A little over a year after launching the Vaio P mini-laptop with its 8-inch display, Sony is giving the Vaio P Series a refresh. The new model, which will be available worldwide, retains the distinctive long and thin look of earlier models and includes updates to promote its portability and use on-the-go.
The new Sony Vaio P Series features the same small size and high resolution display. But it has a couple of new features, including:
- There’s an optical touchpad built into the screen bezel.
- Sony has added an accelerometer that lets you rotate the display to read web pages or documents — or tilt left or right to move forward or backward in the web browser.
- The top of the line model now comes with a 2.13 GHz Intel Atom Z560 processor, while the base model still has a slower 1.6 GHz Atom Z530 CPU.
- You get a choice of colors including black, white, orange, pink, and white.
Mouse buttons have been added on both sides of the lower corners on the LCD screen to be within easy reach of a user’s thumbs when holding the PC with both hands.
When the computer is rotated 90 degrees so it’s being held on its side, a motion sensor automatically rotates the screen image.
The mouse pointer button in the middle of the keyboard remains within reach of the user’s thumb so navigation is still possible.
A digital compass can be used with navigation and geo-location services.
To support this on-the-go use, Sony has increased battery capacity from around 3.5 hours to 5.5 hours. This was partly achieved through the use of a more power efficient SSD (solid-state drive) rather than a conventional hard-disk drive.
Sony first launched the Vaio P series at the beginning of 2009. At the time the computer industry was in the midst of netbook-fever and Sony positioned the computer as a fully featured yet netbook sized device.
The latest version will be available in Japan from May 22 and will cost around ¥100,000 (US$1,080). The machine will be offered worldwide but Sony didn’t immediately provide pricing details for other countries.
However, some sources say the the new Sony Vaio P Series will be available starting in June for $799 and up. That makes it pretty expensive by netbook standards, but actually about $100 cheaper than the price Sony charged for the first generation Vaio P Line.
Sony said the specifications of the machine would vary slightly from market to market.
The Japanese model runs Microsoft’s Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit edition operating system, has an 8-inch screen with 1600×768 pixel resolution, 64GB SSD, 802.11abgn Wi-Fi, WiMax and Bluetooth. [via Sony Style]