Published on January 19th,2009 at 11:30 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Sony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The Review

UPDATE :
YES this Vaio P is Dual Core (Hyper threading), please check photos in the gallery…
NO This unit is not faulty… Vista gave us a 2.7 mark while Windows 7 gave us a 1.9 mark, check gallery

The Vaio P is by far sexiest Netbook available, but the P is also the most expensive and could either be your best friend or worst nightmare.

I admit Sony came up with a pretty impressive design for the P. With great material the P feels like a real high-end subnotebook and has a far better conception than any other Netbook available. The P’s keyboard is a real wonder, soft, precise, and large enough to be used for hours… The P’s large screen is also pretty impressive with its 1600 x 768 resolution, and wherever your finger goes or eyes look you won’t find any conception mistakes… The P is rock solid for its size and has been crafted with delicacy and precision. There are almost no drawbacks in its design, construction, and materials… Ok, I said almost, since the P’s tracking point is a little combersome, but except from that, we have to admire Sony’s design team for this awesome device.

If I have no doubt that the Vaio P is truly a winner when it comes to design and construction… But I’m puzzled with Sony’s decisions when it comes to its basic specs.

The Vaio P sold in Japan in your average store features the same basic specs as the US and EUR versions. 2GB of RAM, a ATOM Z520 CPU at 1.33GHz, Intel GMA500 a 1.8” HDD at 4200rpm and Vista Home… The same one Sony Japan sent us to test for a few days.

On paper the above specs appear to be fairly common with any Netbook available, reality is however a cruel thing… Let me put this simply, the Vaio P sucks… BIG TIME! At least the stock version.

From the moment you turn the P on to the moment you see Vista’s desktop requires around 1.01 to 1.02 minutes… Hold a second here, seeing Vista’s desktop doesn’t mean that you can use your Netbook… Oh no, far from it! Actually you’ll wait at least another minute to surf the web or even to begin using it (depending on your Vista installation) To make things worst I extrapolate that once you install Office, or any other software, and start using Vista’s Widget bar you’ll have to add at least 15 to 20 seconds more before getting the full potential out of your P and the HDD LED stops flashing like crazy… I reckon you need around 3.20 minutes once booted up to use the thing and get everything from McAfee, Bluetooth, and Sony’s mouse software fully loaded. (video below)


Music from Coppe Sweetrice.com

For crying out loud it’s 2009! How is it possible with a New Gen CPU with Hyper Threading and 2 GB of RAM than a PC be can this slow? I’m sure you’ve discovered the culprit… Yep, Vista has proven once again to be a resource hog and was not designed to be installed on a slow low end PC… But Microsoft is not the only one to blamed here, Intel has their share of responsibility. The ATOM CPU sucks big time unless properly integrated like on the Ion platform (NVidia), and how dumb are Intel folks for not providing a similar experience, if NVidia did it how hard can it be… Sony’s engineers are also too blame with their poor choice of components. To give you an idea, whether or not you run Vista or 7… You’ll never get Aero to work on the P, like we did on a far cheaper Sotec C1 Netbook… This mainly due to the GMA500 chipset that the P uses … A low end integrated video chipset good enough to power an average PDA, but not a decent PC.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m very disappointed here, I really wanted to love the P test unit we got, I mean just look at it! It’s gorgeous, but how did Sony screw their latest ultraportable so bad? We know that whatever ATOM CPUs plus the 945G Chipset can’t play HD videos, technically impossible but at least it would have give us a better experience… far better than the ATOM and GMA500 combo…

Is the P total rubbish? No, not really, there’s still hope but it looks like only Japanese consumers will get the to test the real power of the P.

So far only sold in Japan or via other channels, the Vaio P90 is the only one to consider because of its 1.86GHz ATOM CPU and 128GB Intel SSD… You still can’t use AERO or get smooth HD video playback, but you won’t have to wait 2 minutes once booted-up to use it… Unfortunately the P90 comesat a price (around $1,800 US), four times more expensive than the Sotec C1 notebook we tested earlier that runs Photoshop CS3 and AREO pretty smoothly… Something that even a P90 may not be capable of doing.

