Feature Design VAIO P Series
[ March 2009 ]

A heritage of innovation

PCG-C1MZX invited you to take your digital photos and videos with you, for the first time. The U Series introduced a grippable mobile computing format. VAIO models have been there at every turn in the history of ultraportables. The eagerly awaited next stage in this evolution is the P Series, no bigger than a comfortably sized keyboard. Less is more in this polished design, but the VAIO P Series is full of Sony's customary attention to offering people something more.

Shinichi Ogasawara
Shinichi Ogasawara
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Chief Art Director
Tomoaki Takuma
Tomoaki Takuma
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Senior Producer
Shinichi Iriya
Shinichi Iriya
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Producer and Senior Designer
Miho Akita
Miho Akita
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer
Yoko Iida
Yoko Iida
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer

Just what many have craved, keyboard-sized mobility

Ogasawara: To exchange email, view online photos or videos, or check something online, many people just reach for their mobile phone. But that certainly doesn't make ultraportables any less useful. It's easy to imagine where they make sense. Relaxing in your living room, updating a blog with a lot of text, for example. You can't easily jot down notes on a mobile phone, and a full-sized notebook would be overkill. That's when the convenience of ultraportables is very tempting. No other tool comes close, in these situations.

Wireless networks and blogs are more popular than ever, in fact. It would be no fair if techies had all the fun with ultraportables. Subnotebooks can be much more than outdoor gear for tech enthusiasts. What this category needs is something like everyday stationery anyone can just reach for to do a little writing. That's the thinking behind the VAIO P Series, a project born from this necessity.

With this as a priority of ours, we reviewed a range of input devices and looked into quite a few ways people can enter text. We felt out the possibilities ourselves, so to speak, by making many 3D models at actual size and trying them out. The VAIO P Series keyboard represents a solid decision that proved its worth through this in-depth process. It's not a cheap component by any means. And that's how we arrived at the concept of a keyboard-sized unit that offers the great mobility of an ultraportable.

A pure expression of the concept

Takuma: Finding a usable depth, narrow enough to pick up one-handed, was something I spent time on in product design. If it wasn't this size, each time you picked it up to take with you, you'd have to reposition it to hold it securely. This shape eliminates the hassle. Casually lift it from a table, without any effort, just as you would pick up a wallet or organizer—that was a goal. You'd be surprised how many 3D models we made studying the size. Keeping screen size, battery and hard disk capacity, and other aspects of usability in mind, we picked up each one during testing as we narrowed down the perfect size.

Feature Design VAIO P Series

The keyboard itself features isolated keys. It's a traditional format for Sony, introduced in notebooks years ago, and it helps express a sense of originality and distinctive VAIO styling. Women with long nails will appreciate how this kind of keyboard prevents the discomfort of your nails getting caught between keys. It's also nicer to touch the tip of the stick pointer, which is subtly knurled. This makes the pointer durable, easier to keep clean, and more comfortable as a finger rest.

Look at the body, without the screen, and it seems as if we cut the keyboard out of a regular VAIO notebook. Imagine carrying just a keyboard with you. That's the concept, and I think the VAIO P Series is the purest expression of it.

| 1 | 2 | 3 |