I have spent a good portion of my lunch break on trying out Sony's VGN-UX17GP which is now currently available in your local Sony Centre. It is priced at NZ$2999.95 (Pricey).
I like a few things about it, and dislike a few things about it... have some reserved thoughts about it.
Well, it has a good holding design. It feels solid and I can grip it nice and firm with good amount area that you grip and not feel like too big or too small to hold. It almost feel like holding Xbox Controller-s.
The initial thought was... "Oh it is so small and petite." Then my sight set on to touchscreen, it is very nice, bright and clear, however very small in terms of the resolution versus screen size. 4.5" diagonal with 1024x600 is just too small to view at, even though I have good eyesights, it can quite a struggle for me to view. Although the zoom-in and zoom-out will help but it display the magnification in a very odd scale, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x and 3x and the display of the magnified area is not that elegant to view at.
There are a number of ports/connectors like USB (upper left), Memory Stick (top right), headphone and microphone (bottom middle), CF card type-II slot (upper left), and a/c power-in (bottom left). On the front view left side, you have mouse button 1, mouse button 2, then set apart a little bit, you have mouse center button, follow by the 3x3 quick launch button, and a slider switch for wireless. On the right side, you have mouse-point (nipple-style) with action button (push), zoom-in and zoom-out, then a tri-state power switch with hold-neutral-on. On the top, you have a capture button for activating the camera.
On the screen part, you have biometric fingerprint scanner, and a VGA motion-eye camera, on the back you have a 1.3mp camera which you have the infinite/macro switch (top) to select the right mode of shooting. The camera quality is acceptable, certainly is useful for fun moment rather than the replacement for your 6mp camera.
With the screen slides up, it reveals the thumbboard. Now I have read from other reviewers on other UX models, today it is my first hands-on personal experience on this model. My view is that... the keys are too flat/shallow to make good typing useful. Having said that, I don't expect to write essay on it for a length of time, but I can't expect myself to reply quick enough on IM or IRC (for those Geekzone Chat moment) as the keys are too hard to "feel" and flat along with the case. I tried typing into notepad with short paragraph to see how it feels, in that short period, I made more mistake than if I am to expect WM Transcriber to recognise my handwriting. It is okay to use, just okay, but be sure you have great eyesight, and good fine-size fingers/thumbs to type.
The unit comes with a docking cradle, as well as a travel port replicator. docking cradle has VGA-D-SUB 15 pin connector, IEEE 1394-4pins connector, 3x USB 2.0, a/c power in, A/V out and an Ethernet LAN connector. the A/V/Lan adaptor has A/V Out, VGA D-SUB 15 pin and an Ethernet LAN connector.
I think this unit is great. Ideal for myself IF only I can use my UMTS/HSDPA pcmcia card with it. It responses well, amazing for Core Solo 1.2GHz with 512MB ram. Intel GMA 950 is doing well, video playback is well. Certainly good for watching your downloaded movie clips on full 1024x600 screen nicely. It will be a crowd-drawing device when say, you take a train/commuter/bus to work etc. I was going to get it, and use it together with my UMTS but since it doesn't take PCMCIA card, that made me think twice, and also with price tage of $2999.95 just push the notch up into "Umm, can't afford this baby" zone.
I just hope to see there are more ultra mobile devices that run Windows XP Pro with a bit more "classic laptop" feature like PCMCIA card, while maintaining small device design.
Other related posts:
Apple new MacBook and MacBook Pro
[Update] Logitech Harmony 880 Review
Faulty RAM sparked a reborn for SBS@home
Comment by Vodafone geek, on 28-Jul-2006 20:05
You should check out the UK announcements this week about the alliance between Palm, Microsoft and Vodafone. Might save the cost of the Sony. If you wish hard enough you might get your touchscreen smartphone device with a sim card running on HSDPA before Christmas. PS: Give your old pcmcia card away. Have you checked out the Novatel Merlin u870? Could be faster than ADSL.