Teardown: Inside the Vaio X, Sony’s 1.6 pound masterpiece
Measuring only 0.55 inches thin, and weighing about a pound and a half, the Sony Vaio X is a spectacular device. It weights about half as much as the Macbook Air, and is about 0.2” thinner than the Air’s thickest point.
The Vaio X features an 11.1” LCD, SSD hard drive and Intel Atom Z550 2 GHz processor. Sony also squeezed WiFi, WWAN, GPS and Bluetooth into the X, giving users a ton of connectivity options. The device runs for 3.5 hours on the standard slim battery, or up to 14 hours with an extended battery that attaches to the bottom of the netbook.
How did Sony fit all these features into a 10.95” x 0.55” x 7.29” package? The core component of the Vaio X is the densely packed motherboard, above. To get an idea of how tiny this motherboard is, take a look at the two silver USB ports on the right side of the motherboard, each of which is only about a centimeter and a half wide.
Sony manages heat produced by the Intel Atom by covering the processor with a duct that vents air out of the back of the Vaio X. An SSD sits to the right of the processor duct. With no moving parts, the SSD also helps to decrease heat while improving battery life and durability.
WiFi is powered by the green Atheros card on the bottom left side of the device. A Bluetooth card from Broadcom sits to the left of the WiFi Card. Remarkably, this card is only about 2.5 cm long and less than a centimeter wide.
Finally, WWAN and GPS features are powered by a Qualcomm Gobi card that attaches to a separate module. The Gobi2000 is the large silver device in the picture below.
The Vaio X is really a piece of work. Sure, the Atom doesn’t give you much power, and the device’s $1,299 retail price is a bit steep for what is essentially a netbook. But as these internal pics show, the Vaio X is in many ways an engineering marvel, and certainly worth the price in my opinion.