Sony made its first attempt to the Ultra-portable Mobile Computer (UMPC) with the VGN-U series introduced in 2004. In 2006, Sony launched the new VGN-UX series, which was their second attempt at UMPC category.
The VGN-UX series's design is a departure from VGN-U, which has brushed aluminium front and a large (for its size) 5.0-inch touchscreen without built-in keyboard. The VGN-UX has a radically new design, which has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard under the 4.5-inch touchscreen, resulting an overall shape like a portable gaming console. The overall dimensions of VGN-UX is smaller than VGN-U, while having even more capabilities than the latter, and with the new design it is more comfortable to be used with both one-hand and two-hand. The VGN-UX weights around 490g-544g depending on configuration. Due to its capabilities and unique design, the VGN-UX appeared in multiple popular culture appearances, such as Terminator Salvation and Casino Royale. The VGN-UX also has one new feature that the VGN-U doesn't have: a set of front and rear web cameras with 0.3 megapixels and 1.3 megapixels resolution respectively, which could both records videos and take still images using the built-in Camera Capture Utility. The VGN-UX comes in 3 colors, all are equipped with a black screen bezel: Silver as the standard color, a high-end edition with black casing, and a very rare, built-to-order only special edition with dark blue casing which is only available at Sony Store in Japan.
The VGN-UX can be equipped with an Intel Celeron M, Core Solo or Core 2 Solo (later revision model), 512MB (early model) or 1GB soldered DDR2 RAM, a 1.8-inch, 4200rpm hard drive or even Samsung SSD drive, which makes it the first VAIO computer equipped with SSD as internal storage. The graphics is powered by Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 by the Intel 945GMS chipset, which drives a 4.5-inch, touch-enabled panel at a resolution of 1024x600. It is also equipped with an Intel Wi-Fi module, Bluetooth, GPS (in select models), EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA capability (in select models), a pointing stick with accompanying left- and right-click buttons, one USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm audio in and out jacks, built-in fingerprint reader and built-in Memory Stick Duo and CompactFlash reader, and comes with a dock which provided extra ports such as AV out and IEEE 1394. As mentioned, the VGN-UX is also equipped with front- and rear-facing cameras. A "CAPTURE" button is placed near the top right corner of the machine, just like a real camera would, enabling users to handle the machine like it's a camera and shoot photos. The VGN-UX is preinstalled with Windows XP Home Edition/Professional (early models) or Windows Vista Home Premium/Business (later models).
The VGN-UX launched in 2006 with a price starting from $1800, with prices over $3000 if one is equipped with an SSD, which was a very pricey technology at the time. With such price the VGN-UX is not intended to appeal to the mass market, instead it attracted those who sees ultimate portability as the most important aspect of having a new PC. The VGN-UX is often regarded as one of the best computers Sony ever made due to its ultra-miniature components and overall design, same as the PCG-X505. 16 years after its launch, the VGN-UX has become a machine that is highly sought after by many VAIO, Sony or even ordinary PC collectors due to its distictive design and rich feature set. Used VGN-UX usually goes for at least $200 today, with even higher prices for black or blue colored machines.
Processor: Intel Celeron M 423, Core Solo U1300-U1500 (early models)/Celeron M 523, Core 2 Solo U2100/U2200 (later models)
Graphics: Intel GMA 950
Display: 4.5", 1024x600, reflective, with resistive touch panel and stylus
RAM: 512MB (early models) or 1GB DDR2 400/533MHz, soldered
Storage: 1.8", 4200rpm, UltraATA/100, 20/30/40/60/100GB HDD or 16/32/48/64GB Samsung SLC Solid State Drive
OS: Windows XP Home Edition/Professional (early models) or Windows Vista Home Premium/Business (later models)
Weight: 490-544g (depending on configuration)
MSRP: Starting from 1800 USD
Daily Usage Today
With the small package of VGN-UX, the machine is not able to equip with better hardware at the time like Core Duo or more memory. Due to its soldered single-core CPU and limited RAM capacity, the VGN-UX is unable to keep up with the latest OS and applications, which makes using the machine today a difficult task. The battery life is also a concerning issue as well, as the battery life was already not good when it was launched. With batteries losing their capacity over time, it is harder to use the machine on the go for a prolonged time. If you can find a new battery for the VGN-UX, there may be a chance that you can run it for 1-2 hours. Keep in mind that this machine runs very hot due to the high heat produced by the CPU and chipset, and thus Sony implemented a throttling policy for these machine, which throttles the CPU to 800MHz once the fan starts running. With such limitations, it is not recommended to use this machine as a daily driver. If you really want to use it daily, installing lighweight OS like certain distros of Linux may help run smoother.
This section is WIP. Content will be added shortly.
This section is WIP. Content will be added shortly.