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|
|Display||8 inch, 1600 x 768, LED backlit||10.1 inch, 1,366 x 768, LED backlit|
|CPU||Intel Atom 1.86 GHz||Intel Atom 1.66 GHz|
|RAM||2 GB of DDR2||1 GB DDR2|
|Storage||Up to 256 GB SSD||160 GB HDD|
|Expansion slots||Memory 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|
|Connectivity||802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth,Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband Built-In||802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth|
|Ports||Audio out, 2 x USB 2.0, Display/LAN adapter port||Audio out, 2 x USB 2.0, VGA, Ethernet|
|OS||Windows Vista Home Premium (32 bit)||Windows XP Home Edition (32 bit)|