Sony has released the VAIO U-Series notebook PC, or portable video player? Hard to tell these days, but it will be available to North Americans for $2000 USD next month. The big feature of the Vaio U is it’s small size, it measures a mere 6.5 x 4.25 x 1 –inch and weighs 1.2 pounds.
We reported on the VAIO U70 and U50 back in May, that’s when it first came out in Japan. The specs seem to remain the same, the U70 will sport a 1GHz Ultra-low Voltage Pentium M Centrino chip with integrated Intel i855GM chipset, 512MB RAM and a 20 GB hard drive, while the U50 is slightly slower with a 900MHz ULV Celeron processor and 256MB RAM. Both systems will run Windows XP Home Edition and feature 802.11g connectivity.
See press release below.
Ultra Personal Computing in the Palm of your Hand
Sony VAIO U-Series Notebook Combines Power of Full-size PC with Portability of PDA
At a shade over 1 pound, Sony’s new VAIO U Ultra Portable PC, announced today, has the heart of a PC but the soul of an entertainer.
Doubling as a portable media player, this “pocketable” PC allows you to download entertainment content and enjoy it virtually anywhere you go. Integrated 802.11 b/g wireless LAN connects you to thousands of hotspots across the country and helps you stay in touch with the Internet, email and your favorite digital content download services.
Multiple input modes contribute to the PC’s extreme versatility. Using the stylus and virtual keyboard on the unit’s touch panel screen, you can compose email messages or navigate files even while standing up. Handwriting recognition software simplifies note-taking or annotating documents. Users can also quickly launch programs or execute common commands with thumb-controlled action buttons, or draft longer text files with the included foldout keyboard.
“The U-Series expands the usability of portable PCs beyond the realm of even the lightest traditional notebooks,” said Mike Abary, general manager of VAIO PC marketing for Sony Electronics’ IT Products Division. “It fits a full-fledged Windows operating system, Intel processor and all the entertainment capabilities that make it a Sony, into a `go-anywhere’ package that’s smaller than a paperback novel.”
The unit’s 5-inch display with XBRITE LCD technology brings movies and photos to life with crisp, high-contrast playback. Memory Stick and Compact Flash media slots make it easy to import files or digital photos from a variety of digital still cameras. With intuitive thumb controls, users can change the display orientation on the fly, from landscape to portrait mode and back, for optimal viewing of virtually any content.
Included accessories make the PC even more effective in a variety of different environments. The inner-ear headphones and remote control make digital music and movies a joy whether you’re on a plane or on the run. The mobile AC adapter, foldout keyboard and VGA/Ethernet adapter combine for an ideal road package. At home, the port replicator facilitates charging while connecting the PC to a variety of external devices such as a mouse, display, hard drive and/or optical drive.
An Intel Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processor and Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system ensure that the power and the platform for general computing tasks exist on the VAIO U notebook. And exclusive applications, such as SonicStage software, allow users to take maximum control of their digital content, reinforcing Sony’s commitment to entertainment.
The VAIO U Ultra Portable notebook will be available next month at SonyStyle stores and other select retailers, as well as online at www.sonystyle.com for about $2,000.