Sony to Offer $500 Vaio W Series Mini-Notebook

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Sony has joined the netbook fray with a new line of mini-notebooks aimed squarely at consumers, but at a price point that rivals some of the less expensive fully-powered traditional computer notebooks available today. The Sony Vaio W Series mini-notebook takes advantage of what many PC manufacturers have found to be the only bright spot in PC sales during this recessionary year.

Sony is getting into the netbook mini-notebook game with the release of its new Vaio W series line, squarely aimed at consumers and carrying a hefty price tag of about $500 in the United States – one that puts the netbook in competition against some of the less expensive traditional laptop computers.

Sony is only the most recent PC manufacturer to release a netbook product – a lightweight mini-notebook with a less powerful processor that has proven the savior of the PC market during a year when PC sales are declining. As traditional PC sales have dropped, sales of these tiny, underpowered portable netbooks have taken off.

The trouble is these consumer devices are sometimes viewed as cannibalizing sales that could go to more traditional laptop computers, sacrificing average selling prices to keep sales volume up. Sony’s new Vaio W series offers a high-resolution 1366 x 768 10.1-inch screen with an ultra-wide display.

It offers an Intel Atom processor and 160GB hard drive, plus a webcam. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP.

A recent survey of consumers showed that 60 percent don’t know the difference between traditional laptops and netbooks. They believe that netbooks can do the same things as traditional laptops. That led to some dissatisfaction with netbooks, according to the NPD Group report, which found that only 58 percent of consumers who bought a netbook instead of a traditional laptop said they were very satisfied with the purchase.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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