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Sony Prepares Mini Laptop to Compete With EEE, Wind, Aspire One

There's a scramble going on as to what company is going to launch the successor to the widely popular Asus EEE PC Laptop; Sony is also reluctantly joining in with an unnamed sub-laptop which is said to be based on the Via OpenBook Platform.

Sony has a long history of using underpowered processors to power its minuscule laptops; a few years ago, it launched a range of Vaio ultra-laptops using the Transmeta Crusoe CPU which was slower than a Pentium III 700MHz.

A video made by PC Advisor shows a small but rather thick laptop which sports a VIA 1.GHz C7-M processor, a VX700 chipset, a 8.9-inch 1024x600 px screen, 1GB RAM and a 60GB hard disk drive.

Obviously, there's no space for an optical drive and although this is a prototype (no Sony badge on it), it is still a major boost for VIA after HP also used the processor in its 2133 sub-laptop.

The Sony mini laptop is expected to be manufactured by Quanta and ready to ship by the end of this year.

The launch of such a product from the Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer represents a true change of heart; back in February 2008, they expressed their nervousness openly when talking about the market being flooded by cheap laptops.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.