Sony VAIO VGNP15GG notebook

Sony's "pocket style PC" is slim, sexy and stylish, but does the VAIO VGNP15GG notebook have enough grunt under its hood?

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Sony VAIO VGNP15GG
  • Sony VAIO VGNP15GG
  • Sony VAIO VGNP15GG
  • Sony VAIO VGNP15GG

Pros

  • Stylish design, compact and light, good keyboard, clear display, noise-cancelling headphones included

Cons

  • Price, no touchpad, sluggish when running Windows Vista, no free upgrade to Windows 7, battery isn't great

Bottom Line

There is no denying the Sony VAIO P Series' portability and style are compelling. However, the Sony VAIO VGNP15GG certainly doesn’t come cheap and performance isn't up to the standard we expected. Still, there is simply no denying its aesthetic appeal and if you want a tiny notebook for travelling, there is plenty to like.

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Sony's latest P Series VAIO is described by the company as a "pocket style PC". It's quite possibly the sexiest, smallest and most stylish notebook we've ever laid eyes on. It's dubbed the "world’s lightest 8-inch notebook", and Sony is keen to state that, as its premium price tag suggests, the P Series VAIO isn't a netbook.

The Sony VAIO P Series consists of four models. The entry-level Sony VAIO VGNP13GHQ retails for $1399, while the top-of-the-range Sony VAIO VGNP15GG (our review unit) will set you back a whopping $2099. Most netbooks cost less than $1000, so the VAIO P Series notebooks certainly aren't the most cost-effective solutions for working while on the move.

The Sony VAIO P Series is obviously all about portability and style. The Sony VAIO VGNP15GG is small enough to fit into a back pocket and light enough to carry almost anywhere. It doesn't follow the conventional notebook design: it's wide and short and has a rather odd display resolution of 1600x768. Although the screen is bright and crystal clear, the resolution means text is very small. We were often left squinting when reading text and had to zoom in on Web pages and documents to ensure we could see properly. That being said, it does a fantastic job of displaying video content.

Sony VAIO VGNP15GG

The Sony VAIO VGNP15GG is one of the smallest and lightest notebooks we've ever seen. It's compact enough to fit into a back pocket and light enough to carry almost anywhere.

The Sony VAIO VGNP15GG's display has a glossy finish, but reflections are less of an issue than with similar sized screens on some notebooks, and it's surprisingly easy to keep clean. Viewing angles could be improved; horizontal angles in particular are quite poor and viewing even slightly off-centre results in plenty of colour shift. You'll need to sit directly in front of the laptop for the most effective viewing experience.

The notebook's build quality is good considering the tiny size, but the Sony VAIO VGNP15GG's screen does exhibit some flex when pushed. The hinges feel sturdy and an assuring click can be heard when closing the display. The plastic casing above the keyboard does bounce a little when pressure is applied and the corners of the body do creak occasionally when pressed. The Sony VAIO VGNP15GG is a quiet machine but heat is an issue — the base becomes uncomfortably warm after even a short period of use.

The Sony VAIO VGNP15GG's keyboard is great despite the small amount of real estate. The keys are well spaced, large enough to type comfortably with and tactility is excellent. There is no palm rest, but the thin design of the VAIO VGNP15GG means that you can use your desk or table as a palm rest without affecting type speed or accuracy.

Sony VAIO VGNP15GG

Despite its small footprint, the VAIO VGNP15GG's keyboard is comfortable to type on and the keys are well spaced

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