The Micro PC Talk Sony Vaio UX First Impressions Thread

Talk about general micro PC topics here.
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Postby cimino » Mon Jul 28, 2008 05:56


I wish you luck with Vista. I remember being sucked in by its pretty effects, but eventually I had to stop deluding myself and realise that my UX (same specs as yours) just wasn't powerful enough to run Vista comfortably. I _upgraded_ to XP tablet edition and haven't looked back. Of course, everyone has different expectations of performance. YMMV.

Yeah, my fan is kind of noisy too and runs all the time. But it definitely changes speed depending on CPU load. If it bothers you that much, try downloading Notebook Hardware Control and you can try tweaking lots of power settings. This is definitely not a quick fix though.

I use a little program called Sound Volume Hotkeys to adjust the volume. Really easy to use, just [Windows key] + arrow up/down.

Did you notice that US models have a SIM card slot? It's not all that useful though and I find it more troublesome than useful. You can unlock it to work on carriers other than Cingular but it doesn't do voice. I just pair my UX up with my regular phone over bluetooth when I need mobile internet.

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Postby robax » Wed Jul 30, 2008 06:53

Vista is anything but pretty effects, but granted, XP provides plenty of functionality for most.

Thanks for the pointer to NHC... I checked it out and was able to confirm that the cpu was being throttled correctly. I've decided to buy a spare fan unit while the parts are still around and see if I can make it quieter. The temperature is pretty low at around 42 degrees max, so there's a bit of room to play with.

For the volume I've programmed the zoom buttons to do the duties and that is fine, but now I'm leaning more towards using them as scroll buttons.

I did notice that there was a version with a SIM slot, but I really meant I'd want the UX to be more purposefully designed to be a phone. I was tossing up between a tiny new tablet like this or a new VGA phone to replace my QVGA model and the tablet won out.. but of course now I'm still carrying two things around with me. Next time I replace these gadgets I'm sure there'll be a suitable device.

Since the other day I've ordered some screen protectors based on forum reviews here, and will probably get a spare stylus as well from somewhere.

I've also checked out Origami 2 and whilst it's pretty good, it goes against the reason I bought a proper PC in the UX. They should be targeting Origami at Windows Mobile devices. I'll definitely be using the Origami 2 web browser for casual reading however.

Overall performance remains excellent for my purposes. I think the worst bit is the need to concentrate on the text when reading. It's just too small to glance at casually now and then unless it's held closer than I'd normally hold something I'm reading.

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Postby Scottlfa » Wed Jul 30, 2008 16:05

Thought long and hard on which umpc to buy to replace my over worked zaurus. I didn't want an amped up but in the end very limit pocket pc again (have a 4705 for that). I looked closely at the Fujitsu, UX and OQO models, ruled out the larger umpc's. The Fujitsu lost due to size and the OQO lost due to numerous flaws.

I have a UX280P (Sim Card Model) and I love it. Its been on my hip or in my carry all everyday since January when I got it off eBay with a BIN of 650 US. I have learned to deal with each of its nuisances.

Having built in wwan access rocks for me, I hated tethering my phone to the laptop. This feature was one of the BIGGEST ones for me.

The units size is almost perfect for me, albeit Z size would have been perfect. The keyboard took some getting used to but, I have become proficient in using it now :)

Sull's awesome instructions on a custom windows cd worked wonderfully for a clean redo of the unit. I run few if any of the default sony apps. (Posted a modem switch on and off here that uses the zoom buttons). On that note I ran Vista at first, everything was fine till I played WoW ... got ugly from there. Switched to XP useing sulls instructions and it works very well (WoW plays at 20-30 fps which is very good for me, I am used to 15). Gaming is horrible on Vista.

Tried Linux and MacOS too ... too many things not ready to make the full switch for my everywhere computer. Have a Intel Mac, Vista PC and two Debian machines at home to fiddle with -lol-.

Screens good for me too, used to the tiny screen text of the Z so its not too different for me at this point. Did increase font size and changed to neutral colors to reduce the bright white and such.

Anyhows I love the UX,its just small enough to win a place in my carry all (lunch bag).
Desktop Homebrew running Windows 7 [Mid Level Gaming Rig]
UX280 running Windows 7 (Mobile Again)
Asus EeePc Surf 2G (PcLinuxOS 2008-8) + 16GB SD Card & Modded with 32GB Flash Drive internal and Touch Screen.
SL-C1000 running Debian Natively
O2 Exec Pro PPC (Phone of choice)
Dust Collectors;
NZ90 Clie, NX73 Clie, NR70 Clie, Treo 680, HX4705, Palm T|X, I-Mate KJam

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Postby findX » Mon Sep 01, 2008 19:39

i am newbie in here..

i'm bought second UX180 from internet in my town.. and find this machine is a great,
bundling with wifi, bluetooth, make me feel save to carry out in my bag

except the touch screen still not work..
but still make me amaze working with this tiny machine

very very amaze with the 4.5" screen, picture and video are clear to see in here

at home i connect this machine with 19" external monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse

thanks for the great forum
in here i found a lot information about my ux machine become a great machine ;)


sorry if my language is poor

This is Great Forum

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Postby jasonkimberson » Tue Sep 16, 2008 00:37

My girlfriend said:

"It's not small enough to be portable but not big enough to be a laptop."

