The Vaio P Series was a hugely ambitious, but ultimately flawed idea: an elongated 8in netbook with remarkable 1600 x 768 resolution Atom processor and budget busting price tag. It was widely seen as a commendable, if freakish, failure. So Sony wouldn't try it again, would it?
Indeed it has having announced a new Vaio P Series today and all the original wackiness is still there along with a number of new tricks.
Most obvious is the tasteful redesign with matte finish that can be completely negated by the garish orange, pink and green colour options. There is also a new optical touchpad added to the right of the screen so it can be used one handed when on the move (which sounds extremely risky).
Under the surface, the Vaio P offers changes too with an accelerometer, GPS and integrated 3G all on the menu alongside faster Z Series Atom processors and an ambient light sensor which automatically adjusts the 8in (yes) 1600 x 768 resolution LED backlit display for indoors or outside use.
Filling out the rest of the specs we have 2GB RAM, two USB ports, SD card and Memory Stick Duo slots, a webcam integrated into the bezel and wireless n. A 64GB SSD is offered as well. Sadly battery life is just 3.5 hours, but this can be boosted up to seven hours with an optional extended battery.
So how about the big deal breaker last time: price? We don't yet have a UK RRP, but with the P Series now starting from $799 (£531) it is eminently more affordable and with a weight of just over 600 grams it is potentially an alternative to the iPad (680g). It goes on sale in the US immediately.
Maybe, just maybe, Sony got it right this time...
Update: Unfortunately Sony has taken full advantage of the 'Being British Tax' by announcing the new P Series will go on sale next month at an eye watering £799 in base configuration! The top end model will set you back £1,049. Looks like a perfect opportunity to use Bundle Box to me.