Electronics giant Sony has been avoiding the netbook market, once describing the popularity of low-powered, low-cost, teeny form-factor notebooks as a "race to the bottom" that it just wasn’t interested in running. While Apple may still be avoiding the netbook market, however, Sony has officially thrown in the towel with its new Vaio W netbook…and while the specs put it right in line with most other netbooks on the market, Sony did roll in one feature that sets it apart: a 10.1-inch screen with a native 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution.
"The W Series lets you quickly look something up online whether searching for a recipe in the kitchen or relaxing on your recliner—there’s no need to trudge upstairs to your office," said Vaio business group VP Mike Abary, in a statement. "And it’s sturdy enough for the kids to use, making it perfect for every member of the family."
The Vaio W will be available in three colors: berry pink, sugar white, and cocoa brown. Under the hood, the Vaio W is akin to most other netbooks on the market, sporting a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 160 GB hard drive, and Windows XP. The Vaio W can also read SD and Memory Stick Duo media and sports 2 USB 2.0 ports, Webcam, and VGA output; users can connect to networks using 100Base-T Ethernet or 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless networking. The Vaio W also come with Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity, along with headphone and microphone jacks. The mercury-free 10.1-inch LCD display offers the aforementioned 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution, which is very generous for a netbook (where screens typically measure 1,-24 by 600 pixels) and might be enough screen real estate to do use productivity applications meaningfully.
Sony plans to offer the Vaio W for about $500; pre-orders are available today. The machines should be available mid-August.