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Sony goes in-between with the W-Series netbook

Last December, UK Vaio chief Nicolas Barendson told ZDNet UK that Sony wouldn't do netbooks in their current form factor, because such devices were in-between products that were neither pocketable nor large enough to substitute for a proper notebook.Then, today, Sony took the wraps off the Vaio W-Series, which is a netbook in the current, generally accepted form factor.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Last December, UK Vaio chief Nicolas Barendson told ZDNet UK that Sony wouldn't do netbooks in their current form factor, because such devices were in-between products that were neither pocketable nor large enough to substitute for a proper notebook.

Then, today, Sony took the wraps off the Vaio W-Series, which is a netbook in the current, generally accepted form factor. Same specs, same dimensions.

Naturally, we asked Sony what gives. Barendson replied, saying the W-Series "embodies the premise of existing netbooks on the market but maintains the Vaio brand's values and has a far superior screen experience and isolated keyboard".

"We believe that this screen resolution and design offers our customers a better experience, and that it will be popular with both newcomers to the netbook market looking for a quality portable PC at a netbook price point, and customers wanting to improve their existing netbook experience to date by upgrading their screens," Barendson wrote.

The W-Series' resolution is high for the current crop of netbooks, but not unheard-of. Ditto the keyboard – see the Eee PC 1000HE for a very similar implementation.

I'm sure the W-Series will be a very nice netbook and ideal for those looking to "buy in to the Vaio brand", as Barendson put it, but… it's a netbook.

One of those in-between products. No more, no less.

PS - We'd still like to know how much the netbook will cost in the UK. The US has a price - $499, but I'd be wary of direct conversions - so how come it would be "illegal" for Sony to say what the price would be here, as a spokesman helpfully told me earlier?

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