Pros * Thin and incredibly light
* It is designed around the keyboard for more comfort
* 8-inch widescreen LED display
* 3G wireless standard
Cons * Underpowered
* Seems to get a bit warm when in use
* Battery life isn't good
* Loaded with junk software
* Overpriced by about $300
Summary When I got my hands on the P-series Lifestyle PC I was amazed at how light it was, and the design is a treat to look at. Than I turned it on and the problems started with one word: "Vista". If that wasn't bad enough, this little device comes bloated with Sony's software and my poor little P series can hardly even lift its' own weight. After an hour I noticed that it produces a good amount of warmth and an hour more I realized that the battery is about 3 quarters depleted, there are definitely some kinks in here.After a month with the device I have come to the conclusion that the first generation Vaio P-Series is definitely NOT the one to buy. I urge people to wait until Windows 7 launches and Intel's new chips come out to consider it. So by the end of the year, this little baby will have a new lease on life. It would be perfect if the price drops even a little but I seriously doubt that will happen. It's still a great device, don't get me wrong, it's very handy to have with me, I just wish it didn't have to cost so much or have Vista plague it. Do some research, weigh your options before committing to the price tag of the P-Series. Just to put the price in perspective: You can buy a customized Dell Studio 17 with an upgraded sound card, graphics card and processor with a carrying bag for the same price as the P-Series
The feature set is what you would expect from a netbook, with a surprise here and there. The Lifestyle PC has two USB ports, which isn't bad, there are separate card slots for both Memory Stick and Secure Digital (SD) formats and the 64GB solid-state drive is a nice touch. With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS module the P series is a very handy device to have, although it won't replace a stand alone device or even a smartphone. Interestingly the Lifestyle PC boots into a Linux environment. Rather than wait a full minute for Vista to boot up, Sony's Linux preload can do it in 20 seconds which is great. The keyboard is surprisingly efficient when typing and the pointer stick does get some getting use to but it's not bad.
Although I like the design and the functionality, I wished that it didn't come with Vista and if rumors are true and Intel does release a more powerful Atom platform then I hope Sony holds off until they perfect the P series instead of rushing it to market. As it is I will still use it for as a secondary laptop to complement my 17 inch monster of a laptop that I have now. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and I definitely dig the portability and functionality, however once I got face to face with it I realized that it is NOT perfect but I still like it a great deal. I just have to cancel the tattoo I had planned to get of it that's all. If Macbook Air users can turn a blind eye I'm pretty sure this thing will have some of the same kind of followers. I strongly suggest investment in the solid state drive and the extended battery, with those you'll have a nice little traveling companion.
Updated on Mar 5, 2009
Pros Size, weight
Cons Little slow
Summary This machine is awesome for it's size. I bought it at London Heathrow's Sony Style's shop. WWan is international, and can connect to any network worldwide. Not sure if that is true if bought in the U.S. as I beleve it's tied to Verizon and Sony may restrict it. But there is a "Globe Trotter" app. that alows this on this particular machine.
The Wlan works good under "n". Haven't tried the GPS. Keyboard is good and only takes about 30 mins to adapt.
The instant on function is excellent, and you can be on the internet or on skype within like 30 secs.
Normal battery is so so. Real time usage is about 2.5 hours. (Set to max performance.) Extended battery is excellent, about 5 hours. Battery does not pretrude out too obnoxiously. Battery is very fast to charge.
Vista makes it a little slow, so I set it to max performance with no whistles or bells.
I been travelling in the States now for a couple weeks, damn, I got my whole life on me and in touch with everyone; and I don't even have to carry a bag. Don't get better than that.
If you want to render a 21meg picture with PhotoShop....... Do it on your reg desktop. Don't whine you have to wait too long to do it on an Atom based netbook. ;-)
Pros Very portable.
Very good screen resolution and brightness.
Good viewing angles and ability to adjust the screen past 90 degrees like other netbooks.
Cons Sony thinks this is not a netbook.
Very underpowered (not sure why it seems so much worse even in XP than other netbooks).
Expansion port connecter is bulky and has a very short cable.
Summary I was very excited to get this thing and play with it and I was very quickly disappointed. I expected to wait when I turned it on, so I decided to start cooking at the same time. This made the wait bearable, but it was still ridiculous how bloated the OS is. I know this isn't Sony's fault, so I will try to limit my comments to what is. My guess for the reason behind the slower processor is due to the compact nature of this machine and the heat issues that must be overcome. I can live with that. What I can't live with is the fact that I couldn't even play a movie file that plays easily on a WDTV media player, an Apple TV, my old 900MHz eeePC, and many other low power devices. I actually regret not waiting for the HP 2140 and buying this instead. The keyboard is useable for me (I have medium sized hands and fingers) but barely. The computer does get hot, but that isn't a very big issue to me as I use a lapdesk with it (so I can use an external mouse). The pointer stick works acceptably, but I don't like it overall, just because I prefer a touchpad on a laptop. The camera is surprisingly good for a netbook. I have had the eeePC, the Acer One, the HP Mini, and the Samsung NC10. I gave the Acer to my wife, and she loves it. After having this computer, I actually want it back. I will get rid of this computer and wait for the Hi-Res screen on the HP 2140 to come out. Anyway, back to the power issues. This computer does load webpages adequately (it's much better than the UMPCs were, I had a few of those as well), and it can run with Windows XP if you find the drivers for it, but it is still a bit too slow even with XP. I still couldn't watch videos on it. The CNET experience worked a lot better in XP than in VISTA. Overall, this is just an overpriced internet tablet. I'd recommend the NOKIA N-900 for all this does well, which isn't much.