I think the device is great but what she said does have some truth to it.

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Postby hazmat » Tue Sep 16, 2008 00:51

jasonkimberson wrote:My girlfriend said:

"It's not small enough to be portable but not big enough to be a laptop."

I think the device is great but what she said does have some truth to it.

I would bet that she has a tiny purse not much bigger than a set of keys to go with that little black strapless and also special shoes that you can wear only with one outfit...she should know lots about specialized devices.

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Postby ss1ng » Sun Nov 09, 2008 06:53

Hi, I'm new here..
Just got my UX38GN last month. After using it for 3 weeks, I felt that Vista was very slow, so I installed it with Win Xp Home ed (Thanks to Sull's driver package). Everything's great now except the keyboard, still trying to get used to it..
Anyway, great forum, I find lots of information here....:)

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Postby uxjunkie » Wed Nov 26, 2008 21:03

Just received my UX390N an hour ago, so these are really "first" impressions.

Screen: Excellent
I was a little concerned about the small 4.5" screen size before I ordered, but the text is legible and the screen is nice and bright. I wouldn't want to use this screen all the time, but Sony did a good job with making a screen that is just the right size. Vista looks great on it.

Keyboard: Good
After reading so many posts about the keyboard being bad and Sony engineering the keyboard poorly since the keys are flush with the device, I actually don't think it's that bad. Of course, it's not excellent. If the keys were like the keys on my Treo, that would have been a plus, but it's not poor either. I can browse the web and do whatever I need to do with this keyboard while I'm on the go. I don't see it as a real problem.

SSD: Excellent
This thing is lightning fast. Seeing Vista boot up so quickly was a pleasant surprise. There's currenly 10GB free on the 32GB drive, so I'll have to deal with the space constraints, but I just purchased a $97 16GB Sony Memory Stick from Amazon and hopefully that will be fine for storing all of my documents, etc.

WiFi: Excellent
Yes, it's not the latest, greatest or fastest, but the speed is acceptable to me. I wasn't planning to download movies to the UX anyway, so for casual web browsing and FTP'ing files, it's perfectly fine.

Bluetooth: Excellent
I was easily able to tether my Treo to my UX. Took a few minutes to figure it out, but once I did, I was online pretty quickly.

Battery life: Poor (updated)
In power saver mode, I get a little more than 2 hours of battery life out of the standard battery, but the downside of this mode is that the screen is fairly dim. The extended battery is a MUST with the UX. For quick trips to the coffee shop, 2 hours is fine, but if I'm planning to be out for more than a couple hours, I take my regular Sony laptop with an extended battery. I'll be buying the UX extended battery soon for sure.

Fingerprint reader: Excellent
The fingerprint reader is almost a necessity for a device like this. Kudos to Sony for adding one.

WWAN: Undecided
Not planning to use this. Tethering to my phone works fine and saves me the cost of an extra account.

Docking station: Excellent

Mouse: Excellent
The rubber mouse pointer and the buttons are very easy to use. I thought I would have to fumble with them to get them working, but they are very, very easy to use. There isn't really a learning curve. Using the pointer is intuitive.

Performance: Excellent
I haven't installed anything major yet, but just playing around with Vista, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it runs as quickly as my other computers. The 1GB memory limit on the UX was a major concern for me because I know how slow Vista runs without enough memory, but for some reason on the UX, 1GB seems to be enough. I don't notice any lag at all compared to my Vaio SZ with 4GB of memory. Now, if I install Photoshop, I'll probably have a different impression, but it's very peppy right now.

That's it so far. My impressions so far are all positive and I am happy to finally own a UX. It is the perfect toy for any gadget lover. Although, my iPod Touch 2G is pretty nice too. Too bad the touch doesn't run Windows.

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Postby BLUES1X » Mon Jan 12, 2009 22:16

Country: Germany
Purchased From: My boss who picked it up somewhere on an international business trip
Purchase/Arrival Date: January 12th 2009


The screen! Seriously, I've had a LOT of high-tech devices go through my hands, from Blackberries to iPhones, netbooks, palmtops, cameras, PMPs and so on... in other words: If it has a screen, chances are I've handled it. And I've heard people gush over the UX's screen but I really didn't think too much about it, because well, people can easily get carried away by a shiny device with a shiny screen... but damn... the first time I saw the crispness of the UX, I was really blown away. This is, without overstatement, the most beautiful screen I've EVER laid eyes upon.

