Size isn't everything

Especially when you're Sony

mobile world

Sony's been making tiny, good looking laptops for ages, so you can sort of understand it being a little bit narked with Asus coming in just over a year ago and stealing its small, light, laptop crown with the launch of the Eee PC.

Small and perfectly formed

The Vaio PCG-C1 - launched way back in 1998 - was one of the first super small, but actually usable laptops.

True, its 233MHz Pentium chip and 64MB of memory would be achingly slow now, but its widescreen 1,024x480 display isn't that far off many netbook resolutions these days. It could also give today's machines a run for their money in the footprint stakes, measuring just 240x140mm and stretching 37mm high.

The reason the Eee PC took off, though, wasn't necessarily to do with the size of its case and more to do with the size of its price tag - super cheap at around £300.

Sony tends not to compete on price - that would be vulgar. Instead, it's more likely to let a lower priced competitor do the dirty work convincing you that you really need a particular product and then step in at the last minute and offer you a Sony version for a little bit more.

In the case of the Vaio P, though, it's considerably more expensive. Asus' most expensive, albeit nicest looking, Eee PC S101 comes in around £450. The Vaio P starts at £850 - that's quite some margin.

True, the Vaio P is smaller, better equipped and has an incredibly high res screen. But it's in a completely different price bracket - one which makes you start thinking about laptops with Apple logos on instead.

Sony may be able to establish a completely new market with the Vaio P - just as Asus and its competitors appear to have done with netbooks. Sometimes, though, you just wish Sony wouldn't make things so hard on itself and just create a small, light laptop that's the same price as everyone else's. Okay, maybe a little bit more expensive - it is a Sony, after all.