Print 41 comment(s) - last by rykerabel.. on Nov 3 at 10:24 AM

Sony thinks small with the world's lightest notebook

While most of the news surrounding Sony has been negative here of late, we've got some pretty exciting notebook news to bring you from the Japanese giant. The company is introducing its new Vaio G series which brings a wealth of features to the ultra-portable notebook scene.

The carbon fiber-shelled Vaio G weighs in at just 1.98 pounds (without optical drive) and bucks the trend of widescreen displays that have pretty much taken over the notebook industry. Instead, the notebook uses a 12.1" XGA screen. The Vaio G features the Intel 945GMS Express can accept mobile Celeron processors or your choice of a Core Solo U1300 or U1400. As far as features go, the usual suspects are represented including 802.11g, Bluetooth, PCMCIA, multi-card reader and fingerprint reader support.

Sony is also making available a version of the Vaio G with an integrated multi-DVD burner. This version also comes backed with a 6-cell battery which bumps battery life from an already amazing 6 hours to an almost unbelievable 12.5 hours. This also pushes the weight of the notebook to 2.52 pounds.

The notebooks will launch in Japan on December 2 with the base model ringing in at just over $1,800 while the upgraded model with optical drive and 6-cell battery will set you back $2,100.

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>5lbs performance laptop?
By MIDIman on 11/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By lemonadesoda on 11/1/2006 12:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes baby, and I'm waiting for my new sportscar that looks cooler than a Porsche, does 0-60 in under 4 seconds and does 100mpg, all for less than $20,000, hot women included.

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By ninjit on 11/1/2006 2:04:25 PM , Rating: 1
Got your car right here:
The only thing you asked for that it's missing is the $20,000 mark - it costs $100,000

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By aliasfox on 11/1/2006 2:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
What's UXGA? 1600 x 1200?

FWIW, the MacBook Pro is *close* to what you want - about half a pound heavier and a slightly lower res screen.

How's about a Core 2 Duo, 8.5" x 11" laptop (just large enough for a 12" 4:3 display and full size keyboard), built in optical drive, 10 hour *real world* battery life, and dedicated graphics at ~4 lbs? That would make me happy.

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By BZDTemp on 11/1/2006 2:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By MIDIman on 11/1/2006 3:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
And WUXGA is 1920x1200...yes, I need that for coding/graphics, maybe not on a 12", but definitely on a 14-15".

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By rykerabel on 11/3/2006 10:18:38 AM , Rating: 2

2+ GHz Core 2 duo: check
2GB: check
1900x1200 wuxga: check
5 lbs: close (8.1 lbs)
x1600 or better: check (7900GTX 512MB)
+ 100 GB 7200rpm also

hows that? (since you didn't mention price)

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By rykerabel on 11/3/2006 10:24:34 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, just reread the weight comment

there is also this:

its only 6 lbs. and has 15.4" screen with a geforce 7600.

The option page states lower resolution, but there is actually a 1900x1200 option that you have to call by phone to get.

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By JazzMang on 11/1/2006 2:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sony VGN-SZ330P

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By MIDIman on 11/1/2006 3:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Slick! But its still lacking in resolution (I have trouble in 1280x800) and the graphics aren't quite up to what I need.

Seriously, I don't think this exists.

RE: >5lbs performance laptop?
By Johnmcl7 on 11/1/2006 6:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, it doesn't exist - notebooks are always a compromise, you have to choose what's most important and what you can compromise on. You can't have it all...


No Vaio for me
By encryptkeeper on 11/1/2006 10:37:13 AM , Rating: 1
There's no way I'd buy a Vaio, too many people have had problems with them.

RE: No Vaio for me
By daftrok on 11/1/2006 11:20:48 AM , Rating: 2
...kinda vague dude. What problems have they had that separates it from Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. notebook problems?

RE: No Vaio for me
By bplewis24 on 11/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: No Vaio for me
By Johnmcl7 on 11/1/2006 3:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm not a fan of Vaios, the ones we've had at work have held up to a variety of abuse over the years.

