updated 08:45 am EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Two new Sony ultraportables previewed
Sony used its showcase to launch its new S1 and S2 tablets to also give a sneak peak a two new ultraportable PCs. Rumors circulated in mid-March that Sony has been prepping two VAIO ultraportables and it is possible that the devices revealed yesterday are indeed these. The first is what has been dubbed the Freestyle Hybrid PC, which is a sliding device that combines a keyboard with what appears to be a touchscreen interface. The second is what has been codenamed the Ultimate Mobile PC.
Sony did not reveal any details about the specifications of the devices at the time of the presentation, preferring to focus on its pair of Honeycomb tablets. Their operating systems also remain unknown. If the two notebooks are indeed those first rumored in March, then the possibilities for the devices are intriguing.
The March rumor suggested that Sony was working on an ultraportable form factor device that would be powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2, and not an Intel Atom. It would have just 1GB of RAM, incorporate 16GB of memory and weigh less than 2.2 pounds. It would run Google’s lightweight Chrome OS, which would offset its small amount of RAM. However, although the Hybrid PC shown here does not reveal its OS, the touch interface for the Chrome OS is reportedly still in need of further development. On the other side of the coin, Android head Andy Rubin was at Sony's presentation yesterday, suggesting that Google and Sony are collaborating closely.
The March rumor also suggested that Sony would deliver a Macbook Air competitor powered by an Intel Core i7, include an SSD, HDMI 1.4, WiDi and weigh just under 2.5 pounds. However, a dock that would transform the device into something akin to a fully-fledged desktop replacement would also partner it. Its docking station would incorporate a Radeon HD 6700M GPU (Whistler-XT), a Blu-ray burner, and full expansion with Ethernet, VGA and possibly even a Thunderbolt port.
Other than showing pictures of the two devices as seen, Sony did not provide any other details as to when they might ship or how much they would cost. [via PC Watch]