Sony has announced its first true netbook, the Vaio W-Series.
The manufacturer does not call it a netbook, opting instead for "mini notebook". In December last year, Sony told ZDNet UK it would avoid netbooks in their current form factor as they are "in-between" products — neither pocketable nor full-sized enough to replace a standard notebook.
However, the Vaio W's specifications and dimensions are identical to those of most current netbooks: it has a 1.66GHz N280 Intel Atom processor, Windows XP Home, a gigabyte of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and a 10.1-inch screen.
The screen uses a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, which is much better than the standard 1,024x600 pixel resolution offered by most current netbooks, but not unheard of. Dell, for example, offers the higher resolution as a premium option on its Mini 10 in the US.
Sony launched another small, Atom-powered subnotebook earlier this year — the Vaio P — but that device had an un-netbook-like 1,600x768 pixel resolution. Also, at £849, was not cheap enough to conform to the generally accepted definition of a netbook as a small, cheap subnotebook.
The Sony Vaio W-Series is 179.6mm deep, 267.8mm wide and 32.4mm thick.
It weighs 1.19kg with the three-cell battery option, although a six-cell option is also available.
The Vaio W-Series, which comes in white, pink or brown, will go on sale in the UK at the end of July.
Sony could not give UK pricing at the time of writing because, according to a company spokesman, it does not have a direct sales channel in this country and so it does not know how much the device would cost.