[Vaio X Teardown (6)] Display Unit Thinner Than Expected

Nov 17, 2009
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The rear panel for the display unit. It is equipped with a wireless LAN antenna (upper left), a 3G antenna (upper right) and a Bluetooth antenna (lower right).
The rear panel for the display unit. It is equipped with a wireless LAN antenna (upper left), a 3G antenna (upper right) and a Bluetooth antenna (lower right).
[Click to enlarge image]

When we broke down the display unit, it separated into an LCD panel and a rear panel equipped with antennas. The LCD panel looks like Toshiba Mobile Display Co Ltd's product.

"This is so thin," an engineer said. "The display unit has the same design as before. But it is very thin this time. I think it is thinner than the display unit we use."

The rear panel contributed to the thinness of the display unit. It is difficult to reduce the thickness of material while ensuring its fire retardancy.

"Sony wants to sell the same product outside Japan," an engineer said. "But it is legally difficult to do that without ensuring fire retardancy. I believe that the company has already solved that problem."

The LCD panel is also very thin.

"It seems that a 0.37mm-thick glass plate was thinned to about 0.21mm by grinding," an engineer said. "Our company also achieved the thickness of 0.21mm, but this looks a little thinner."

"Usually, we do not make this much effort," an engineer said. "The total thickness does not change much even if the thickness of a display unit is reduced. Normally, we make efforts to reduce the height of keyboard instead."

Engineers felt that every part of the Vaio X shows ingenuity.

"I felt that Sony put its whole heart into developing this," one of them said. "I would like to have a drink with the designers of the Vaio X. I think I will find a kindred spirit in those people."

As for the employed components, the Vaio X is the integration of the best possible parts, engineers said. For example, if Sony had designed a PC that is very difficult to reassemble after being torn down, like the MacBook Air, the company would have not had to make that much effort. They were impressed by the fact that Sony realized the slimness while following basic design rules.

"I was surprised that Sony engineers were allowed to make efforts to realize such thinness," an engineer said. "It requires cooperation with production plants. At which phase of the project, the plants started to be involved? No matter how much enthusiasm the engineers have, it wouldn't be possible to realize such a design without the cooperation. Manufactures and engineers have to share the same spirit."