Sony VAIO X reviewed: outrageous battery claims tested, nearly vindicated

At this point you know pretty much all there is to know about the amazingly thin (0.6-inches), light (just 1.4 pounds or 2.2 pounds with extended battery wedge), and expensive ($1,299 base) VAIO X ultra-portable laptop from Sony. The only thing missing were tests to confirm or deny Sony's claim that the VAIO X battery lasts "all day and well into the night and will set the new standard for battery stamina," as proclaimed at its IFA unveil back in September in Berlin. A bold claim that Laptop Magazine has now put to the test. The result? Well, first of all, if you're hoping to get anything close to the hype then you'll have to opt for the extended battery -- the standard 4-cell battery is only rated for about 3 hours of power. Fortunately, the extended battery bolt-on (literally, it attaches to the bottom with two screws) is included in the X-series price -- smart move Sony. According to Laptop's tests, the VAIO X merrily pumped away for nearly 10 hours using WiFi (GPS and 3G turned off) thereby easily laying to waste most 6-hour, 6-cell netbooks. Impressive. For booting and processing everyday tasks, the 2GHz Atom Z550 paired with 2GB of memory and 128GB SSD did very well against netbook-class machines but suffered dearly with regard to 3D graphics performance. Likewise, the X couldn't handle full-screen flash video without chop. Sure, the mass market will ultimately shun the X as it did its VAIO X505 ancestor, but it will definitely find its niche amongst Windows 7 road warriors with pockets deep enough to afford it and egos fragile enough to by fed by the envious stares of others.