Thoughts on the Sony Vaio P
I played around with this netbook at Staples yesterday briefly, and came away with two main impressions.
The screen is sharp. Unbelievably sharp. To fit a 1600 x 768 screen into 8” means it has an incredibly small pixels and/or dot pitch. That’s all well and good but. It also means that things are so small it’s impossible to see what’s going on. My old 17” laptop packed 1920×1200 into that size screen and I had to constantly bump the size of fonts etc. up to be readable.
Here’s the weird thing though. In my mind having a high screen resolution is good for two main reasons.
- to have multiple programs running at once arranged how you like
- to display high-def content
I feel like there is no reason to put such a high resolution screen in a netbook. #1, since you are on a netbook you’re probably not going to be having too many programs running at once, which reduces the benefit of #1.
I am not sure whether this netbook is capable of running 720 p video, but the thought of including such a high-res screen for video content strikes me as overkill. Given that 18% of people can’t tell the difference between high def and standard def content on big screen TVs , the extra pixels are really not going to be that noticeable on a crazy small screen.
Finally, it’s doubtful people are going to be watching much hi-def content on this device anyway, given that it doesn’t have an optical drive and only a 60 GB drive standard. I would assume streaming flash is probably as close as most people are going to get, and again they’re not going to appreciate the extra pixels.
So in conclusion, I think the super high res screen detracts from the package – if I can’t see what I’m looking at, then you’ve failed. Yes you can probably set the resolution to something different, but native resolution is always going to look best.
Given what I said about the huge expanse of pixels to navigate, having a good way to move around is very important. The little eraser nub they include simply does not cut it. Again, this is a first impression and maybe it takes a lot of practice to become proficient with the device. But I think people are by and large used to track pads, and will walk away with a very sour taste in their mouth after trying this device out in the store.
I realize that this netbook probably was not designed for me. But I still think these complaints are valid.