Sunday, April 25, 2010

I've now owned my Vaio P-Series for six months or so, and I'm about done with it.

It's an *excellent* handbag computer. It has, in spades, one of the major qualities that I sought whilst choosing it, which is that it's sized for any bag. I never leave home without it, and it never burdens me down. It has built-in 3G. Even better, it attracts admiration from the peanut gallery whenever I pull it out.

Unfortunately, all the upsides end at the point of turning the thing on. The screen is small, and the resolution is tight enough to make my eyes bleed. Browser windows have to be zoomed in several steps to be comfortably legible at a normal distance (and why doesn't Chrome let you adjust the default zoom level, hmm?), and while the laptop is light enough to hold up with one hand much closer to your eyes, who wants to do that? I've found myself invariably hunching forward when using this device. This is not good.

Even the thing that I expected to be a killer feature - rotating the screen sideways so as to read RSS feeds in full-1600-pixel-length glory - fails miserably on two counts. The first (minor and probably trivially correctable) count is that Win 7 has lost the easy screen rotation keyboard shortcut that Vista had, and you now have to grub through control panels.

But far, far, far worse is that the vertical viewing angle on the LCD is so narrow that when you attempt to use it in portrait form at any reasonable distance (so that the font-size doesn't obviate the whole point of the exercise), only one of your eyes can clearly see the screen at a time! Shortly thereafter the headaches start.

So let's leave aside the thing being netbook-slow and the irritating clit mouse; and give it credit for an amazingly good keyboard for the size, and surprising battery life; and simply state for the record that although I'm going to keep the tinyvaio, as soon as I find something that is similarly handbag-able, it's history.

And no, that doesn't mean an iPad.



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