The Consumer Electronics Show is almost upon us (January 8 to 11, Las Vegas) and as it draws closer so the pre-publicity machines of the computer manufacturers start to grind up to full power, while blowing off excess steam.
Dell and Lenovo reportedly have new laptops on the blocks and it appears that Sony may be about to join them. As sneak advertisement for a new laptop briefly appeared on the Sony site earlier this week before vanishing. The advert said that Sony was launching a new Vaio at the same time that CES was happening.
Apart from that scant details of any new system were given. However, earlier this month, on the December 1, engadget did preview something that looked like a netbook. The picture here shows the device but again there were just a few details of something that might be a netbook.
The next Sony Vaio then could be another Vaio as we know them today, ranging from the standard laptop to the super-sophisticated, lightweight system. Or it could be something entirely different. We will probably have to wait for CES to find out for sure.
However, last week I did get the chance to interview the head of the Sony Vaio business in the UK and ask him what was coming up and to specifically probe him on the possibility of a Sony netbook.
Nicholas Barendson is an experienced executive and well schooled in the Sony way of going things so he was not giving up much.He did say that he did not like the form factor of netbooks which he though were “not properly designed for consumer needs”.
He said, “It is not small enough to be pocketable and not big enough to be considered a PC, it is a bit of an in-between product. In Sony we think this market is a future trend that will be very big. Next year, probably, you will see a different product coming on the market.”
Well, “next year” will be upon us next week so you could take that comment as meaning, watch out for the CES show.
So what would a Sony netbook look like? “Today you have products that all look similar and offer exactly the same proposition. What we expect to happen is that you will have different kinds of products for different users.
“You will have systems with a quick boot, with Linux for example, but adapted for different scenarios.”
Roughly translated that would mean watch this space, but do not hold your breath. Sony has something planned for CES next month, but just what it is you will have to wait to find out. A netbook? Maybe later.