June 10, 2004

Get Ultraskinny With Sony’s X505 Notebook

Get fashion-model thin with a sleek new notebook: PC Mag has a review, specs, and photos of Sony's latest marvel. "Its latest VAIO creation measures just 0.6 by 10.1 by 8.3 inches (HWD), making it one of the thinnest notebooks we've ever seen. At an astonishing system weight of 1.8 pounds, you won't even notice it in your bag; but considering the system's $3,000 price tag, you're likely to feel it in your wallet." That's no typo -- it's only six-tenths of an inch thick.

The X505 appears geared more for the predominantly mobile than office-frequented worker, since it features "two USB ports, one FireWire port, one type II PC Card slot, and a DC out port... Since there is no built-in wireless, a Sony 802.11g PC Card specially designed to fit seamlessly with the notebook comes bundled with the system." For presenters and wired workers (or perhaps wired presenters ;^), Sony includes a VGA port and 100Mb Ethernet via a funky detachable dongle. Naturally it wouldn't be a true Sony product without the bundled Memory Stick mouse, and an optional $400 external DVD+/-RW drive. Sony claims it maintains a battery life of up to four hours.

Otherwise, it's nicely equipped with a 1.1-GHz Intel ULV Pentium M, 512MB DDR SDRAM, 20GB hard drive, and 64MB Intel 855GME graphics, which is pretty good considering what they had to do to shoehorn it all in.

But to really appreciate this baby's sleek lines, you need to see Engadget's photo or Sony's Flash demo. Wow.

As much as I'm oohed and aahed, I'm afraid it would eventually end up the unfortunate victim of an (un)satisfying crunch while in transit. Ouch.

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard

John, thanks for the best wishes. Regarding wireless for this laptop, Sony does offer a 802.11g PC Card for it, so it's doable. But I agree with you -- I'm much more likely to buy a laptop with built-in wireless so it's a no-brainer as it doesn't take up the only PC card slot available in most notebooks today.

I just got a brand new Dell notebook at work, and it includes Dell's built-in Truemobile card, which apparently supports 802.11a, b, and g. Needless to say, I feel pretty covered for the forseeable future.

BTW, Dell has a slick D/View docking stand for their notebooks -- see http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=IDDTR1&c=us&l=en&cs=19&category_id=5436&page=external

The angled stand elevates the notebook display so it's at a comfortable eye level, it's adjustable, and it takes up noticeably less room than a CRT, with overall footprint being closer to a flat panel display base. Very cool.

Posted by: Jeff Beard at June 11, 2004 05:45 PM

Pricey and gorgeous; but with no built-in WiFi, what's the point?

Good luck in the new gig, by the way...

Posted by: John W at June 11, 2004 11:30 AM