Sony finally surrenders to netbook craze with VAIO W-Series
Sony’s long-standing reluctance to enter the netbook market has finally been broken, with the launch of the VAIO W-Series.
The company, which now infamously characterised the netbook market as a “race to the bottom”, joins the field nearly two years after the launch of Asus’s ground-breaking Eee PC.
The VAIO W boasts a fairly standard netbook specification: 10.1in screen with 1,366 x 768 resolution, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive.
The model comes in three colours – white, dark brown and pink – and comes with a matching USB mouse and soft case.
The device will go on sale in the UK from this August, although Sony is refusing to confirm prices for the device. The Japanese model is priced at 60,000 yen (or £387), which unsurprisingly pitches it at the premium end of the netbook market.
Sony made an attempt to cash in on the trend for ultraportables earlier this year, with the launch of the pocketable VAIO P-Series, but its £1,300 price tag elevated it far and beyond the low-budget netbook market. (Base models of the P-Series start from around £750).
Sony’s decision leaves Apple as the only major computer manufacturer not to offer a netbook. Apple has often been rumoured to be launching a netbook, but has publicly slated the current crop of devices, with COO Tim Cook saying they are “not something we would put the Mac brand on”.