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CES: Sony introduces a purse-sized PC

January 8, 2009 | 12:13 am
Sony's new PC offering: Viao P

LAS VEGAS -- Somewhere between a cellphone and a laptop is Sony's new PC offering: the Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC. We got a gander at it at the Sony news conference Wednesday. 

Vaio P just could stand for "purse" -- OK, or "pocket." It's a computing device but definitely not a full-service computer. Think smartphone on steroids. The tiny PC is light, weighing in at 1.4 pounds and offers users different ways to connect with integrated wireless WAN, LAN and Bluetooth. There's built-in GPS for navigation, whether you have an Internet connection or not. The 8-inch LED backlit screen is a 1600 x 768 display.

It was described as more of a companion device than competing in terms of a laptop or desktop. (It's got only 2 GB of RAM.) The $900 version has a 60 GB hard drive, and the $1499 version has a 128 GB solid state drive. The computer runs on Windows Vista. It has a standard lithium-ion battery; Sony claims it will offer about four hours of use with the standard-capacity battery and eight hours with the large-capacity battery.

In terms of expansion, the Vaio P has slots for a memory stick, a multimedia card and an SD memory card. There's also a built-in webcam and microphone for chatting. (More details in the video below.)

And, like any good accessory, it comes in "fashion-forward" (their words, not mine) colors: garnet red, emerald green, onyx, crystal white and classic black.

Pre-orders are being taken from the Sony Style website, with shipments expected to go out late January/early February.

Even though Sony's advertising for the Vaio P says "go lightly," with all these pocket-size devices and hand-helds coming out, one really needs to ponder getting a bigger pocket to put them all in.

-- Michelle Maltais

Tell us what you think. Would you buy it?

Photo credit: Sony Electronics

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