Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sony offers ultra-portable PC unit

Sony unveiled a Vaio ultra-portable PC yesterday that is about half the size and weight of competitors in the growing “netbook” category.

The P series Lifestyle PC is small enough and light enough – 1.5 pounds – to fit in a jacket pocket and is about the thickness of a cell phone. It comes with the ability to connect to Verizon's 3G data network and to widely available Wi-Fi networks.

Sony's announcement came on the eve of the International CES 2009, the industry trade show extravaganza that officially opens today.

Devices such as the EE PC from Asus and similar products from Hewlett-Packard and Dell have created and defined the netbook category as computers designed for on-the-go Web surfing, weighing roughly three pounds, with prices as low as $300. In a trade-off for price and portability, the netbooks lacked processing power and typically run the less-demanding Windows XP.

Sony's version is different. It's more powerful, strikingly smaller and far more costly. The device, which will go on sale later this month, will have a $900 price tag.

Sony, which has its U.S. headquarters in San Diego, also said yesterday that it would introduce an ultra-efficient “Eco” version of its Bravia LCD TV, which will reduce power use by 40 percent over comparable standard televisions. The TV has a standby mode that stops drawing power, unlike many TVs that consume energy when turned off. The Eco also has a motion sensor and will turn itself off when no viewer motion is detected.


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