The Sony Vaio UX180P Micro PC sure is small, but it packs a lot of power. This gadget is the smallest Sony Vaio you’ve ever seen, and it does just about all that its larger counterparts can do. Will the device make the standard notebook computers obsolete? Not quite. But you’d be hard pressed to find a high-performance notebook computer that’s as portable, weighing in at 1.2 pounds.
How much bang you get for your buck is disputable. At $1,799, this gadget is not exactly a steal. But those people who demand mobility without compromised quality may find the Micro PC to be a wise investment.
The Sony Vaio Micro PC comes with Windows XP installed. And Sony says it will also run Windows Vista, the up and coming operating system from Microsoft. Although it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether Windows XP could be comfortably viewed on a screen so small, the display is surprisingly easy on the eyes.
As far as features go, the Sony Vaio Micro PC has more than enough to justify the price tag. The Micro PC’s features include: WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.2 GHz Intel Core Solo processor, 30 gigabytes of hard drive space, 512 megabytes of DDR 2 RAM, one USB port, a Sony Memory Stick reader, a touch screen, an EDGE radio, two cameras (front and rear), and a fingerprint scanner for added security.
The device comes with plenty of accessories in the box, too. You’ll get a carrying case, a wrist strap, a stylus, and a docking station that has three USB ports, one Firewire 400 port, and one Ethernet port.
The Sony Vaio Micro PC is very user friendly. All the buttons seem to be in the right places. But if you don’t like where they are located, you can customize the buttons to suit your preferences.
The tiny keys on the Micro PC’s backlit keyboard are a little difficult to get used to if you’re accustomed to a standard keyboard. Considering the size of the keys, this is no surprise. But the keyboard is still very usable. Your fingers might tire if you try to type long documents with it, though.
The good news is that you can use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard or a USB keyboard plugged into the USB port on the actual unit or on the dock. This, however, is not always a feasible option for people on the go.
The Sony Vaio Micro PC’s cameras are of acceptable quality. The front camera is useful as a web cam or for taking self portraits, and the rear one is good for general picture-taking.
This Sony Vaio gets a little bit warm when you use it for a while, but not hot like a laptop. The battery lasts a good 3 to 4 hours with typical use. You can watch a movie on it and still have some battery life left. Or you can turn the screen off and use the Sony Vaio as an MP3 player (with headphones plugged into the headphone port) for about 9 hours.
For those who absolutely need more battery life, an extra battery can be purchased from Sony, but the battery will make the right side of the unit larger.
In conclusion, the Sony Vaio UX180P Micro PC can be a useful gadget for just about anybody. Entertainment junkies will love it, and businesspersons will find it is a big help. Because of its hefty price tag, however, this tool is probably better suited for those people who demand extreme mobility and versatility.
People who are not always on the go might be better off with a notebook computer, which can be just as powerful – not to mention more affordable than the Sony Vaio Micro PC.