The overall design, like that of almost all Sony devices, is absolutely magnificent.

The form factor and size is wonderful. Yeah, it's "too big for a phone but too small for a laptop"... but THAT'S THE POINT! To me, it fills the perfect niche if I don't want to or just can't lug around a laptop but demand more functionality than what a (smart)phone can offer, the UX is the perfect device. Yeah, it's too big for most "pockets", but I (and I figure enough other people) usually have a messenger bag or similar on them and in those it really takes up little to no notable space.

The versatility, whether you're using an EDGE model or the CF-Slot version (like myself), you can set up your UX for whatever purpose you need it. Whether it's entertainment, navigation, communication or whatever else you may think of at the time, the UX can probably be custom configured with little effort.


The battery, I've heard differing reports of "adequate" to "unsuitable" battery-life with the UX and I obviously haven't really put it to the test yet, but so far I'd take it out of the cradle at 100% battery, go to the bathroom, browse around a bit, nothing special, return to my office after maybe 10 to 15 minutes and see the battery reporting at ~85% Guess I still have to get used to the usability of the UX "on the go".

The keyboard, yeah, it's gorgeous and it's sleek and I don't even mind the extremely limited feedback it delivers when you press a key, but what I DO mind is the fact that it feels like SOME keys offer MORE feedback than others, depending on their position in the layout x( Let's say I can clearly FEEL the "click" of pressing the 'x' while pressing a 'g' is basically not perceivable at all making me double-check the keyboard and the screen regularly while using the keyboard :/ I hope I'll find a capable touchscreen keyboard application in time.

The performance(?), right now the performance completely sucks for me, but this isn't really a "dislike", because I got the UX pre-loaded with a full install of Vista Ultimate and that's patently ridiculous. I wouldn't put together a PC with UX specs and then complain that it doesn't perform well with freaking Vista Ultimate ... So my actual "dislike" would be the fact that the UX (without SSD and U7700 upgrades) requires you to "tailor make" your own OS for optimal performance. I do hope to get around to looking at (and using) some of the optimized configurations posted around here on the forums.

Favorite apps:

None yet, I mean, it's still Windows and I don't really see any reason to like any specific app more on the UX than on any other PC or laptop I've used in the past =)

So yeah, that's me and I'm very happy to now be both a member of this forum and of course the proud owner of (the sadly and unjustly discontinued) UX :D



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Postby Hasufel » Tue Jan 13, 2009 18:11

Here are my impressions regarding my UX92 / extended battery / ssd 64go + u2200.
Although not 'first impressions', as I received the UX on september 2008, they are pretty much the same even after 4 months of intensive use.

Form factor/Design: Excellent

Wow ! I saw the UX a couple of times before but to actually own and hold one is definitely better... Very small, bigger than a n810, smaller than my former Sony C1, almost as small as my psp ... The form factor is perfect for me, weight on balance is 530 grams, I like ! It follows me everywhere, and my co-workers are really jealous seeing me coming to work hands in my pocket. The slider system to reveal the keyboard is really neat.

Screen: Very good

The rendering is crisp and sharp. The screen is stunning. Cramming such a resolution on 4 inches makes my PSP cry for more. Viewing angles are excellent, and one can share movies with a(more) partner(s) on the go.
The touch screen is handy, with the right 'momentum' plugins under Firefox for instance. Touch ability is perfect for some applications (google maps for instance) and games, think 'World of goo'. However under linux the touch screen is average, if not wrong when using your stylus on the borders (software problem tho). Maybe I missed something, I really tried and tweaked, but I forgot about the touchscreen under linux. XP handles it better. A shame, as there are nice linux distros/interfaces optimized for MIDs which would suit the UX perfectly (I did not try Windows 7 / Origami 2 yet).

Battery: Good (extended)

I purchased the extended battery. Up to 6/7 hours when brand new under XP/Vista, less under linux ubuntu (ubuntu draws a bit more power than XP, even with my bad tweaking). The double protuberance of the extended battery seemed a bit odd at the beginning, but then is quite handy and helps holding the UX with the right hand.
Warning about the battery usage: i lost about 1/3 of the battery efficiency after 4 months of pluging / unpluging the UX without taking off the battery. What a shame ! Battery life is now about 4 hours. I'm a bit sad, it's still enough for two movies tho, but is far less than it provided at start. I now charge once the battery until 100%, take it off when on power/craddle, to preserve it. With good management, one could hold the battery about a year or so at say 80% efficiency. The extended battery is(was) a must buy.

Keyboard: Good for the size but could be better.

