Sony VAIO X slimster hands-on

Daaaamn. We just got back from our time with the Sony X-series and it's making us rethink the entire definition of thin as the word is applied to ultra-portable laptops -- see how it casually jockeys our 15-inch MacBook Pro workhorse in the pic above. Sony's X-series is so thin that it's dangerous: on one hand, it'll cut a jugular or cake with little effort, and on the other, it has just enough flex to make us worry about its ruggedness. But this isn't Sony's first experiment with this form factor and the carbon-fibre frame and aluminum keyboard should help with rigidity when this goes production in both glossy- and matte-plastic finishes. (The displays were all matte, at least for now.) The new X is followup to the rarely seen VAIO X505 that was available in limited markets early in the decade -- only then it wasn't sporting an Atom, 2GB of memory, or a 31Wh removable battery. According to Sony, the choice of an Atom processor is far from decided and is only on display to run the engineering prototypes here at IFA, so there's still hope for at least CULV internals when this thing ships. Unfortunately, access to the rest of the internal specs were software blocked and Sony was zipped tight on details.

Further visual inspection reveals a pair of USB jacks, SD/Memory Stick slot, WWAN SIM slot, and folding feet on the bottom to prop up the lappie so you can attach an Ethernet cable in the mechanically yawning RJ45 jack or a Kensington lock. Unfortunately, the only video output option is VGA. Nevertheless, the Windows 7 box we tested performed as expected for such a small device -- lethargically, but capably for casual internet browsing and tweeting. And honestly, we could see ourselves dropping a premium (less than $2,000 we're told) for this 11-inch ultra-portable as opposed to the VAIO P. At least now we know what Sony meant when they said they wanted their products to be aspirational. See the new X up close with its X505 cousin in the gallery. Trust us, it's worth a look.

P.S. It'll be announced with official specs in October with units available for retail about a week after Windows 7 launches.