I bought a TX as it's tiny, light but has an optical drive and superb batterylife, it's also running fine and it's in use most the time.

They're definitely one of the more reliable brands I've worked with.


RE: No Vaio for me
By BladeVenom on 11/1/2006 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
Panasonic's ultra portable laptops are better. More durable, and longer battery life.

RE: No Vaio for me
By feelingshorter on 11/1/2006 4:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yes panasonic laptops are good, but where are you going to buy one in America? Not unusual for Japs to spend 3k on a laptop, but Sony has been making these thin ones in Japan long before this. There are websites out there that sell imported Laptops with top of the line stuff, including the Samsung solid state storage (16 or 32 gig). There are also laptops with CD rom rives that open upwards, where you rest your hand while your using the touch pad. The only reason why i wouldnt buy a Panasonic is that it is expensive, because it has to be imported. This is a business laptop or for people who actually need it. Not designed for some nerd wanting to game. 2100 is a very cheap price for what your getting, compared to importing a Panasonic, and Sony is a solid brand.

RE: No Vaio for me
By Samus on 11/1/2006 6:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
I've owned 3 VAIO's (first was a PCG-R505, now have a VGN-SZ330) since 2000 or so, and I've never had any problems with them. They're wonderful notebooks, although they often come with 4200RPM drives, which is easily upgraded.

In their defense, IBM Thinkpad's usually come with 4200RPM drives too, especially the T3x and T4x series, their TOP model's!

I love my Sony notebooks. Its ironic, because I think most of their other electronics are garbage...although I do use their 3-way xplode speakers in all of my car's.

RE: No Vaio for me
By kkwst2 on 11/1/2006 10:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
No most T4x laptops have had at least 5400 RPM for a while. I agree with the above post that it's generally about compromise. However, most 4200 RPM drives feel too sluggish for me. It all depends on what you're using it for.

Some people love Vaio's, but I'll take the design of my T42.

RE: No Vaio for me
By Souka on 11/2/2006 1:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
When the ThinkPad T30's were being made (4+ years ago), 4200rpm drives were standard, and a few T30's had the new 5400rpm drives.

With the introduction of the T40 series more models came with 5400rpm, with the all but the base model T43, T43 and T60's come with 5400rpm. Base model laptops from ANY manufacturer will have a 4200rpm drive....period...

Anyhow...with regards to this articles ultrathin Viao... I work at a company with over 2000+ sales people in the field.
We use Lenovo for 100% sales force. Typically we issue an X series laptop, but occasionally a T series for our sales guys with "big hands" or "vision issues" because of the 14.1" or 15" screen options.

We have tried HP, Compaq, Sony, Gateway, Toshiba, Panasonic, and even Mac laptops in the field......they all failed. Typical test is to have the manufacturer send us 50 laptops they think would suit us best. We then deploy 40-45 into the field, keeping the rest as spares and in-house eval units.

After being with the company since 1998, we have yet to find a more reliable and lower TCO laptop unit for our field workers....period.

My $.02


3rd picture?
By Xenoterranos on 11/1/2006 11:08:31 AM , Rating: 4
I want to see the third picture in that series where the vaio shatters after being dropped on its corner :)

RE: 3rd picture?
By daftrok on 11/1/2006 11:18:35 AM , Rating: 1
You wouldn't be able to see any damage because the laptop has a carbon fiber shell, so it would just be internal (maybe some monitor damage, maybe)

RE: 3rd picture?
By Trippytiger on 11/1/2006 11:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
Carbon fibre shatters like you wouldn't believe. If the laptop fell from a great enough height, there would be razor-sharp bits of it everywhere.

RE: 3rd picture?
By Pandamonium on 11/1/2006 4:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on what they're using it with. Although possible, a 100% carbon fiber casing is not consumer friendly. The strands are too rough. Pure carbon fiber is, as you indicate, fairly brittle.

But when it's used to reinforce plastics (I only have experience with rowing shells), the composite material does not always shatter. Your generalization is too broad.

