Sony insists that its P-series isn't a netbook but, apart from the price tag, it's hard to deny that there are some striking similarities. The processor, for instance, is an Intel Atom Z520 running at 1.33GHz, and only the 2GB of memory sets it apart from the rest of the pack.
The extra memory does little to help performance, however. The combination of Vista Home Premium and the low-powered Atom left our benchmarks limping to the lowest score on test: a pitiful 0.16. Spending a few minutes with the Sony was enough to make the XP-powered netbooks feel turbo-charged.
The P-series is incredibly slim and light - weighing just 618g - and even manages to feel relatively sturdy despite its insubstantial figure.
That fine figure doesn't, however, leave much room for the essentials. As the least expensive model in the P-series family, the VGN-P13GH/Q has only a tiny three-cell battery - a choice that, despite the modest processor, provides just 3hrs 11mins of light use.
The provision of a 4200rpm, 60GB hard disk is pretty meagre, too, and partly responsible for the poor performance. But there are some highlights: draft-n wireless, Gigabit Ethernet and a 3G modem give the P-series the lead when it comes to networking, for example.
It isn't hard to be a little impressed by the P-series. The keyboard doesn't have much in the way of feel, and the 1600 x 768 display leaves text painfully small on occasion, but the fact that Sony has managed to squeeze in a usable keyboard and high-resolution display is pretty impressive.
Alas, it just isn't enough to make us want to spend nearly $1400 for the privilege.