Sony's Flash-based UX390 UMPC: Like a $2,500 Sidekick

Sony's VAIO UX390 is one of the few UMPCs out there with a flash-based drive. It's got Windows Vista installed and of all the UMPCs around, it's the only one that can give OQO's Model 02 a run for it's money. The question is, does it? The folks at CNET gave it a test spin and deemed it the best UMPC they've seen to date. They loved the 32GB flash drive, the extended battery life, and the UX390's ports. So is the Model 02 DOA? Not so fast.


Ok, so what do you get. Aside from Wi-Fi and built-in EV-DO, the UX390 has a cool design (for a UMPC) in that the keyboard is hidden underneath the screen, just like a slider. The keyboard is backlit (nice touch) and lets you thumb it out BlackBerry style, but CNET found it hard to use and not very responsive. Luckily the 4.5-inch LCD doubles as a touch-screen, so navigating with the stylus is your best bet. Reading web pages on the thing sucked though cause of all the scrolling you have to do.

The solid state hard drive makes the UX390 shine when it comes to battery life. You can expect about 3 hours of web-browsing time. That's kinda meh when compared to an ultraportable, but it's good for a UMPC. Overall, CNET liked the UX390 a lot. The question is, should you buy one. For $2,499, I'd say get an ultraportable. Shoot, get the VAIO TX. Unless of course, you don't mind shelling $2k for a fancy Sidekick.

Sony VAIO UX390 [CNET]