Tuesday, July 7th 2009

Sony Vaio W 10.1-inch Netbook Announced

Sony's Vaio P elite netbook claimed top notch hardware specs when it was first unveiled, but its price made it unattractive to buyers, so now it is time for it to step down in flavour of the new Vaio W netbook. The new VAIO W sports a useful 10.1-inch LED-backlit LCD display that offers a better-than-usual resolution of 1366x768 pixels. Available in berry pink, cocoa brown or sugar white it also brings with it a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280 processor, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics and a 160 GB hard disk drive. Like most netbooks, Sony VAIO W comes with Microsoft Windows XP OS installed, other trimmings include Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n, VGA out, two USB ports, Ethernet, webcam, and a MemoryStick / SD card reader. The system should launch in Japan this August with an estimated retail price of ¥60,000 or around $500. Read the full press release below.


Sony today took the wraps off its chic new line of mini notebooks- the VAIO W Series.

Featuring an ultra-portable design, the W Series is perfect for using as a secondary PC, in any room of the house, for surfing the web, checking e-mail, and social networking.

The W model comes in three vibrant colors- berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown. A more subtle shade of the exterior hue finishes the inside of the PC while the touchpad is lined with a splash of brightness.

"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 Mike Abary, senior vice president of the VAIO business group at Sony. "And it's sturdy enough for the kids to use, making it perfect for every member of the family."

The W Series incorporates a high-resolution, 1366x768, LED backlit 10.1-inch (measured diagonally) ultra-wide display, making it easy to view two full web pages- no side-to-side scrolling necessary.

The model features an isolated keyboard with springy and responsive keys making it comfortable and easy to use. Its carefully designed touchpad and mouse keys make the PC functional and mouse movements easy to control.

The W Series unit is ENERGY STAR 5.0 compliant, EPEAT Gold registered and incorporates eco-conscious features such as a mercury-free LED backlit LCD. Its corrugated cardboard packaging is comprised of 95 percent recycled content. Sony will also help recycle your old PC (sony.com/green; recycling fees may apply).

The model comes with VAIO Media plus Multimedia Streaming software, a media sharing application that lets you wirelessly stream content across DLNA-enabled devices throughout your home network. Stream video, music and pictures from your W Series to your compatible primary PC or PLAYSTATION 3 and vice-versa and enjoy your content anywhere in the home including on your big-screen TV.

Easily transfer data, such as photos from your digital camera or music from an MP3 player, to and from the PC with the unit's two convenient USB ports. Incorporated Bluetooth technology enables peripherals such as a wireless mouse to be utilized without tying up the unit's ports. A built-in webcam and microphone let you video chat with family, friends and colleagues. A third-party internet service provider is required.

A roomy 160GB hard drive has been included providing ample storage for all your photos, files and videos. It comes pre-installed with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition operating system.

The VAIO W Series mini notebook will retail for about $500. It is available for pre-orders today online at sonystyle.com/pr/w. It will also be sold at Sony Style stores and at other major retailers around the country starting next month.
Source: Engadget
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12 Comments on Sony Vaio W 10.1-inch Netbook Announced

