Sony unveils tiny wireless pen PC

Sony will ship a keyboardless PC in Japan later this month. But it's no Tablet PC - instead, this pen-operated, wireless-enabled Windows XP machine will be pitched at mobile media consumers.

The consumer electronics giant is billing the Vaio VGN-U70 as the world's smallest full-function Windows PC. The unit measures 16.7 x 10.8 x 2.6cm and weighs just 550g. Much of the machine's face is taken up by an 800 x 600 transflective colour LCD. The display can also operate at up to 1600 x 1200, but at this stage it's not clear if that's a native resolution.

The U70 is operated using a stylus, but the OS is Windows XP Pro rather than Tablet PC Edition. Sony supplies a cradle into which the U50 can be placed and connected to a Palm-style full-size foldaway USB keyboard and have its battery recharged. The U50's stylus is an unusual design Sony calls "fin-shaped", which can be attaches to the machine or kept separate. It ships with Japanese character recognition software.

Driving the U70 is a 1GHz Ultra-low Voltage Pentium M and Intel's i855GM integrated chipset - so yes, it's a Centrino machine. And, indeed, we find the machine has an 802.11g Wi-Fi adaptor built in. It also has a 20GB hard drive and 512MB of memory. There's a USB 2.0 port, and CompactFlash and MemoryStick Pro ports for expansion.

The unit is powered by a slimline Lithium Polymer battery capable of providing around two-and-a-half hours' operating time. Japanese consumers will be able to up that to 5.5 hours, courtesy of an alternative, 'extended' battery. But it added 145g to the weight.

The U70 will ship on 29 May for around ¥210,000 ($1871). Sony will also offer a lower spec. model, the U50, for ¥179,000 ($1595), which contains just 256MB of memory and a 900MHz ULV Celeron processor. It ships with Windows XP Home Edition.1

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News source: The Register

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