updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed September 13, 2006
Sony VAIO N-series
Few companies make direct attempts to sell budget laptops using style; aside from the exception of Apple's MacBook, most manufacturers focus on cost as the deciding factor. The new Sony VAIO N-series (PDF) is notable as an open challenge to Apple's current budget system. Available with either black, white, or wenge brown, the N-series is a "chic" laptop meant to work well with interior home design, according to Sony. The 15.4-inch portable uses a relatively modest 1.86GHz Core Solo processor but gains a standard 8X DVD rewriter as well as an 80GB hard drive. An ExpressCard/34 slot and Memory Stick Pro slot are also standard features. Sony has priced the VAIO N competitively against the MacBook and will sell the N for $1000 when it becomes available in early October. The company is slated to accept pre-orders today at the SonyStyle website. Click through for additional photos.