Pros Portability; Design & Style; User Friendly; Practical; Loaded With Appropriate Extras; Perfect for use with Microsoft Office, web surfing, skype, etc... Keep in mind that a laptop like this would have cost nearly 5000$ just six years ago!
Cons Despite being a 60GB HD, I only have 33GB available due to VISTA. VISTA is slow and the Linux set-up can also be troublesome. The Pointer Mouse doesn't bother me, however it is highly sensitive and makes typing emails or word documents tricky.
Summary Frankly, I don't think any laptop is without its problems. Howeve, I have always bought into SONY's image and generally quality products. I wanted a portable laptop/netbook small enough to allow me to work from home or to take with me when travelling. Upon seeing this computer I fell for its design and looks and bought it without knowing even what was inside of it (i.e. I thought it had XP). It is the ultimate portable laptop/netbook and I have enjoyed it very much thus far.
It is sleek enough and light enough to fit into my jacket, thus negating the use of having to carry a cumbersome laptop bag. It meets my needs in that,as a lecturer, it is ideal for typing up documents, using powerpoint, etc... whilst at the same time giving me instant access to SKYPE, Internet Explorer, etc... I have not had a chance to use the GPS, but the wireless worked flawlessly at the airport the other day. In terms of practicality I don't think you can do much better than this if, like me, you like your technology compact and portable.
However, as is the case with all technology, nothing is outstanding. I find that though the pointer mouse is grand, I would recommend buying a mini external mouse, something I find necessary for all laptops personally. The only issue I have with the mous is that it is highly sensitive. Because it is situated in the middle of the keyboard, I find that whilst typing if your fingers even brush by it ever so gently you are suddenly writing on a differen't line alotgether. It can be particularly annoying when typing emails. I am sure there is a feature somewhere to turn this mouse off(hopefully).
The second issue I have with this laptop is that VISTA literally eats up half of my 60GB HD. I only have 33GB free as a result of this monster of an operating system. I have purposefully put off buying anything with VISTA because of its size and lets face it,there are still bugs to be worked out of it. Nevertheless, in a time when computers are fast due to their processors, etc... alot of what we find annoying about VISTA in terms of speed is just our lack of patience. Once VISTA is booted up and ready to go it works very well and is a pleasure to use. I don't have the same gripes like most people about this OS mainly because it does what I want it to do when I want it too. I certainly have no cause to switch VISTA for XP any time soon.
The Linux system is interesting. I found that it works flawlessly and boot up time is literally ten seconds. However, when using Firefox, I found that it rarely allows me to type an email in hotmail. Whether this is a problem with Linux itself or a problem with Firefox I am uncertain. Still, the application is pure genius and allows those of you who would use this laptop for web browsing primarily to access the internet, including SKYPE and IM in an instant. It also negates the need to switch your OS from VISTA to XP as you don't have to wait the few minutes for VISTA to boot up. The Linux system also gives you access to your music, pictures and whatever videos you may have on your computer. So in essence it becomes every teenagers dream come true.
The speakers are fine. Its a laptop/netbook, don't complain. A set of earphones and your ready for hours of enjoyment. The screen is outstanding though I had to set the screen to a higher resolution as I found the writing on it too small at first. Is it worth the price tag of 1200$ Yes and No. Yes if you take into consideration that SONY's TZ series is ridiculously over priced. The company has already had to compromise and lets face it, the TR3/5 that came out several years ago was astronimically more expensive then the new P series. However, I think the answer is also a stern No, after all, the ACER Aspire One (I bought one for my wife in October) has a set price far more realistic (399$) and offers everything you need if your a student, lecturer, or just wanting a basic computer at home for simple email, skype, etc....
At the end of the day, SONY is not selling a laptop/netbook, it is selling a lifestyle. That is what we buy into regardless if we want to think of it this way or not. Even the colours on offer reflect a contemporary rich design that would look out of place in a public classroom compared to Acer's modest and well made Aspire One. I bought this because it was beautiful and yes, for me absolutely practical. However if I had any sense what so ever, I would have walked away and purchased myself an Acer Aspire One. After all, I won't and don't use half of the features that come on 90% of laptops. (i.e. GPS?!?) At the end of the day the choice is a personal one and despite the constant criticisms on netbooks regarding performance, energy, etc... a compromise had to be made and really, you cannot beat the practicality of a netbook in this day and age. If your like me and you like to spoil yourself once in a blue moon, than I would recommend going for the P series.
Pros Great, bright screen.