Sony VAIO W series Netbook Unleashed

It’s hard to forget how Sony reacted to Netbooks, back in CES. They literally banged and laughed on them. when they launched P series mini laptops, they stressed that its not a netbook. And now world turns around, Officially, Sony has jumped into the netbook laptop with the Viao W.

The Viao W, however, is officially a Netbook and looks like a netbook, too, and like most Sony laptops, this netbook is one notch better than competition, especially on the screen resolution. Available in pre-order now and release date in a month. Here is the Fact sheet:

  • 10.1-inch 1,366 x 768 screen
  • Intel Atom N280 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 160GB
  • SD slot + memory stick slot
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth
  • webcam
  • Windows XP
  • 1.05 Kgs
  • $500

The 10.1-inch Windows XP-based Vaio W runs on a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280, has 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB SATA HDD. It’s equipped with 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, a built-in Webcam, and offers 1366 x 768 screen resolution — higher-than-usual for netbook screens. (720p)

Unlike many other companies who are aligning with mobile broadband chipmakers and network operators to make their products truly mobile, Sony says the Vaio W is for use in the home as a secondary or maybe even tertiary computer.

To retain the traditional Vaio emphasis on multimedia, the W comes with Vaio Media Plus streaming multimedia software, which lets the netbook interact with DLNA-compatible household devices, such as a PC, PlayStation 3, or HDTV.

The company paints the device as an Internet companion suitable only for the most superficial tasks. Sony’s introduction of the Vaio W in Europe says, “While watching TV or reading a magazine, you’ve probably experienced the urge to look up something on the Internet that you’ve just seen or read but couldn’t be bothered getting up to your desktop PC…” That’s where the Vaio W is useful.

It’s quite emblematic of Sony’s attitude toward netbooks. The $999 Vaio P offers a smaller footprint, is equipped with GPS, mobile broadband, and the same Vaio Media Plus software mentioned earlier, but is absolutely not a netbook. The W, which Sony calls a “mini-note” in English language releases, and an “Internetbook” in Japanese language releases, is stripped of most of its mobility features and is being marketed as a mostly superfluous and unnecessary device. After all, Abary did say if netbooks caught on, “We’re all in trouble. That’s just a race to the bottom.”

If you can be bothered to get up off the couch and buy one, the Vaio W will debut in August for $499, and can be pre-ordered at Sonystyle web.

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  • Tet

    I own one. Not a bad little machine. The extra screen space is very nice, and it gets six or seven hours of battery life with wifi on. Pretty good for something marketed as being tucked into the magazine rack on the side of your sofa and forgotten about. It's a bit pricy for a netbook, but that 768 height resolution on something this small is sooo nice.

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