updated 12:55 pm EDT, Thu August 20, 2009
Sony Axes VAIO TT
Sony has quietly pulled the VAIO TT from its lineup. The move ends Sony's current participation in the ultraportable world and comes without any sign of an immediate replacement. Dropping the system leaves only the Atom-based VAIO P and VAIO W with screens below 10 inches in Sony's lineup.
The company has already confirmed that the system was intentionally withdrawn. A spokesperson talking to Engadget also says the exit is permanent.
Sony's decision at least temporarily marks an end to the category at the company and is likely due to outside market pressures. Netbooks typically accomplish many of the same goals of the VAIO TT but cost a fraction of the price, as even the premium VAIO P has usually cost half as much or less.
The VAIO TT has also been hurt by the launch of ultraportable but still relatively fast systems such as Apple's MacBook Air and Lenovo's ThinkPad X301. These use Core 2 Duo S processors much faster than the ultra low-voltage processors used in the VAIO TT but are usually thinner and at least as light as the 3-pound Sony portable. Apple is well known for having compared the Air directly against the VAIO TT when it introduced the MacBook Air and undercut Sony's pricing both at launch and with a $300 price cut in 2009.
Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage platform also potentially undercuts Sony by offering performance close to the TT but at prices as low as $400.