Friday, June 19, 2009

The Best Sony Mini Laptop

With this months release of the new Sony VAIO mini laptop - the P series (P for Portable) "lifestyle PC" - a stunning 8 inch masterpiece weighing 638g and sporting Windows Vista, 3G Mobile Broadband, inbuilt GPS and features from Sony's other ranges, it raises the question - what is the best Sony VAIO mini laptop?

Essentially there are 3 main contenders:

-Sony VAIO P Series - New "Lifestyle PC"
-Sony VAIO TT Series - The smallest blu-ray notebook
-Sony VAIO SR Series - Award winning laptop computer

Straight away each of them has problems. The P series whilst incredibly small and light, lacks an optical disc drive (that is you CD/DVD-ROM), fast dual-core processor and the screen, whilst good in its class is still limiting. The SR series is a fully fledged 13.3" notebook computer and lacks the portability of the other two models - weighing 3 times as much as the VAIO P series!

The TT itself lacking size could also be a negative for some. The keyboard, whilst a far cry from that of a 7 inch netbook, lacks the size and spacing of a larger notebook or desktop computer. Sony however make an effort spacing out the keys.

The SR series, whilst good in its own field as a notebook simply cannot compete with the portable mini laptops like the VAIO TT and P series. There are also better computers in its size and price category which are handier like the MacBook Air.

So between the former two models, which is best?

The VAIO TT Series is the more complete model. It is a notebook that has been shrunk down to almost netbook sized proportions with an 11.1" screen and weighing only 1.19kg - very similar to 10 inch netbooks. Inside it has a dual core processor, which is more capable than the Intel Atom and although it is less efficient, the VAIO TT's massive battery more than compensates giving out up to 9 hours of battery life - enough for a full days work. Unlike the P series, it has an optical disc drive - which Sony boasts, makes it the worlds "smallest blu-ray notebook."

The VAIO P series' strength lies in its name - P for Portable mini laptop. Sony says it is about the size of a large office envelope, allowing it to neatly fit in a jacket pocket or briefcase. It nearly weighs half the weight of the VAIO TT (as we've already noted, is pretty trim for it's class), yet it can still fit in an 8" screen with 1600x768 resolution (compared to 1024x600 for your everyday netbook), up to 128GB of Solid State Storage and inbuilt GPS.

The two models do have similarities; they both run on Windows Vista, share trademark Sony features like Motion Eye webcam and graphics engine used on the Sony Bravia HD-ready television range.

Ultimately however it depends on personal preference - which is why we want YOUR opinion.


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