Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from branded fashion phones to the newest touchscreen PCs.

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By  Imthishan Giado Published  February 28, 2009

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from branded fashion phones to the newest touchscreen PCs.

Sony VAIO

Another day, another netbook - oh sorry, Sony, we're not supposed to call it that. The VAIO P introduced at CES is actually deemed an ‘ultra-portable lifestyle PC'.

Well, if it looks like a netbook, sports an Intel Atom Z30 processor and weighs less than a kilo (640g, to be precise), it's a netbook - in, er, our book. It's all a bit catty and reflective of the current market which is dominated by non-household names like MSI and Asus - and in which Sony would very much like to establish a premium foothold for itself.

The $900 Vaio P represents the Japanese firm's first stab at a product for this burgeoning market and, by all accounts, it's a pretty good one. One of the P's standout features is its 8-inch widescreen display blacklit by LEDs, featuring a surprisingly high resolution of 1600 by 768 pixels. A word of caution though - mixing high-res displays with small screen sizes is usually a recipe for squint-inducing agony, so do make sure that you invest in a suitably lengthy trial period before purchasing the Vaio P.

Sony's other questionable decision is the one to use Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system instead of an XP flavour. Early reports have the P providing only satisfactory performance - perhaps the reason why the firm has included a version of the PS3's XMB interface that provides access to basic functionality much faster than waiting an eternity for Vista to boot.

Our verdict? Enterprises have cheaper and faster alternatives in the netbook market, but for the style-obsessed exec, there may simply be no substitute.

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