To summarize, the Vaio P is indeed a real design wonder with a great screen and wonderful keyboard… But if you really want to get the most of your P you’d better be ready to spend a lot of money for the SSD and 1.86GHz CPU version. Am I sad? No, but frustrated, Sony had a very promising device with the P, they could have sold a lot of them even with a 1.3GHz if they had opted for Windows XP, the Intel 945G chipset and 5400 rpm HDD, same as found on your average Netbook.

I really hope someone at Sony will read this and take it into account. The P is a great device but needs better components or let’s just dream, NVidia’s Ion platform, Blu-ray support like full HD resolution on the average ATOM CPU…

Sony Vaio P scores under Windows 7.

1.9… Pretty lame.


Category Review Laptops
              
Sony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The Review
Sony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The Review
Sony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The ReviewSony Vaio P… Performance Has a Price – The Review
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Comments
 

  • Pachedzhiev

    I hoped for the P.

    Hopes are flying out of my head right now , bye bye P … *sad* :/

  • http://www.erawtfos.com doskey

    I like style of Vaio P. But its score is only 1.9 on Windows 7.

  • kanjikai

    I would have like more on daily and practical use. My VAIO SZ5 C2Duo 2 Ghz takes lot to boot Vista too, but then every operation or multitasking is pretty fast.

    Beside this, the Score under Windows does not give you a fair idea about daily use performance. It would be much usefull if you describe the change in performance (boot the OS, start applications, web browsing, music…) between Vista and Windows.

    I was waiting for this review, but it doesn´t solve my dudes.

  • scottbakertemp

    It’s not Intel and Microsoft’s fault that Sony picked the most resource intensive OS they could find from MS and the slowest components they could find from Intel, and slapped it all together for double the price of competing products.

    I’m sure MS, Intel, or heck pretty much anyone would have adviced them otherwise.

  • kanjikai

    Sorry, i write “dudes” instead “doubts”.

  • http://www.devlim.com devlimdotcom

    This Sony Vaio P is really Beautiful and sexy .

  • ArcteryxWhaor

    Why on earth would anyone buy a netbook with an HDD in 2009. Get an SSD for speed, shock resistance, low temp, lower power consumption, etc. Vista flies with an SSD.

    Need more storage? .. thats what the MS/SD slot is for.. more solid state memory,

  • daw0lverine

    C’est vraiment pas mieux avec windows 7 ?

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    daw0lverine> Un poil mais quoi qu il arrive tu as le bottleneck hardware surtout avec le HDD

  • nEILh

    The Sony P is using a Single Core ATOM CPU with a reduced bus speed – your article suggests its a dual core, which it’s not.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    I will check this tomorrow before sending over the Test unit, I have a doubt and in this case this may make more sens… I was sure the Z520 Atom was dual Core

    Thanks for pointing this out

  • DrEvil

    This will be much better with XP, or with Windows 7, which is far more netbook friendly. Vista sucks bigtime, even on my high-spec Thinkpad and 3 gig of RAM and 7200rpm HDD.

    I wonder if anyone has tried Ubuntu on this Vaio?

  • Virtua

    There is also a 1.6ghz chip. For some reason the 1.8ghz chip has a real price premium on it – I think the 1.3 to 1.6 will be quite noticeable, whereas 1.6 to 1.8 wont be so much – I have a 1.6 in my Fujitsu U2010 and it measures 3 on the vista score.
    Agree with you on the hdd – go ssd!

  • Virtua

    I think there is a problem with your machine – There is a very good japanese site I use and it shows your spec machine as –
    Processor: 2.7
    メモリ:4.2 Memory: 4.2
    グラフィックス:5.9 Graphics: 5.9
    ゲーム用グラフィックス:3.0 Graphics for the game: 3.0
    プライマリハードディスク:4.1 PURAIMARIHADODISUKU: 4.1

    Makes sense – if my Atom1.6ghz processer in my Fujitsu is 3.0, and the 1.8ghz is 3.4 – 2.7 sounds right.
    Check it out I say

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Virtua, the above Screenshot with the score is on 7 not Vista, with Vista I have the something around 2.7 too

  • Virtua

    Thanks – that makes better sense of things.
    Must be due tto Windows 7 being a beta more than anything – I would say vista performance is somethig better to use as a benchmark.
    Word on the street is that a special “netbook” version of windows 7 is coming out soon.

