The idea of a compact netbook with 3G connectivity is intriguing. Add in Sony's slick styling and it is even harder to resist. Yet as a real computing device, the Vaio VGN-P19WN/Q Series is a failure.

The problem is poor performance, and the cause is Windows Vista. Yes, it's a good-looking OS, but Vista places big demands on hardware – demands that the Atom processor fails to meet.

The P's performance in even simple tasks is so slow as to be unusable. Full responsiveness from a cold boot can take 10 minutes, opening apps takes an age and routine drag-and-drop operations from USB thumb drives can bring things to a temporary halt.

Making matters worse, Sony has saddled the P with unnecessary software bloat. Especially odd is the decision to configure Internet Explorer with four homepages, lengthening the load time dramatically. That's an easy fix, but it's symptomatic of Sony's failure to think of the end user experience.

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