The Sony Vaio W-Series will be remembered as the first Netbook range launched by the Japanese consumer electronics behemoth as it finally succumbed to the allure of one of the fastest growing segments in tech.
But Sony is still avoiding using the term "netbook" to define the product in its press release, preferring to use the expression "mini notebook" instead
The device bears a prominent Vaio logo and as one have expected you will be paying dear for the branding (ed: Sony's Netbook kind of resembles Samsung's NC310 thanks to its rounded and chubby profile).
At £499 (the expected UK price), the Vaio-W comes with an Atom N280 processor running at 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, Intel GMA 950 Graphics, W-LAN b/g/n, Webcam, Bluetooth, 3.5hr battery and a 160GB hard disk drive, which is the average configuration you'd expect to find on standard netbooks.
But the screen resolution it offers - 1366x768 pixels on a 10.1-in screen - is worth applauding as it brings the netbook into HD-ready territory although we doubt that the graphics subsystem will be able to cope with that.
The Vaio-W comes in three classy colours - white, pink, black and brown (though only for business customers) - and comes with a soft case and a matching USB mouse if you don't want to use the rather large mouse pad.
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Sony's Netbook is set to be launched in August leaving only Panasonic and Apple as the two main notebook manufacturers without a Netbook in their range. But then, Apple and Panasonic probably think that they do not need any netbook anyway as this may altogether kill their higher end "prestige" range.
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