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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.