Input Devices
By jeffbui on 11/1/2006 10:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
I wish Sony would put a dual pointing device or pointing stick on their notebooks.

RE: Input Devices
By Xenoterranos on 11/1/2006 11:12:55 AM , Rating: 2
But then they'd just be a nicer looking thinkpad :)

for 2100, a laptop that I can pretty much carry in my jacket sounds like a win. If they could squeeze a c2d in there, I couldn't justify NOT buying it.

Except that I don't have 2100$ :(

RE: Input Devices
By Mudvillager on 11/1/2006 11:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
Lol non-ULV merom in a 1.98 lbs notebook? Are you out of your mind?

I'd say $2100 is a great price for what you get. Ultraportables are the only choice for me when it comes to notebooks. Anything bigger just makes it not worth carrying around.

Core solo only?
By encryptkeeper on 11/1/2006 11:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
It has a 945 chipset but it only takes up to a core solo? What's up with that?

RE: Core solo only?
By Donegrim on 11/1/2006 11:18:31 AM , Rating: 2
Could be power dissipation problems. To keep it that light there might be quite a small aluminium heatsink that might struggle with the higher heat output from dual cores. Or that might be totally wrong.

RE: Core solo only?
By JeffDM on 11/1/2006 7:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
The ULV Core Solo consumes about half the power as a ULV Core Duo.

By Mudvillager on 11/1/2006 11:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
I just mailed Sony this 3 hours ago:

I am very curious as to why you've stopped producing X505. I know that you've replaced it with the TX series, but to me and many others the optical drive is just unnecessary weight. There was something about the X505 that made it more than a laptop, just like the iPod is more than an mp3-player (no pun intended to your mp3-players). To me and many others the X505 is the holy grail in laptops. So would you please, please, please consider creating a new version?

Here are some suggestions for it:

16/32GB SSD HDD (prices are coming down at a very fast rate)

16:10 LED TFT 1280x800 (maybe OLED to further save battery, viable in 2007?)

Built-in 802.11g (duh)

No ports except USB to further save weight/space

Intel ULV CPU (maybe Intel Core Solo U1400 5.5W, or Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo U7500 coming in Q2 of 2007)

8h or more battery time (I know you can do it!)

Carbon fibre casing

1.7-1.8 lbs weight

Thought I'd quote the beginning of TrustedReviews review of your X505: Let's get the obvious out of the way first. This latest VAIO from Sony is, without a shadow of a doubt, the coolest notebook computer ever. It's that simple. This is the kind of product that just stops people in their tracks when they see it. Pull this out of your bag in an aiport departure lounge, and your fellow passengers will turn green with envy, and shamefully hide their own big and heavy notebooks under the nearest chair.

If I had believed in a god I would've said he's with me right now!

RE: Coincidence?
By lemonadesoda on 11/1/2006 12:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to ask for a decent 1280x1024 screen for cleartype, email and spreadsheet. That old 1024x768 is no better than my 6 years old SONY Z600. (Which I am still using because I haven't found a suitable upgrade, except to Windows 2003).

RE: Coincidence?
By Mudvillager on 11/1/2006 1:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's the only real turnoff...

By goku on 11/1/2006 7:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
They've had thinner, lighter laptops, I remember when sony 2 years back had a laptop that was less than an inch thick, carbon fibre body, no integrated optical drive and used a PIII mobile processor, now THAT was a thin and light laptop, this isn't so much, unless of course this is just a rehash of that..

By nombrecinq on 11/1/2006 8:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if I could get one of these Sony notebooks, with a Samsung battery ;P

except for price
By mandeep on 11/1/2006 11:00:45 AM , Rating: 1
It's nice!

By captchaos2 on 11/1/06, Rating: -1
RE: Safer!
By daftrok on 11/1/06, Rating: 0
Safety first
By ixelion on 11/1/06, Rating: -1
RE: Safety first
By michal1980 on 11/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: Safety first
By adam92682 on 11/1/2006 12:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
I bet Sony uses batteries from a different manufacturer in their own systems.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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