Sony X Series Hands-On: It Feels Like Special Effects

How light is Sony's carbon-fibre X Series, miraculously the "lightest notebook in the world"? It feels fake, like a trick.

That's in part, because it is trick, since it has netbook guts and Sony's asking you to pay $US1300 for it. But, in your hand, it makes you question how skinny is too skinny, how much weightlessness is an asset before it approaches nothingness. (The fatty VGA port very nearly destroys the illusion, though.) The effect still is remarkable, at least at first touch.

Sturdiness? It borders on feeling fragile, but never quite crosses that line. When you try to bend it, you definitely feel like there's a breaking point that won't require a ton of additional force on your part.

The keyboard layout is around 90% of full sized which is why it feels a little cramped, but I typed better than I expected, honestly, even with its tiny ticky-tacky keys about that fit the fingertips of a small child. The multitouch trackpad only supports zoom gestures—no two-finger scrolling—which are janky at best, at least inside of Internet Exploder. (Sub-question: Why can't PC makers do a decent multitouch trackpad?)

Considering it's a got 2GHz Atom chip, notching it a 2.4 Windows system rating on the one I messed with, it moved pretty decently, more nimbly than I'd have expected, even with Windows Media Center. This is mostly because of Windows 7 I suspect—with Vista it probably would've been tortuous.

Knowing that it's running Atom inside, when it's wrapped in feats of material and sensory goodness, definitely creates a sense of ambiguity, like Sony's repeating the Vaio P all over again. Like it's special effects. Except that it seems like it sorta kinda works this time, which is the actually weird part.