The Sony Vaio W has gone on sale in the UK. Retailer Comet has gotten its hands on what is supposedly the first shipment in the region and is underselling Amazon.co.uk by £30 with its price of £399.99.
The particular Vaio W netbook on sale is in white and comes with a 10-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, a chiclet keyboard, and an Intel Atom N280 CPU. Unfortunately, the standard 3-cell battery lasts for a junky 2.5 hours – I’m definitely waiting until I can upgrade to the 6-cell.
Netbooks are supposed to be budget machines, which is why the latest version of the Vaio P has a lot of people scratching their heads.
Believe it or not, the new Sony netbook packs the ungodly price tag of two thousand dollars. That’s one more zero than some cheap netbooks out there, and $1650 more than the average.
While the new Vaio P is a special edition, the original cost $1000. It’s hard to see what the distinction is between the versions, but if I’m going have a chance of dropping two grand on it it had better have features no other netbook can come close to. Like being able to pay for gas, or make me sandwiches.
The first thing we are seeing as 2009 begins is that everyone wants in on the netbook market. Both big names like Dell and Sony and little ones like FIC are throwing a machine at the masses. The most recent release is the Gdium netbook, coming to the US sometime this month.
Details are scant. We know it has a 10-inch screen, and unfortunately it is likely that it will have the same bland specs as everyone else – 1.6 GHz Intel Atom plus 1 GB RAM and some other features.
How does it stand out? The Gdium netbook has something called a ‘G-Key’, which is a bootable USB that stores all the files and even the OS.
It will run Linux, but at an unpalatable price. $400 is generally too high for a Linux netbook, and similar machines will sell for less. Most consumers who are willing to spend $400 will probably drop it on a Windows netbook instead.
According to some early estimates, it seems like the Sony Vaio P – which we covered a few days ago – is going to be the most expensive netbook seen before. The jury’s not out yet on whether we can really call it a netbook, but regardless, we’ve got more info for you here.
The latest clue is an ad on its Japanese website which features a woman reading from an envelope which announces that a new VAIO laptop is on the way.
The envelope thing seems like a clear reference to the Macbook Air ads. It seems likely Sony will try to challenge Apple for thinnest laptop in the near future.
As we noted before, the machine will run Windows Vista Ultimate and have some excellent specs. These include a 1.33 GHz Intel CPU, an 8-inch 1600×786 LED screen, and a 60 GB HDD space with the option of an alternate 128 GB SSD. It will have at the very least 2 GB of memory, which hopefully will be enough to manage Vista. It will be somewhere around 22×11 cm and have a respectively large keyboard. The colors sound elegant – Champagne Gold, Crimson Red, or Black Silk.
This “P-series” VAIO machine was found in the notebook section in the SonyStyle store by someone from jkOnTheRun. Although the picture is a placeholder for a TT-device, this is more info than we’d had before.
It’s got a 1.33 GHz Intel CPU, which has led to some speculation that it uses the Atom chip (although the more popular Atom is 1.66 GHz.) It will shy away from the Ubuntu Linux and XP of netbooks past and run Windows Vista Home Premium or Home Basic. This interesting departure from the standard could be a really good thing, though we’ve heard reports that Vista can be slow on netbooks.
In typical Sony style, the P’s eight-inch screen will have amazing resolution: 1600×768. If your eyes can handle looking at stuff so small, you’ll be a a happy consumer. The hard drive will hold a wimpy 60 GB but you can bump it up to 128 GB if you get the SSD drive instead… which will also raise the price.
It is doubtful that Sony will look to compete for price, which means this new machine may very well cost over $1000. While it may fit in your pocket as in the ad, you may need some pretty deep pockets.
We’ve been intensely following the mysterious new release Sony’s made such a big deal about. Hopes are high that the new machine, which will “change the way you look at laptops… forever” is a netbook.
Both Gizmodo and Engadget have uncovered more clues through Sony’s Japanese site. One is a flash banner hinting at the launch of a VAIO netbook. It should be thinner and longer than the comparable HP Mini-Note.
Hopefully, CES 2009 will deliver all the answers. For now all we’ve got is speculation.