So here we are again, another netbook. This time from Sony which I have to say always makes it a little more intriguing. Described by the company as bringing ‘light, convenient, anytime computing’ and making it easy. The Sony Vaio M series netbook is yet another competitor, in an already overcrowded market. However with Sony, I doubt they’ll allow it to be left behind by its rivals, they may have taken their time to get into the netbook market, but they’ve now had a few models with the likes of the Sony Vaio W Series and Sony Vaio X Series.
I’ve written several articles about the best netbooks in the past, and every time it seems I list the same old spec. In this instance though… it’s no different. Intel Atom Processor (N450) coupled with, you guessed it 1Gb of DDR2 RAM. There’s no NVidia ION here, integrated Intel GMA will suffice to provide 1024×600 resolution on an LED backlit 10.1” display. In this department, it’s hard to be complimentary, but as I have found in the past, there is usually something to catch the eye.
In this case, it’s the aesthetics and portability which make this one a winner. It weighs in at just 1.3Kg which is pretty similar to the latest popular offerings from ASUS. The 10.1” display is a perfect size for those who want a machine capable of surfing the net, checking e-mails and such, as well as one they can just slip into their bag and be on their way. The slim nature of the machine also helps in that department.
In terms of looks it is definitely one of the better netbooks on the market. Available in seemingly either black or white with a flush finish and spacious trackpad (for a netbook). On the down side I am disappointed with the lack of chiclet keyboard. The majority of the latest ‘premium’ netbooks come with the modern styling of keyboard and it has proved extremely popular so it’s hard to see why they’ve left it out.
When i say ‘premium’ I have found it hard to tell which category this would fall under. Certainly spec wise it’s nothing of the sort and price wise it isn’t either at around £300. But it’s Sony. And personally, I find it hard to believe that a company such as Sony would release something that wasn’t battling it out with the best in the class. However having said that, it seems this laptop is aimed at the budget consumer for ultimately, pure simplistic computing on the go. After all, isn’t that what netbooks are all about?
With regards to other functionality and features, this machine has built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as 3 USB ports so there isn’t any shortage of connectivity. I assume there will be HDMI output although I believe that has yet to be confirmed, but it seems to be Sony’s choice of video output generally. There’s also Sony’s ‘Motion Eye’ 1.3MP webcam for on the go video calls and such. No word on battery life yet, however I know it to be a 6 cell battery which is probably sufficient, though if it was anything spectacular I’m sure they would be boasting about it. Perhaps good for about 5 or 6 hours.
So in summary, the Sony Vaio M Series netbook really is just another netbook. However think of it this way. You walk in to a shop and you have 2 netbooks side by side. Priced similarly yet one has Sony’s enticing VAIO inscribed into its lid. The other, perhaps from a less luxurious manufacturer than Sony. Come on, which one are you really going to buy?