Sony VAIO P Netbook (Update) Review

by Reads (96,740)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 9
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 4
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 10
    • Performance
    • 4
    • Features
    • 5
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 4
    • Total Score:
    • 6.14
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Extremely ultraportable (1.3 lbs, 8")
    • Excellent keyboard and sturdy chassis 
    • Useful display-switch feature
    • Larger solid state drive
  • Cons

    • High price
    • Weak audio
    • Still uses an Intel Atom
    • Minimal upgradeability

Quick Take

A modest update to the sexiest netbook on the market, but still too expensive.

The 8-inch Sony VAIO P Series Lifestyle netbook returns with a refresh to the original series models. This ultraportable netbook packs a more powerful processor than the last version (but still maintains an Intel Atom), Windows 7 Home Premium instead of Vista, a larger solid state drive with SATA (all the refreshed models have SSDs now), longer-lasting standard battery life, a touchpad built into the screen, a display switch option (switches much like a tablet or smartphone), a few other new features, and more–if you’re willing to pay the high price tag. Sony has made no change to the overall size, so it can still fit in your back pocket. We have tested this refresh against our benchmarks and will show you how it matches up to the older version and up to other netbooks in the market in terms of performance and design.

Our Sony Vaio P (refresh) features the following specifications:

  • Intel Atom Z550 (2.00 GHz, 512 KB cache) processor
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
  • 8-inch glossy backlit LCD display (1600 x 768 resolution max) 
  • 2GB DDR2 533MHz RAM (1 DIMM)
  • 256GB solid state drive (up to 128GB on other models)
  • Intel GMA 500 integrated graphics
  • Intel HD Audio
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth Integrated Stereo A2D (2.1 + EDR)
  • Sony “Motion Eye” webcam and mic
  • Standard 2-cell, 2500 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Size: 9.6 (W) x 0.78 (H) x 4.72 (D) inches
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs with standard battery
  • Starting price: $899
  • Price as configured: $1499

Build and Design
Along with the new Sony VAIO P comes a new look. It’s still the same size and the lid still has round edges, but the actual casing has been improved to feature a non-glossy finish, meaning no obvious fingerprint smudges get left behind on the outside. The screen is still glossy, though; so expect some fingerprints and the inevitable reflections of light. This netbook still has the “fashionable” feel to it because of the sleek outer design, even without the glossy casing. The colors available at the moment of this review on Sony’s online store are only pink and black, but our model is white.

The build of the refresh is the same as last time – strong enough to be thrashed about in a backpack or purse without any harm coming to it. The fact that it is no longer glossy will help to prevent minor scratches that may have been a problem before.

On the downside, it’s still built with an Intel Atom; but on the upside, the Atom is significantly improved with speed and cache size – last time the model we reviewed featured a 1.33GHz, Z520 Atom and our refreshed model features a Z550 Atom at 2.00GHz, 512 KB cache.

Ports and Features
Just like the last version, this netbook series features more ports than most larger notebooks. It comes equipped with two USB 2.0 ports, one headphone jack, an SD card slot, a MagicGate HG Duo memory stick slot, and an expansion port. The expansion bay came included with the old version, but it is now being sold separately for around $60. It features external display and LAN/Ethernet out and hooks directly into the A/C adapter for easy portability.




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