Base price: $1,199
There are all the other netbooks, and then theres the Sony VAIO Lifestyle PC. While the other competitors strive to romance the bottom end of the market, the Lifestyle PC turns up its nose and offers pure luxury and ultra-fashionable design (well, thats the idea, at least).
Indeed, Sony doesnt even condescend to refer to this unit as a netbook. Netbooks, apparently, are for the unwashed masses. This machine is a Lifestyle PC. Goodness, where are the polo ponies?
The price tag of $1,200 is obviously only for those cant be bothered by trifles like money. At about three times the cost of some netbooks, one looks at the Lifestyle PC and expects to be awestruck at the splendiferous wonder of this little bauble.
And, if youre just looking at it across a crowded nightclub, and its holder is gorgeous creature whos coiffed to the max, then the effect might work. With a shiny red garnet case (or other sexy colors), thin as a handful of diet crackers (less than one inch), and the sleek VAOI logo in the right light, it just might be impressive.
The fitted leather case says yes, Im hot, so what? At 1.4 pounds, this is as lightweight as any netbook.
The actual machine, though, is less concerned with function than form. The 8-inch screen is one of the smallest among the new posse of netbooks, meaning it fits well into a large handbag but is less useful for surfing. The small trackpoint navigation wins no awards for ergonomic ease of use.
Sony earns points for packing this tiny machine with 2 GB of RAM (then again, memory is cheap, and for $1,200 Id expect it). Of course since the Lifestyle PC comes with Vista which is too bulky for most pared-down netbooks the extra RAM helps.
The Lifestyle PC also impresses with the built-in mobile broadband (though it does require a monthly contract with Verizon). A costly option, yes, but quite cool.
Bottom line: Until Apple releases a netbook, the Lifestyle PC (dont you just love that name?) holds a firm but snazzy grip on the fashion option. But for this kind of money, its the ultra-deluxe choice.
Notebook Review glows that the Sony VAIO Lifestyle PC fits inside your jacket pocket or your purse and packs an amazing amount of technology inside a tiny package If you plan to purchase the VAIO P as a lightweight travel laptop it might just be the perfect laptop on the market. However, the publication faults the unit for its weak processor.
CNET says the Lifestyle PC has components of a cheaper machine but the design of a more expensive one.
The Sony Lifestyle PC (photos courtesy of Sony)
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