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Sony Vaio U70P Wi-Fi micro PC

Smaller than a laptop, bigger than a PDA - the perfect PC size?

The Type U also comes with fully featured docking station that angles the screen perfectly for working at a desk. Integrated into the docking station are four USB ports, a four-pin FireWire port, a D-SUB for connecting the Type U to an External monitor, an Ethernet port and the power socket.

Sony Vaio U70

Also bundled is a cute little fold away USB keyboard, that's a perfect partner for the Type U when it's in the docking station. Despite being completely flat, the action on the keyboard is pretty good, although the selector buttons are too close to the Spacebar and I found myself hitting them by mistake. There's also a trackpoint mounted at the centre of the keyboard. Finally, there's a padded case that the Type U slips into, to keep it warm and toasty when you're carrying it around.

When you consider that the Type U is a full PC, the potential uses are limitless - why synchronise your PC Outlook with a PDA when you can carry it with you in it's entirety? You could use it to give presentations via a projector with Wi-Fi functionality, or you could just while away a long flight watching DivX movies.

Of course, although I say that the potential uses are limitless, there is nothing that I could honestly say that I need the Type U for, nothing that I currently can't do with another device with relative ease. But ultimately that's what makes a product like the Type U different from so many others, it's not about need, it's about want.

Absolutely everyone that I showed the Type U to wanted it, although no one had any real need for it. It's one of those devices that just elicits completely irrational desire - logic and common sense go out the window, and you're just filled with the desire to own one of these miniature marvels.

Sony Vaio U70

If you are overcome with desire for a Type U, you're going to have to find a retailer that will ship you one from Japan. Then you're going to have to completely nuke it and re-install an English version of Windows so that you can use it properly. That said, there are rumours that sales of the Type U in Japan will be coming to an end soon, and that production of a US version may start. If this is true, you'll find it easier to get hold of one and you won't have to re-install the operating system.

As far as I'm aware, there are no plans for the Type U to come to Europe officially, which is a shame. I can understand why Sony is reluctant to invest in a European roll-out, since the cost of language and territory customisations would be prohibitive for a low volume product such as this.

However, it's important for a company like Sony to keep showing the world that it can design ground breaking products that its competitors can't compete with, and with the Vaio Type U, it has done just that.

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