I prefer the nokia n810's keyboard feedback (about the same size), but with time, one learns to slide his fingers on the UX keyboard. Oddly some keys have more feedback than others. The backlight of the keyboard is really good. No problem to type when on the go on it. Feels very gaming console when using it, yes, it is fun.

Mouse/buttons: Good

The large thumbstick is very accurate. Forget about the mouse click functionnality on the thumb stick, it is too sensitive and can drive one crazy. The left mouse buttons miss some space in between them: I sometimes - in the dark, all right - right click instead of left click. Maybe add some little pin on the left button to let your thumb know that you are on the left mouse button. Zoom in/out buttons are perfect if configured with sound + - on them (who uses zoom features on UX ?).

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth: Excellent

Wi-fi sensitivity is perfect and suits my needs.
Bluetooth was a surprise: pairing with my phone is as simple as 1+1, pairing with keyboard works like a charm. Even under linux. Excellent !
Note that linux wi-fi signal is weaker than Xp's. XP handles about 20% better the Wi-Fi than Linux (now this is only software). I saw mods to extend the wifi range physically, but apart from living in desert landscapes or cracking security of far away neighbours...

Processor: Good

The U2200 is a good processor, its consumption really low compared to the raw output. It's way above atom cpus in processing power, but for my needs, i miss one more core. A shame, that we can correct, thanks to Anh !

Graphical Card/Games/Cameras: Average

Watching videos on the UX is a joy. The UX graphical capabilities are average, but one can go up to 1900*1200 resolution without a problem on external screen, coupled with the UX screen at 1024*600.
Mame works good, neo-geo games render perfectly ... Diablo 2 looks awesome, World of Goo is perfect with the touch screen, most of the flash games work good (even 3d flash games). The only drawback, and you should know it, are flash videos on some sites, choppy ; also, the UX cannot handle HD videos. What a shame.
The cameras are handy. I did some nasty videos without anyone noticing ...

SSD: Excellent

The SSD (mine is a 64gb) kills my raid 0 on my desktop machine (!). You cannot loose your data if the UX drops. Security, lesser power consumption, access times. Data transfer rates are not that high, but you definitively will love SSDs if you can afford them. Applications opening in one second, OS loading faster .... reactivity. The SSD was to me the central piece of the UX, and still is. A great feat on the UX !

Sound Output: Average

Mono sound output, in the rear of the screen. Once you know that, you will find yourself playing with the slider to get more or less sound. Very handy. The sound quality is good, but not very loud.

Docking station: Good but flaw on sound output...

The docking station looks good, and suits the needs. But why only a single video/sound output ? It's such a shame that one cannot access the earphones plug when the UX is docked. Regular earphones won't work when plugged in the video/sound output of the dock, as it will split the sound in half to the speakers and to the earphones. This makes me needing some kind of bluetooth receiver for sound output. Maybe look for a regular 3 pinned plug and use it only to output sound ? I had to use the small extension to access the earplug instead of the docking station to have complete privacy, but the UX was not fairly horizontal to the table.
Note also that the usb plugs -from my experience- located on the docking station seem a tad slower than the USB port on the UX, and are available only when the UX is on the docking station, even if it is pluged-in (a shame; I wish I could be charging my phone on the USB ports of the docking station even if the UX is not on it).

Noise/Heat: Very good

The UX is a quiet machine; the fan sometimes is speedy, but no big deal. No problems holding the unit for hours watching a movie when laying on a couch, as it does not warm much.

Processing power / Os / Overall usability: Good, could be better with core 2 DUO.
And with 1gig of ram more .... it would be perfect !

I use the UX92 as my main computer now since 2 months.
Under Vista, with Adobe Flash, Skype, Photoshop, Notepad, Explorer, Firefox, Winamp, an external 24 inches screen as a second monitor, the UX still manages to get things done, even with as little as 300 mb ram left. The SSD helps a lot the UX : Photoshop, for instance, opens in a breeze, or movies open with zero lag and run under linux ...
Under XP, it's even better ... Yes, adding utorrent and the UX is crawling. Not completely multitasks, but getting there !

Under linux, it's another world: for instance, native 1900*1200 resolution proposed with my external 24" monitor, whereas vista/xp is limited to 1600 resolution (although one can tweak the resolution as explained in the forum). Viewing two videos same time under linux works like a charm.

Additional security with the fingertip reader/encryption, SSD, small size and sexy design : the UX is a very good and unique machine :)
Go get one if you do not already ! Plus, the forums in here are great.

I even consider stamping my applications with a 'made under UX'.
/Happy mode on/
[SIZE="1"]UX92/Ubuntu/Xp - C1MV/Ubuntu/Xp - Aibo ERS 7/M3/Urbi[/SIZE]

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