Wow! Is It Really a Computer?
Currently claimed to be the thinnest notebook on the planet Earth, the Sony X Series commands a pile of banknotes that is not thin at all. Courtesy of Sony Indonesia
This particular computer – or netbook, to be more precise – never fails to make people say, “Wow!” And when they lift it from my hand, sound a louder, “Wow!”
Who would not go “wow” to this very thin netbook? It is only 13.9 millimeters thick and weighs only 699 grams. It is easy to think that it is a mockup, not a real computer.
But, press the power button and a green light flashes. The very thin screen comes alive and Windows 7 Professional loads in less than 60 seconds. Wunderbar!
Courtesy of Sony Indonesia, I had a full week to tote this computer around, awing friends and clients.
Now, let us have a look at what makes this super-thin netbook float effortlessly.
Let us start with the processor. Unlike the netbooks of yesteryear, this one comes with Intel Atom Z540 under the hood. The clock speed is 1.86 gigahertz and it has 2 gigabyte of RAM.
The hard disk is made by SanDisk Corporation. It is a solid state drive (SSD), because it would be impossible to fit a conventional hard drive into the case.
The SSD capacity is 64 gigabytes. Be careful, though, as the system and other Sony applications already take up around 20 gigabytes.
The size of the wide-format, backlit screen is 11.1 inch. Most netbooks are still 10-inch, and only a few such as Dell Mini 12 has a larger screen.
Windows 7 allows us to use the medium font-size, which makes the characters on the screen fairly readable without requiring us to change the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Turn on the Media Gallery, and we are wowed by stunning colors. For a netbook, the audio is not disappointing, either.
What other amenities are available? This netbook was launched a couple of months ago and comes with two USB ports, a headphone jack on the left, and a VGA output port and a specially designed Ethernet (RJ-45) clip on the right.
The RJ-45 port is designed differently, as an ordinary port does not fit into the thin chassis. A pair of card readers is on the front side. The touchpad is a multi-touch with two ordinary looking buttons. Although, there is no switch to temporarily disable the touchpad.
In regards to connectivity, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is a hardware switch on top of the keyboard to turn them on or off. A utility helps turn both or either one on.
The standard battery has eight cells. Most other netbooks now only have six cell-batteries.
Originally, they used three-cell batteries, which had a bit more than one hour battery life. With the eight-cell battery, Sony claims the netbook has up to 3.5 hours of typing time without being tethered to the wall outlet. By the way, the power brick is small.
There is also an optional battery pack that attaches to the underside and functions as a stand. Sony says it provides 14 hours of working without the AC adapter. The two feet at the back can be flipped open to lift the rear of the netbook for a more comfortable typing angle.
Two colors are available – black and gold. The gold is certainly more attention grabbing.
What to watch for? Although Sony has stress-tested the carbon-fiber body of its X Series, you should not abuse it.
You will need to handle this beauty with care. It would be a pity to scratch the attractive brushed aluminum cover.
The underside, toward the rear, gets hot over time. This is expected for a computer as thin as this. You just have to be aware.
The good news is, unlike the bottom, the keyboard only becomes slightly warm.
No product is ever flawless. But this one seems to be mostly composed of good things: A stylish design, incredibly thin and lightweight, a Windows Experience Index of 2.4, a bright LED backlit screen, a smooth keyboard and Windows 7 Professional.
Oh, but there is one thing about this netbook that I can complain about: It costs US$1,399 at bhinneka.com. That, to me, is a serious issue.