Toybox: Sony Vaio pocket-companion cute but expensive

Not a work-horse machine but for the occasional email it may work just fine

Sony’s ultraportable Vaio VGN-P15G arrived at my desk last week.

Measuring 245 by 20 by 120 mm, and weighing in at 599 grams, it resembles a slightly larger than normal pencil case. It would easily slip into your bag or even your pocket.

My review unit has a 64GB solid-state drive powered by Intel’s Atom Z520 processors, running at 1.33 GHz. It’s got 2GB of RAM and ships with Windows Vista Home Premium. Models with a 60GB hard drive are also available.

The 1600x768 LED display is just over 7 inches wide. Sony says it is an 8-inch screen and this is true if measured diagonally.

The Vaio P-series comes in a in a range of glossy colours — red, green, black and white.

The VGN-P15 has a built-in webcam, as well as noise-cancelling technology and included headphones (only with the VGN-P15G model). Unfortunately, the headphones had disappeared somewhere along the way before I got my review unit so I don’t know what they are like.

The tiny machine also has built-in wireless LAN 802.11b/g/Draft n and Bluetooth. It sports two USB ports, a SD card slot, a memory card slot and a display port.

To sum up its advantages, the VGN-P15 is cute and lightweight with a nice colour range. It also gets extra points for its surprisingly small charger.

One of its features, “instant mode”, enables a quick boot up into Sony’s Xross Media Bar interface and access to music, video, photos and the web — without having to wait for Vista to boot. The webcam, located in the top right-hand corner of the panel, is also pretty cool.

On the downside, sacrificing the mouse pad to save space, to me, was a mistake – I found the stick pointer difficult and annoying to use. I also found the keyboard quite difficult to type on. Sure, it is not meant to be a power-user work machine, though for the occasional email or jotting numbers down while out in the field it may work just fine. But I felt like I spent more time trying to do things on the VGN-P15 and getting annoyed when it didn’t work, rather than actually using it.

As expected with a lightweight machine like this, battery life is short. Sony claims you can get up to three hours of use out of it, but I think that would require sticking to low-power tasks.

In my opinion — as cute and light as it is — with a recommended retail price of $2,299.95, the VGN-P15G is quite expensive for what it offers.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments