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8-inch portable computing wonder: the Sony VAIO P

Sony has always been known for their stunning yet uniform designs in their VAIO lineup, and this one is set to continue the trend. Being part of the VAIO P lineup, it retains the oversized-pocket-book design like by its predecessors. Of course, this makes it look a little dated (the P series was launched early last year), but like what some people always say, good design is timeless.

The VAIO logo is also embossed onto the lid with bright, shiny chrome, like all of Sony’s other ultraportables sold under the P Series’ banner.

Located of the left are the essential ports: the charging port sits at the extreme left of the thin panel, while a single USB 2.0 port and headphone jack provides just enough expandability for casual, everyday use. Also located here is the hardware switch for the wireless card.

In contrast, the right side is a lot more spartan: an additional USB 2.0 port and the obligatory slot for a Kensington lock. For those of you who need to hook up the device to an external display, Sony has kindly provided a single HDMI port.

If you carry your work around in the form of memory cards, fret not: located at the front of the ultraportable lies a built-in SD card reader. There’s even an additional Memory Stick slot located next to the SD reader, but it will probably see limited usage at best: we just cannot think of many gadgets on the market which still make use of Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick technology for storage purposes (save for Sony’s own devices).

Here’s the view of the back of the VAIO P, with the battery taken out. Notice that Sony had kept the rear of the device extremely clean: you will not find any heat vents, screw holes or anything of that sort. Which also speaks a lot about Sony’s design philosophy regarding its mobile computing products.

Also hidden underneath the battery is a SIM card slot, although closer inspection suggests that our review unit does not have a built-in modem for mobile broadband (it did not show up under ‘Device Manager’).

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