Designing the Vaio P

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Interviewed by Chinese site cool3c and translated by Engadget Chinese’s Andy Yang, Vaio P designer Takuma Tomoaki shares the inspirations that went into Sony’s incredible laptop.

Central among the concepts was designing it around the experience of typing. This shows, if nothing else, that Sony understands netbooks well, even if it ostensibly wasn’t trying to make one. Compare to Apple’s coy and deliberated mismeasure of the niche: “the iPhone is our netbook.”

Other highlights: Takuma Tomoaki drives a Mini Cooper; they had to make the display a little smaller to fit the radio antennas in, and different parts of the chassis are made of different materials to match the likely circumstances that each side typically gets dropped on. A collection of delightfully weird accessories were ultimately left out to keep the price tag under $1,000.

Seeing Takuma’s sketches makes me want it more than any slick marketing copy or clever art-promos. The single best ad for the Vaio P is the man who made it, saying it was designed to be the smallest possible laptop that still has a decent keyboard.

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Engadget translation [Engadget]
Original interview [Coolc3]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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6 Responses to Designing the Vaio P

  1. dargaud says:

    #4: Linux and Emacs ? Yeah right. I do a lot of image work, where you view the thumbnails and drag/drop them onto their destination. I’m afraid you can’t do that in Emacs, ‘Dave’.

  2. things says:

    Very interesting. I agree, reading how it was designed is much more powerful than any marketing.

    Any word on how Ubuntu runs on this? All people seem to be talking about is how poorly vista runs on it.

  3. zuzu says:

    Looks great but it uses a nipple. Who has ever managed to do anything with those things ? Can’t they make a foldable touchpad?

    Or install Linux and EMACS, and use the keyboard for everything.

  4. zuzu says:

    Or get a Bluetooth optical mouse.

  5. Rob Beschizza says:

    When we get one, we’ll be doing the lot.

  6. dargaud says:

    Looks great but it uses a nipple. Who has ever managed to do anything with those things ? Can’t they make a foldable touchpad?

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