#1
Wile E
Power User
When am I gonna get a 720p dual core atom ion platform 10" netbook? If I'm gonna pay $500 for a netbook, that better be what it has in it.
Posted on Reply
#2
gvblake22
by: Wile E
When am I gonna get a 720p dual core atom ion platform 10" netbook? If I'm gonna pay $500 for a netbook, that better be what it has in it.
Several companies have plans to release Ion based netbooks with an Atom processor and GeForce 9400M IGP capable of 720P playback. Check out the upcoming Lenovo S12 for example.
Posted on Reply
#3
Wile E
Power User
by: gvblake22
Several companies have plans to release Ion based netbooks with an Atom processor and GeForce 9400M IGP capable of 720P playback. Check out the upcoming Lenovo S12 for example.
A little too large, but still worth considering. I prefer to stick with the 10" formfactor. I also would like the ATom dual core, unless Nano proves to be able to play HD content without need of the gpu.
Posted on Reply
#4
gvblake22
by: Wile E
A little too large, but still worth considering. I prefer to stick with the 10" formfactor. I also would like the ATom dual core, unless Nano proves to be able to play HD content without need of the gpu.
If you want to watch HD movies at full resolution a 10" screen is really pushing it. For watching movies on the go, I would rather squeeze 2 extra inches into my bag than have to watch movies at less than 720P or a small screen. Having 1366x768 resolution on a 10" screen like this Sony Vaio W is not typical and I would be surprised to see any more netbooks available like that, let alone one based on Ion (or some other hardware capable of HD playback). I think that S12 is the best of both worlds, especially if they can indeed get the nVidia IGP to work with a Nano processor.
Posted on Reply
#5
Wile E
Power User
by: gvblake22
If you want to watch HD movies at full resolution a 10" screen is really pushing it. For watching movies on the go, I would rather squeeze 2 extra inches into my bag than have to watch movies at less than 720P or a small screen. Having 1366x768 resolution on a 10" screen like this Sony Vaio W is not typical and I would be surprised to see any more netbooks available like that, let alone one based on Ion (or some other hardware capable of HD playback). I think that S12 is the best of both worlds, looking forward to full reviews.
I don't think it's pushing it at all. I want the formfactor, but I also want the resolution for improved web surfing. HD playback is just the added benefit.
Posted on Reply
#6
lemonadesoda
w00t! Sony Notebook at cheap prices (compared to their premium ultra portables!)

This is definitely going on my check it out list, esp. with what looks like:

1./ Matte screen
2./ Non-sticky-in-the-heat trackpad

DOWNSIDE:
1./ Silly magicgate prop slots. We WANT SSD thank you
2./ Non ION, but Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950


Posted on Reply
#7
DaveK
I don't see why 720p screens aren't normal, there's a 720p screen in Sony's DSC-T900 camera which has a 3.5" screen, if they can put that in a camera, why can't other companies put it in a netbook?
Posted on Reply
#8
lemonadesoda
^er, Davek? Am I missing something? A 768 screen can play 720 content, AND WITH A TASKBAR or window frame or subtitles out of the main frame, as a bonus. Or the extra 48 pixels can be faded to black... and is visually no worse than the surround bezel of any TFT.

Why would you want LESS resolution in the y?



More specs in the PDF here: http://vaio.sony.co.uk/pdf/GeneratePdf.action?product=VPCW11S1E%2FT&site=voe_en_GB_cons

LOL at the fingernails.... Must be the "pink" edition ;) ->
Posted on Reply
#9
DaveK
by: lemonadesoda
^er, Davek? Am I missing something? A 768 screen can play 720 content, AND WITH A TASKBAR or window frame or subtitles out of the main frame, as a bonus. Or the extra 48 pixels can be faded to black... and is visually no worse than the surround bezel of any TFT.

Why would you want LESS resolution in the y?
I should have worded my post better, I meant to say other netbooks should use 1366x768 (or even 1280x800) screens, if Sony can put a 720p 3.5" LCD in a camera, surely netbook companies can put a 720p capable screen in netbooks.
Posted on Reply
#10
lemonadesoda
Agreed. I'd go one further, and say netbooks would hit a sweet spot with 11" screens but with narrower bezel (same footprint +1cm) but have 1600x1024 resolution for a lot more "y" and PDF readability, turning them into e-book-readers not just mail and footle tools.

EDIT

I just found out while searching the SONY site that the P series (8" screen) is 1600x768. So an 11" screen should be pulling off 1600x1024 or better.


Just found this flash showcase. http://content.vaio.eu/showcase/w/index_uk.html

I think SONY have pulled off what Mac-fans have been hoping for with an Apple netbook. I suspect the SONY will be popular.

Does anyone know if there is a "gateway" brand in the EU? http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668268.php
Posted on Reply
#12
lemonadesoda
by: tkpenalty
nothing about battery life...
In the PDF link I gave earlier, they used "Mobilemark 2007" to analyse battery life as 160 minutes. I dont know how that compares to other netbooks... since I am sure that Mobilemark 2007 tests the machine under load, not idle.
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