As part of its notebook refresh Sony has launched a new range of business-focused notebooks. According to Jun Koyama, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sony IT Europe, the design ethos behind the B1 series was to make a notebook that was powerful, ergonomically superior and easy to use.
There are two models in the series, VGN-B1XP and the VGN-B1VP. Each is powered by a Pentium M processor, with one running at 1.7Ghz and the other at 1.6Ghz. As both come under the Centrino brand, 802.11b/g wireless networking is built-in. The chassis is designed to be durable yet stylish and weighs in at 2.3Kg.
The B1XP has a dual-format DVD±RW burner, while the B1VP has a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive. The latter has an XGA resolution screen while the former boasts a productivity enhancing SXGA+ resolution of 1,400 x 1,050
An optional Docking Station, the VGP-PRB1, adds flexibility and features three USB connectors, a parallel port and conventional analogue VGA-out.
The B1XP will sell for around £1,173 including VAT, while the VGN-B1VP will go for £939.
The S2 series is an update to the popular S1. Consisting of three models, the S2 range features Centrino branding, and as such is powered by a Pentium M processor with 2MB of cache, at speeds across the range between 1.6 and 1.8Ghz. 512MB of RAM is supplied as standard.
Dual format DVD burning is available on all three models while the hard disk size has been increased over the previous version to 40GB on the entry level machine and 80Gb on the others.
The display is widescreen and has an unusual size of 13.3in diagonal across. This is unique to Sony and offers a compromise between the overly small 12in sizes while keeping the notebooks more compact than would be possible with a 14in. In fact the S2 weighs in at a flyweight 1.89Kg.
Graphics are handled by ATI, with the base model offering Mobile Radeon 9200 power while the top two models raise this to DX9 standard with the faster Mobile Radeon 9700.
A docking station is available and other connectivity includes FireWire, two USB 2.0 ports, a PC Card slot and support for Memory Stick Pro. Battery life for the S2 is estimated at between three and a half and four hours.
Prices for the 'S-series' laptops will range between £1,500 and £2,000 including VAT.
Those who want to be able to work unplugged for longer might want to consider the T1. This is powered by an ultra low voltage Pentium processor running at 733MHz that Sony claims will last for up to six hours. 802.11b/g Wireless is built in as is Bluetooth.
The laptop in also only 1.38Kg in weight making it highly portable.
The T1 is also set to be a winner in the style front and as the company puts it, “projects chic, rather than geek”. The laptop is available in Burgundy and Midnight colour schemes.
X-Black surface layer technology is employed in the 10.6in 1,280 x 768 resolution screen, which with its widescreen ratio, lends itself to viewing DVDs. The T1 can also burn DVDs, thanks to its multi-format DVD Writer and contains a 40GB hard disk drive.
The T1 will have an estimated street price of £1,699, including VAT.