Since so much is being made of the P's 9.6" x 4.7" x 0.8" body and its pocketability, I went a little overboard for this one and corralled more devices than usual to address the question of size and also lightly touch on the whole "is it a netbook?" debate.
From a design perspective, which is where Sony wants us to view it from, the Vaio P doesn't really look like anything else on the market. Yes, its form factor is that of a standard notebook, but clamshell devices with screens and keyboards can still be very different. Whether it's price, feature set, or components that differentiate one gadget class from another, categories exist for a reason. The lines that separate certain devices are definitely blurring more quickly these days, but for now, my personal affection for compartmentalization and organization remains strong.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the P next to some gadgets that "belong" to predefined categories and see how it fits in.
I've always considered my Sony Vaio TZ (11.1" screen) to be a subnotebook because of its size and weight.
If I was forced to choose an existing category to put the Vaio P in and I couldn't use my preferred "mini notebook" term, I'd call it a bigger-than-it's-supposed-to-be UMPC.
I have slider, slide-and-tilt, and clamshell UMPCs; the P looks out of place with all of them if you ask me, but my arm could be twisted to say that it "belongs" based purely on specs and price. Below you'll see the unit with the HTC Shift, Willcom D4, Sony Vaio UX180P, OQO Model 2+ (on loan from Intel), Kohjinsha SC3, and Fujitsu U810.
Being the stickler that I am, the only real MID among the gadgets you see below is the BenQ S6 (also on loan from Intel), but I won't argue with anyone who uses the term in reference to the Archos 5, Nokia N810, Nokia N800, or Sony mylo COM-1 and COM-2. They are mobile internet devices in the most general sense, after all.
Here are a few additional comparisons I staged from some reader requests.
(A Wii game case is the same as a DVD case, right?)
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