"Great concept, bad execution. UX series 50 180 280 360"1.5 starson by shinklee
Pros: Portable, 5 hour operation on extended battery.
Cons: Extrememly difficult to use keyboard. Old, slow EDGE wireless.
Heres another thorough review I have time to offer the readers here at CNET. I offer my review without recourse from CNET advertisers, completely unbias and very insightful.
I have tried all the UX series. I am currently on the UX360 which uses the SSD memory. They are all the same except for memory configurations and slightly different CPU speeds. In America they come with ATT/Cingular CF EDGE cards.
Good battery life with extended battery (5 hours).
Built in camera, one in the front, one in the back.
Built in keyboard.
Built in Bluetooth, cellular wireless and WiFi
Intels video chip is just fast enough to play non demanding video games. Its no Nvidia and don't hold your breath for a GeForce in a handtop device. A handtop device just cannt handle the colling, power and space requirement for such high power chips. But it does a good job for most tasks.
The screen is pretty good in terms of color and contrast. The screen is shinny though, but there are screen covers to help with this.
Touch screen is great when using it on a desk. Just point and click, no need to drag the mouse.
Built in cameras.
Built in fingerprint reader.
Extremely bad execution of most of the above good concepts.
Keyboard is extremely difficult to use, my tiny Blackberry keyboard works better. Aftter 7 months of use I still cannt type more then one word with out making typos. Even during slow, careful typing, one cannt help making a typo every 10 characters or so.
Thying anything requires going back and editing all the errors.
Camera - The camera is not compatible with most video capture software, even Sony's own video editing software is not compatible with the built in cameras. Its a $100 software that cannt even deal with its own hardware. The problem seems to be with the hardwarre and driver.
Cellular wireless Internet - Instead of using the newer and about 10x faster UMTS standard, it uses the old EDGE technology. Its too slow for web browsing and too slow for emailing attachments. ATT/Cingular mobile Internet cannt handle a moving connection. Anything the user switches from one tower to another the connection is lost. Both EDGE and UMTS from ATT/Cingular must be connected from a stationary point. Even then the connection times out after a few mintes of inactivity and requires the user to reconnect.
The screen is only vertically 600 pixels. Anything less then 768 pixels tend to be incompatible with XP and Vista programs. Often program windows will be off the screen. Especially dialog screens that require a OK or Cancel.
30 Gigabyte SSD leaves only a few Gigabytes for the user to install their own programs. A large portion of the memory is used right out of the box for the OS CDs and other software backup. The user has almost no room to install their own programs. Forget about installing itunes and a library of CDs. Forget about installing videos.
The volume from the built in speakers is sooooo low its impossible to hear something like youtube without a headset.
VAIO events manager is buggy. It often crashes. This manages the user interface for activating or disabling the various wilress conneections such as bluetooth, wifi and wiwan. So expect a lot of reboots to get the wireless working.
The touch screen is of the old simple type. It can only handle a single point. Unlike the iphone which has the multipoint detection capability.
The fingerprint reader, as all finger print readers of this type is very fussy, and requires several attempts to recognize a finger.
Its still a buy recommendation, but only for those willing to deal with the above compromises.
There seems to be a terrible marriage between the software engineers and hardware engineers. This is common on all computers.
Biggest problem is the keyboard.
Its is immpossible to type more then 10 characters without producing a typo. Most common typo is that characters are missing. 2nd common is that adjecent letter is pressed.
For those who require a high speed cellular data connection, WAIT ! until a upgrade to umts is offered or until a umts card is built into the device. EDGE is usless. Its about the speed of a dialup and latency is much slower then even a dial up.
Besides even with umts one has to use the device from a stationary point, because ATT/Cingualr does not support handing off a data connection between towers.
However, assuming the user is stationary, and patiently reconnecting every few minutes, and using a USB dongle for UMTS, the speed is very adirable. Over 1 mbps download and about 500 kbps upload. I was able to view youtube without any problems, except for the constant disconnections. But for UMTS I had to have a huge USB dongle sticking out the side of this handtop. Its very awkward and diffcult to use with it on.
The built in EDGE for ATT/Cingular is tooooooo slow for anything but simple text email and cannot be used in a car or even while walking. UMTS option for the CF slot is not offered and ATT/Cingualr has no word out that they will allow EDGE/UMTS to be mobile.
The unit can be hacked to use tmobile EDGE with little better results in terms of staying conected, but its still slow.