As expected, Sony has entered the netbook market at CES with the launch of its incredibly svelte Vaio P-series 'lifestyle notebook'.
The P-series is touted as the world's lightest eight inch notebook weighing just 636 grams and is the first truly pocket sized netbook we've seen to date. Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer proved the point by pulling one of his suit pocket during his keynote yesterday.
It features a 1,600 x 768 LED backlit ultra-wide display with an eight-inch diagonal and incorporates HSDPA, 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth connectivity options.
Like most netbooks, it's based on Intel's Menlow platform, but unlike every other netbook, Sony has opted for a slower 1.33GHz Atom processor and equipped it with 2GB of RAM. Storage options include a 60GB mechanical hard drive or a 128GB SSD.
Sony says the P-series features a four-hour battery life with the standard battery, but there is a larger battery option available which will take that up to eight hours.
Expansion slots include a Memory Stick Pro, MMC and an SD memory slot. There are also two USB ports (one on either side), a headphone jack, a display/LAN adapter port with a breakout cable and a webcam with a microphone.
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Probably the most disappointing thing about the P-series netbook is that Sony has decided to install Windows Vista Home Premium on the machine. We think that's a mistake given the limited horsepower on offer and, what's more, it's not even a 1.6GHz Atom and our experiences with Vista on netbooks hasn't been particularly great, frankly.
And with the P-series configurations starting at $899 USD, pricing will be another kicker as well. Frankly, it's a lot of money to pay for a netbook, even if it is as svelte as the P-series is.
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