Once I saw the $899 starting price tag for the Sony Vaio P, I pretty much decided to stop covering the device on this site. It’s just too expensive to seriously put in the same class of devices as an Asus Eee PC, MSI Wind, or Acer Aspire One.
And Sony doesn’t really want to be in the same class as those devices. The company is trying to convince customers to pay more for a premium computing experience. I’m not convinced that Sony is delivering on that promise, with an Intel Atom processor, a kind of awkward pointing stick instead of a touchpad, and a ridiculously sharp display that will give you a headache if you look at it too long.
But anyway, long story short, I happened to be wandering through the Sony booth yesterday and there it was right in front of me. So I had to at least take a look. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the computer gets a Windows Vista rating of 2.7, which isn’t bad for the hardware. But I found that it was extraordinarily difficult to control the cursor with the pointing stick. I’m not generally opposed to pointing sticks, but this one is incredibly tiny that it takes some serious fine motor skills to direct the cursor across the Vaio P’s 1600 x 768 pixel display.
The keyboard was surprisingly good though. It’s obviously a bit smaller than any keyboard you’ll find on a 10 inch netbook, but it’s pretty close thanks to a little bezel around the edges of the screen. You can certainly touch type on it.
You can check out a few more pictures after the break. And then I’m going to stop covering this device unless Sony cuts the price in half.