Sony Vaio P (VGN-P588E) performance and benchmarks


How well Windows Vista runs on the 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor isn't a new topic of discussion, and the Sony Vaio P isn't the first device to be an example of the combination. The Kohjinsha SC3 and Willcom D4 UMPCs have both been home to the OS/CPU duo for the past six months, yet just about any mention of the Vaio P is immediately followed by a comment about how ill-suited the operating system is for the mini notebook as though such an assessment is a revelation.

Why this is happening isn't a mystery, of course, as Sony is a mainstream company recognized by the masses, the netbook market is still on fire (my opinion that the P is not a netbook is not a widely held one), popular opinion on Vista is still low, and calling something "overpriced and underpowered" has a bit of a ring to it.

But if you ask me, Vista runs just fine on the Vaio P.

Yes, the fact that my unit (VGN-P588E) has an SSD makes a difference, but it isn't what separates good performance from poor performance. My Willcom D4 has a hard drive and half the RAM of the P, and I think I showed in my video demo that Vista isn't the bane of the computing world that it's usually made out to be.

It's important to keep in mind that what's acceptable to me won't necessarily be acceptable to you. We all have unique needs, preferences, and expectations.

This is one of the reasons I don't put any stock in benchmark results; they're meaningless to me because what a computer scores in a certain area isn't always directly related to how it feels when in use. But I understand their value, so here are the Vaio P's numbers. Note: All tests were taken with the P using the Vaio Optimized (balanced power plan) mode.



Thanks to jkkmobile for the CrystalDiskMark tip!


Now on to some numbers that are more meaningful to me: timed tests and CPU load/usage. Note: These tests were done with Windows Aero disabled, Vista lightly optimized using some of these tips, and 10 startup items.

Timed Tests

Cold boot:
1 minute, 33 seconds
to desktop
16 seconds
1 minute, 10 seconds
to desktop
6 seconds
3 seconds
Awaken, connect to internet, launch Firefox:
10 seconds
Launch Firefox:
4 seconds
Open Control Panel with Firefox, iTunes,
 Skype, and Adobe Reader running:
3 seconds
Switch to Classic View in Control Panel with
Firefox, iTunes, Skype, and Reader running:
3 seconds

CPU Load/Usage

10 tabs open in Firefox, playing YouTube:
75% load
Streaming radio with Pandora in Firefox
with Adobe Reader open:
40% load
Streaming radio with Pandora in Firefox with
Adobe Reader open while on active Skype call:
80% load
Streaming radio with Pandora in Firefox with
Adobe Reader, Skype (inactive), and Solitaire open:
45% load
Streaming radio with Pandora in Firefox with
Adobe Reader, Skype (inactive), Solitaire, and
IrfanView open while typing in Microsoft Works Word:
60% load
2 tabs open in Firefox, playing 720p WMV HD video
 in Windows Media Player:
75% load
2 tabs open in Firefox, playing 1080p H.264 HD video
in Cyberlink PowerDVD8:
70% load
Playing 720p WMV HD video in Windows Media Player
55% load
Playing 10280p H.264 HD video in Cyberlink PowerDVD8:
50% load

My typical usage of the Vaio P (and any computer, really) usually consists of nothing but Firefox running with about 5 tabs open, so I am obviously not a power user with demanding requirements. For my needs, then, I have no complaints about the P's performance.

:: Visit the Vaio P forum to connect with other owners and potential buyers, share tips, and troubleshoot. ::

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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