Sony Finally Caves, Launches Netbook

In January, Sir Howard Stringer showed off the company's Vaio P-Series Lifestyle PC. It wasn't a netbook, except it kind of was. In response to all the, "why would Sony launch a $900 netbook and refuse to call it a netbook?" press, the company said it would not be releasing a netbook because the whole netbook market was “a race to the bottom.”

So completely ignoring all of that, Sony has introduced the Vaio W-Series, a $500, 10 inch netbook based on Intel's Atom. A 1.6 GHz CPU, 1,366 x 768 display, 160 GB HDD, 1 GB of RAM, 2 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g, an SD reader, as well as support for Sony's own Memory Stick Duo, Windows XP Home, VGA out, and a webcam.

Expected availability is set for about August and customers will have a choice of white, brown or pink. For those of you interested in how the Vaio W measures up to the Vaio P, check the table below. Bear in mind we don't have an official specs sheet for the W-Series (the press release was pretty skimpy on details) so we're just filling in parts we do know.

[UPDATE] Updated to include official specs from Sony spec sheet.

Sony Vaio P-Series
Sony Vaio W-Series
8 inch, 1600 x 768, LED backlit
10.1 inch, 1,366 x 768, LED backlit
CPUIntel Atom 1.86 GHz
Intel Atom 1.66 GHz
StorageUp to 256 GB SSD
160 GB HDD
Expansion slotsMemory Stick PRO (Standard/Duo) media slot with MagicGate functionality, SD memory card slot
Memory Stick PRO (Standard/Duo) media slot with MagicGate functionality, SD memory card slot
Connectivity802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth,Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband Built-In
802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth
Audio out, 2 x USB 2.0, Display/LAN adapter port
Audio out, 2 x USB 2.0, VGA, Ethernet
Windows Vista Home Premium (32 bit)
Windows XP Home Edition (32 bit)
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  • scook9
    well if it is ION and 50 cheaper, I'd consider that the netbook that I would buy if it gets a 3rd USB and wireless n and a webcam.

    So I guess Sony actually still has a ways to go.
  • dark_lord69
    All netbooks are crap.
    This one would be decent if it was the ION platform...
    BUT if you are going to spend that much you might as well buy a full size, faster, and all around better laptop.

    You can get a nice laptop for $600-$700 with a MUCH better cpu, more memory and a bigger screen.

    Don't waste your money on a stupid trend.
    These crappy low powered overpriced "NetBooks" are exactly why Sony said: 'the whole netbook market was “a race to the bottom.”'
  • Shadow703793
    Why the downgrade on CPU and RAM?

    And why no black/red?