Getting hands-on with the Sony Vaio Lifestyle PC

We managed to be among the very first to snag a coveted Sony Vaio Lifestyle PC, so check out some in-the-wild photos, plus first hands-on impressions.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

We managed to be among the very first to snag a coveted Sony Vaio Lifestyle PC, so here are a couple of in-the-wild photos, plus some first hands-on impressions.

Despite the small overall size, we found the keyboard fairly easy to use. At first, the lack of a touchpad worried us, but the trackpoint was fast and responsive, and after 15 minutes or so, we got fairly used to navigating with it--a very light tap on the pointing stick will give you a left mouse click. We're still not entirely sold, however, and still think a touchpad is better for many tasks.

The 1,600x768 screen has a higher resolution than many 15-inch laptops. Some initial attempts at online video streaming played fine, and the built-in Verizon-powered mobile broadband worked as advertised.

Even with Vista as the operating system, the Vaio seemed to run about as well as any Intel Atom system with XP we've used (2GB of RAM and an SSD hard drive help). With Windows 7, purportedly excellent for Netbooks, it would probably fly (relatively speaking).

It's hard to convey just how small this thing actually is. In the photos below, you'll see it positively dwarfed by an HP Mini 1000.

Stay tuned for a hands-on video, as well as benchmark testing and a full review.