Review: Sony Vaio X Series

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Once in a while there comes one little stuff that will make all the difference, and the Vaio X is exactly that kind of wonder. We have had the chance to play with some pretty impressive sub-notebooks from Sony with the X505 or the G Series for example, but those cannot compete with the new Vaio X.

The Vaio X is by far the slimmest (13.9mm) and lightest (0.655kg) 11.1” notebook we have ever had the chance to play with. 4h of standard battery life and up to a freaking 8h if you are investing in an enhanced battery. Granted this enhanced battery will add some weight to your Vaio X and will also make it thicker, but if 4h is just enough for you, the Vaio X is definitively astonishingly the slimmest toy that you have ever had the chance to meet.

Now once you get used to the Vaio X’s light and slim body, you just wonder how the hell did they succeed to make it happen? Unlike most of the notebooks available on the Market, the Vaio X is like its predecessor the Vaio X505 made of carbon fiber, offering both a strong and lightweight body so that our notebook is capable of enduring the worst, or at least the rough usage without suffering too much.

This said, and despite our past disappointment with some Sony notebooks, we have to admit that the Vaio X is an elegant computer with a touch of “luxe” that will most probably attract many future costumers. And as far as we are concerned, we are in love!

Being a well-built and elegant notebook is one thing, but being well-built, elegant, and capable to be fully usable as an everyday PC is entirely another thing.

Powered by Intel’s laziest CPU ever, the Atom Z550, our 2GHz Netbook/Notebook offers however a speedy 64 or up to 256 GB SSD with a decent amount of RAM (2GB) and is is in fact quite capable once you have done the very basic Sony crapeware clean-up.

Unfortunately, and despite our best of our efforts to remind Sony as well as other manufacturers, the Vaio X is loaded with an impressive amount of useless software and other crapeware that not only turns you mad but also turns any computer into a piece of junk not capable to boot or run smoothly.

Since Sony’s greed is stronger than its customers’ happiness (Sony receives incentives to install each one of these additional crapeware), you will have no other choice but to format your Vaio X SSD and reinstall Windows 7 from scratch.

Granted, this is not the easiest thing to do especially on a Sony, and getting all the Sony additional tools and other improvements up and running can be a difficult task, but once done, you will see how impressive our little Vaio X and its 2Ghz CPU are.

There are no doubts that the Vaio X will not replace your Core 2 Duo Notebook or the latest i3, i5, or even i7 laptops announced and now available, but for what it is worth, the Vaio X offered us exactly what we were expecting, a fully effective compact computer capable to give you just what you need on-the-go.

Offering you the basic Photoshop usage, perfectly capable to run the MS Office suite, Skype, playback DVD (ISO), DivX and MKV HD files, the Vaio X will not let you down, but don’t expect much neither, the ATOM CPU will not be capable to handle too many programs running simultaneously.

But, once again, the Vaio X has never been announced to be a desktop replacement but rather a compact and capable notebook, and guess what, once running a clean Windows 7 OS, the Vaio X will give you exactly that.

Conclusion: Compact, Elegant and capable, the Vaio X is a good surprise, however, its relatively high price tag will most probably scare most of us. But unfortunately there is no gain without pain, and if you want to travel as light as possible with some decent battery life span, the Vaio X is by far the best toy around running a Windows OS.

(Review by Gonzague Gay-Bouchery)

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