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Sony Finally Does a Netbook

Sony NetbookThe last major PC manufacturer who didn’t sell a netbook in the U.S. is jumping into the pool: Sony has announced that its VAIO W will arrive in August. The specs are standard stuff: a 1.6-GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 10.1-inch screen, a 160GB hard drive, Bluetooth, Draft-N Wi-FI, Ethernet, two USB ports, a Webcam, and slots for SD and Memory Sticks. It runs Windows XP. And while the price is a tad on the high side at around $500, the screen resolution is, too: It’s a relatively roomy 1366 by 768. Oh, and the W is available in three colors: berry pink, sugar white, and cocoa brown.

I’m a netbook fan, but most models are starting to blur together, since specs, features, and industrial design are usually similar. (One exception: HP’s upcoming metal-encased, feature-rich Mini 5101.) The industry still has a weird, uneasy relationship with the form factor, but now that everyone’s making ’em, I hope we’ll see a new generation of models with additional features and some creativity in the industrial-design department. (Sony’s VAIO P almost counts as a new approach to the netbook, even though it predates the W.)


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