optimized -- could be the P's real killer app, so we'll be looking into that.
So yeah, it's not the netbook that will replace your laptop, not by a long shot, but there's some cool stuff happening here. $900 worth of cool things? That's your call.