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Sony Announces W Series Netbook


Sony Announces W Series Netbook

It would be oh-so-easy to mock Sony for being so very late to the party with a 'real' netbook: the Vaio W Series. I can't help but think that the wait has lead to Sony launching a product which is a bit of a mixed bag of getting it right in some areas, but then badly wrong in others.

The design, for instance, I can dig. The "sugar" white, "cocoa" brown and "berry" pink colours are fine and the typical-for-Sony isolated keyboard will almost certainly be as good as on every other recent Vaio notebook. Likewise, the choice of a 10.1in display with a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution is almost certainly the right one.

However, inside it's less impressive. A 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU is too last-generation for my tastes, though 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive are hardly surprising; XP is installed and Sony is playing by Microsoft's rules to get it cheap. Draft-N wireless and Bluetooth connectivity is good, two USB ports are less so and an SD card reader will be more welcome than the MemoryStick slot also provided. And a battery claiming only 160mins of life will surely deliver even less in the real world?

Pricing isn't mentioned, but we can at least be sure the W Series will cost less than the P Series 'netbook' Sony launched earlier in the year. We'll know for sure in August when the W goes on sale.

Sony Vaio W Series.


July 7, 2009, 4:33 pm

"...and an SD card reader would be more welcome than the MemoryStick slot provided."

It has both...


July 7, 2009, 5:34 pm

looks just like a mini 13" macbook pro to my eyes.


July 7, 2009, 6:29 pm

oops, English fail - "will be more welcome...also provided" :s


July 7, 2009, 7:18 pm

@ Hugo it still has two memory card slots, one for Memory Stick and one for SD card, dunno why Sony couldn't just add a single slot that takes both formats like most netbook/notebook manufacturers do


July 7, 2009, 8:15 pm

Well it is better to have two. One can be used as an excellent and cheap way to augment the space with extra flash memory. The Duo has a thereotical limit of 2TB. If the SD slot is also compatible with the new SDXC format, than that too has a thereotical limit of 2TB.

Tony Walker

July 7, 2009, 11:13 pm

N280 not state of the art? It's the latest N series Atom. The N280 is so bleeding edge that it doesn't even appear in Intel's product lists - I've just checked (the N270 is there). I have e-mailed Intel so hopefully they'll rectify it toot sweet.

Interestingly a 2Ghz Z550 has turned up drawing about the same power as an N270. Might perform about the same now too.


July 7, 2009, 11:23 pm

N280 = 965GSE = old.


July 7, 2009, 11:38 pm

Hugo, what are you on about? What does the N280 has to do with the 965GSE (whatever that is?).

Old? There's really only one Atom chipset for the N-series (Diamondville) processors and it's the 945GSE, as the GN40 never seem to have ended up in a retail product.

The N280 is the latest and most likely the last Diamondville core Atom processor we'll see in a netbook, as Intel is moving on to the Pineview platform which builds on the current Z-series of Atom processors.

Considering how shite the GMA500 is in the US15W chipset, it's no wonder people are sticking with the almost as crappy 945GSE, as at least it has mature, working drivers.

The N-series Atom platform is also in general far cheaper than Z-series based netbooks, so again, does it make sense to go with a "newer" platform just because it's "newer" rather than to go with something that's tried and tested and meet people's expectations?

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