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Sony jumping into Eee PC's micro notebook market?

updated 08:55 am EDT, Mon June 2, 2008

Sony Micro Notebook Leak

Sony could be the next major PC builder to leap into the micro notebook field, an inadvertent leak at the WiMAX Expo has shown. An 8.9-inch notebook made by Quanta and based on VIA's OpenBook reference platform reportedly lists Sony as the manufacturer, suggesting the PC is a prototype of a future production model for the Japanese company. A Quanta official asked about the computer declines to confirm the Sony origins.

While the view provides limited information about the notebook, a limited glance suggests the system varies slighly from VIA's stock system, with a 1.6GHz C7-M processor as well as a 60GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, and Windows Vista Home Basic. The demonstrator at the Expo appropriately includes WiMAX for access to the 4G-grade wireless network format. Whether the system is intended for use on Sprint's Xohm network is unknown.

Sony has not stepped up to claim the system and isn't known to have been making a system outside of the report; however, the move would suggest the company is responding to the ASUS Eee PC and other small systems, and will launch after competing systems from other very large PC makers, such as the Dell mini-Inspiron and the HP Mini-Note. Most of these systems use Intel Atom or Celeron M processors, though the HP system uses a customized design based on VIA's C7-M.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Hardly a leap

    It would hardly be a leap for Sony to go into this market. Does noone remember the Sony PictureBook??

  1. Elektrix

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001


    not a leap, but....

    interesting nonetheless. The difference between things like the original PictureBook (all the way to the current TZ) is price really. The main selling point of those Sony laptops has always been the size, as well as the cutting edge in hardware capabilities for the size (i.e. integrated optical drives). But the thing is, for people who buy something like the TZ solely because of the size, this new class of super-lowclass machines like the Eee PC, the HP Mini-Note, etc. changes the rules of the game. They aren't as powerful or as feature-filled as something like the TZ, but the reality is that many people ultimately use the TZ for things like word processing/spreadsheets/web browsing that work just as well on the TZ as on an Eee PC or Mini-note. So if you don't need the carbon fibre construction or integrated optical drives, the difference between a $2500 TZ and a $500 Eee PC/HP Mini-note becomes pretty minor.

    I think it will be interesting to see what Sony does; what do they do with the TZ line to continue to justify the $2000-2500 prices (or is it enough just that they have better and more features that the low-cost machines will never have), and do they jump into the low-cost ultraportable market as this article suggests?

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