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Even though it's a known fact that the Vaio P is locked down to Verizon Wireless in the US because Sony "decided not to fully utilize the opportunities of Gobi," the WWAN chipset that supports both EV-DO (Sprint/Verizon) and HSPA (AT&T/T-Mobile), a common question about the P is still whether or not it has a SIM card slot.

The answer is yes, the US models do have SIM slots . . . that are filled in with plastic and completely inaccessible. Well, sort of. As you can see in the photo above, I did manage to tear out the plug and get my AT&T SIM card in there.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First things first. Where is the SIM card slot located?

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That's an easy one: inside the battery compartment.

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Now the hard part. How do you get that piece of plastic out of there?

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Not easily. Oh, and with an x-acto knife and a pair of tweezers.

There was some definite wiggle room underneath the piece but none on top of it. My husband (who performed the extraction) couldn't get anything into the top; we thought the piece might have been part of the actual back casing, which is why we decided to saw it off.

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I thought that maybe the part we could see was just a door/plug. If we could break that off, maybe everything I needed would be behind it. Maybe rather than manufacture two different versions of the internals (the UK versions have functional SIM slots), Sony just covered up the slot for the US.

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Okay, maybe not.

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But that sure looks like a SIM card imprinted on the board. I don't see any of the pins or brackets that should probably be there, but let me stick my card in anyway and see what happens.

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Okay, that was dumb.

The plastic piece isn't a plug/door to the SIM slot; it's a portal to a cavernous underworld where things go in, but don't come out. Not without a piece of tape, anyway!

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Fortunately, all I had to do was put the battery back on and the problem went away. No external evidence of any sort of tampering, prying, yanking, or scratching.

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Just the Sony Vaio P and a couple of SIM cards that will never go back inside it.

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