At CES 2010 Sony announced the new Sony Vaio W netbook, which adds a green focus to the netbook and how it’s shipped. I’ve had the chance to use the Sony Vaio W series netbook for a week now and wanted to share my first impressions of the new green netbook. Overall I have found the Vaio W to be a good machine, but I have a few minor quibbles so far.
To start, the Vaio W is a pretty sleek netbook that feels pretty sturdy and looks stylish, except for the battery. Now, don’t get me wrong the prospect of 6-8 hour battery life under real world usage is appealing but I wish the Vaio W didn’t have the snail tail battery that sticks out the back. In the end, it’s no deal breaker and it works as a handle and to prop the keyboard up a bit for a better typing experience so I can let it slide.
Speaking of the keyboard. After a week of usage I both love and hate this keyboard. I love the silver color, key spacing, responsiveness of the keys and the feedback. But the keys are small. While the spacing makes it easier to deal with what really gets me is that the right shift key is one of the smallest keys on the Sony Vaio W. This means I am constantly missing it, which I find annoying.
Then again, when I shared this frustration on Twitter I was asked what I used the right shift key for, so maybe this is a non issue for most of the population. For the record, I have cobbled my own version of home keys meets hunt and peck which serves me well and allows for a pretty crazy fast typing speed so long as know what I want to say.
One thing that I found really useful as soon as I wanted to write a post on the Sony Vaio W, was that it has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768, This is big enough that I can have two windows up next to each other, snapped to the left and the right in Windows 7, and still see well enough to work. This is a huge improvement over the 1024 x 600 resolution of my HP Mini 1000 and even though some text can be small, there’s no way I can go back.
As part of the green theme of the Sony Vaio W, details below, the brown reusable carrying bag made out of recycled juice bottles with a light green zipper accent. I really like the bag because it fits the Vaio perfectly. You can store the battery in a Velcro slot at the bottom of the bag, or if you want to keep it in the netbook it fits that way too. Not a lot of room for anything else, but I found that I can slide a moleskin notebook in alongside the netbook, so it is good enough for daytrips.
The Sony Vaio W has 3 main green “features”:
- 20% of the PC/ABS resin used in the cover, palm rest and incidental parts is comprised of reprocessed plastic from DVD and CD waste
- Electronic user manual in place of the standard 76-page printed manual to save paper
- Packaged in a reusable carrying case that utilizes 100% recycled PET material (material from plastic bottles)
The Basic specs on the Sony Vaio VPCW212AX that I will be reviewing are:
- Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz processor
- 250GB hard drive
- 1GB DDR2 RAM
- “Large Battery” rated at 7-8 hours
- Windows 7 Starter
- Motion Eye Webcam
- Electro-static touchpad
- Wifi b/g/n
- A2DP Bluetooth
- Memorystick slot
- SD card slot
- 2 USB ports
- Mic in
- Headphone out
More info on the Sony Vaio W at Sony.com