Sony Japan has just put up a product page for the latest entry into the VAIO line-up of computers, the Sony VAIO W series. Though there is no mention of a netbook in the translated version of the web page, the W series features hardware more commonly found in netbooks, such as the Intel N280 Atom Processor (1.66 GHz). The computer also runs Windows XP with Service Pack 3.
The W series will be available in 3 colours (white, brown and pink) and features an isolated 'chiclet' style keyboard similar to the one found in the CS series. Judging by the pictures, the touchpad seems off-centred, with the surface incorporating some interesting art designs. The chassis seems mostly plastic and looks surprisingly ordinary for a Sony computer.
'Cheap' and 'affordable' are not the terms commonly used to describe Sony's VAIO notebook line. Even the modestly powered Sony VAIO P series retails for around US$1,000. In fact, the P Series sparked a huge debate when Sony vehemently denied that it was a netbook, since it "doesn't cut corners in style or performance" and hence warrants its high price tag. The W series seems more 'netbook-esque' than the VAIO P and it wouldn't be too surprising if Sony confirms that it is indeed a netbook. It has none of the 'premium features' that the P series possesses and hence it should be reasonable to expect Sony to price it competitively.
Hardware and software specifications:
- Operating System: Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 32 bit
- Processor: Intel N280 Atom processor (1.66 GHz) with Intel's SpeedStep technology
- RAM: 1GB DDR2 533 MHz
- GPU: Intel GMA 950
- Display: 10.1 inch (16:9) WXGA 1366 Ã— 768 with LED backlight
- Storage: 160GB HDD 5400 RPM
- 2 X USB 2.0 ports
- SD/MMC reader
- Memory Stick Duo/Pro reader
- VGA output
- 10/100 LAN
- 802.11b/g/draft n wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 2.1
- 'Motion Eye' Web cam
- Intel High Definition Audio compatible
- Built in stereo speakers
- Built in microphone
- 3.5 Hours battery life
UPDATE: Sony representatives have confirmed that the W series is Sony's first line of netbooks. They will retail in August in the United Sates for $499.