Sony launches P-series ultraportable PC

Weighing just 638g and bearing an eight-inch screen, Sony's Vaio P is one of the smallest fully functioning Vista PCs on the market
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Sony on Wednesday launched the Vaio P, a lightweight, ultraportable computer that the company says has the functionality of a PC running Vista in a system that weighs 638g.

The P-series has an eight-inch screen with a resolution of 1,600x768 pixels. Communications technologies in the computer include 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3G wide-area network access and Bluetooth. GPS is available as an option. The battery will work for four hours, Sony says, or eight hours with the optional high-capacity cell.

Using a 1.3GHz Intel Atom processor, the P-series offers a choice between an 60GB hard drive and a 128GB Solid State Drive. The system uses Windows Vista, in addition to an instant-on, proprietary "fast-access XrossMediaBar" operating system — as used on the PSP portable gaming system and Sony's Bravia television sets — for those who would rather not boot up the full operating system. According to Sony, the P-series will cost from £849 and will be available in February.

In December, Nicolas Barendson, head of the UK Vaio business, hinted at a smaller device with PC features when ZDNet UK asked him if Sony was to launch a netbook. Despite the fact that the size and form factor of the Vaio P are similar to those of netbooks such as those in Asus's Eee PC range, Sony has avoided tagging the Vaio P with the term 'netbook'.

A netbook had weaknesses, Barendson said in the December interview, as it is "not small enough to be pocketable and it is not big enough to be a PC". The netbook would evolve, he said, into "different form factors".

P Series Vaio

Sony has avoided tagging the P Series Vaio as a 'netbook'
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