Sony is aiming to increase its profile in the business computing arena, offering Japanese enterprise users a new Vaio notebook with features sure to appeal to anyone who’s on the go. Although Sony has no plans to market the system outside Japan, the new Vaio G notebook (Japanese) deserves a note, if only because it may be an indication of things to come from the beleaguered electronics giant.
The Vaio G is the first entry in Sony’s new “Vaio Business” brand, and offers a 12.1-inch LCD screen and, with a weight under 2 pounds, it’s the lightest notebook on the market with that screen size. The low weight is the result of a carbon body and heat sink, designed to cool the processor and graphics controller without resorting to a fan. The system claims some 6 hours of battery life, and is shock-protected to withstand a tumble from a table or a desk.
The Vaio G’s run Windows XP Pro, sport Intel Celeron or Core Solo CPUs running at 1.06 or 1.2 GHz, 512 MB of RAM (upgradable to 1.5 GB), and an AC adapter that’s the same thickness as the notebook so storing it in the same bag as the computer is a cinch. The system also sports 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, USB 2.0 ports, a multi-format memory card reader, a PCMCIA slot, and an option for a dual-layer DVD burner. Sony says the system will be available in Japan on December 2, 2006, at prices ranging from about $1,800 to $2,100, depending on options.
Sony hopes the Vaio G improves the company’s profile with Japanese business users; Sony products are well regarded in Japan’s consumer landscape, and Sony laptops are favorites among business customers, despite the recent global battery recalls, but the company’s products aren’t seen as being reliable. To alleviate business users’ concerns, Sony is offering comprehensive warranty and support services to all business users, including a new help desk dedicated to Vaio Business customers, a three year guarantee, and a package which will put a service technician on-site with customers if necessary.
As for U.S. users…well, many just wish that Vaio G would hurry up and hop across the Pacific.