Our US colleagues managed to be among the very first to snag a coveted Sony Vaio Lifestyle PC, which we covered earlier in the week, so here are a couple of in-the-wild photos, plus some first hands-on impressions.
Despite the small overall size, we found the keyboard fairly eay to use. At first, the lack of a touchpad worried us, but the trackpoint was fast and responsive, and after 15 minutes or so, we got used to navigating with it -- a very light tap on the pointing stick will give you a left mouse click.
The 1,600x768-pixel screen has a higher resolution than many 15-inch laptops. Some initial attempts at online video streaming played fine, and the built-in mobile broadband worked as advertised.
Even with Vista as the operating system, the Vaio seemed to run about as well as any Intel Atom system with XP we've used (2GB of RAM and an SSD hard drive help). With Windows 7, purportedly excellent for netbooks, it would probably fly -- relatively speaking.
It's hard to convey just how small this thing actually is. In the photos below, you'll see it positively dwarfed by an HP Mini 1000.
Stay tuned for a hands-on video, as well as benchmark testing and a full review.