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    I updated the review… YES this ATOM is DUAL CORE, check photo in gallery, and the score is 2.7 with Vista but 1.9 with 7.

  • Nandos

    Hm… I think that is Hyper-Threading and not dual core ^_^;;;

    http://ark.intel.com/cpu.aspx?groupID=35466

  • daw0lverine

    arf, merci du test j’etais pas loin de me l’acheter perso (akiba fait mal ) faudra attendre la prochaine version

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/starstreak007/ starstreak007

    My TZ150n takes just as long to startup. With everything loaded it’ll take around 3-4minutes. Once its loaded, it seems to move fine. I scored:
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU U7500 @ 1.06GHz 4.3
    Memory (RAM) 2.00 GB 4.2
    Graphics Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family 2.0
    Gaming graphics 256 MB Total available graphics memory 2.7
    Primary hard disk 41GB Free (85GB Total) 3.9

    So the “P” has a processor about 2x slower but has a faster video score? I think with a SSD it should be even faster startup on the P?

  • almtbwu

    Nice review. I’m really considering this but WILL not buy the 1.3Ghz Atom when there is a faster 1.8Ghz available in Japan although the price sounds crazy considering what you can get on the market for that price.

    Was it easy to install Windows 7 on the P? Did it affect the dual boot?

    I expected the slow boot with Vista so was glad to hear about the dual boot feature.

    You sure the Atom is a dual core? I heard that Intel is still working on the dual core.

  • almtbwu

    Just found out the P90 version does not have built in GPS nor 3G support.

    Why would Japan not include those features in the P90? I don’t understand the different versions out there.

    May have to look for the UK version for at least the 1.6Ghz Atom and hopefully that has GPS/3G.

  • Alexey

    The reason why japanese models don’t have GPS is because it’s AGPS wich (in case of Vaio P design) requires presence of 3G network. Currently P90 are not providing 3G because of some contract with one japanese cellular operator. Soon P90 will be offered with 3G subscription (modem will be locked to this operator) and AGPS.
    People who don’t want to use 3G shouldn’t be bothered to use AGPS too. It won’t work without 3G.

    Buy BT GPS instead

  • mat

    this is a high end luxury product….not for people with a budget in mind!!!it may take 3 mins to boot up n go into browsing like u claim but it has an unix platfom jus like ta psp to boot up in 30seconds!!duh
    if u r doin a review for netbooks, do it for netbooks n nt desktop replacment!!if u wan performance on a little thin then do it against ta vaio TT!!n sony this never gona hear wat u gota say!!this thin is 600 grams n u know y vista was installed instead of xp,coz microsoft says the specs for vaio p is to high for xp.n this thin comes with a mag alu top!!tis is no perfomance pc its a lifestyle pc used s a second pc for traveling!!

  • David_P

    The Vaio P is marketed with vista because Windows has restricted licenses for XP to low spec computers, however the P’s high resolution, and 2 gigs of RAM keeps it from being licensed to XP, which I’m sure Sony would run with in a second if they were allowed to. Its a great concept, I LOVE the size and the keyboard layout, but the low processing speed, Vista, and the Price are a major turnoff. I might get one A) after 7 comes out and B) when/if the 1.86ghz’s price gets reduced.to a considerable level.

  • S_J_C

    You prove youself to be really clueless calling the Atom a dual core. Hyperthreading is not dual core it is a single core that presents two virtual cores to the the operating system and for that reason it is not that powerful (remember Pentium 4). So stop repeating the foolish remarks of another poorly informed writer and go look up what Intel themselves say about hyperthreading.

    Oh and the reason the poor Vaio P is lugged with Vista is that MS has a restriction on what hardware is allowed to be OEMed with XP. Unfortunately the P is deemed “too powerful” by MS because of its 2GB RAM and very high res screen.

    So blame MS for the crap performance and credit Sony for shoehorning what technology they could into a small, passively cooled (ie completely silent) package. I am considering paying the extra just so I can escape the sounds of fans for a few hours a day.

 

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