updated 10:15 pm EST, Mon January 3, 2011
Sony exiting netbooks using AMD Brazos
Sony plans to make its exit from low-end netbooks when it launches new models at CES, tipsters said on Monday night. The company "wants to get out" of the low-profit category and should use AMD's Fusion processors based on the Brazos platform to get a more expensive but also much faster system with 1080p video support. The resulting computer would cost over $500, CNET's source said.
The company has been one of the more reluctant participants in the netbook space and at first tried to focus on unique premium netbooks like the VAIO P but eventually joined the category roughly two years after others, with the VAIO W. Netbooks have usually had low profits and have regularly reduced the profitability of companies that depend heavily on netbooks for business. Intel itself was helped by a backlash in the category as buyers and PC makers turned back towards regular notebooks when they weren't switching to tablets.
Unlike some of its counterparts, Sony for much of the past year has been hesitant to enter tablets as means out of netbooks but may have seen the iPad's success as a motivator. Tablets are both typically more profitable and often have longer battery life and more portability. A VAIO tablet has already been spotted and may be shown at CES as a further part of its move away from the netbook field.
The company hasn't commented on the leak and isn't likely to reveal details before its CES presentation on January 5.