Sony released its first sub-$500 VAIO today. Like most netbooks on the market, the VAIO W Series comes with 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, Intel Atom N280 processor and Windows XP. The VAIO W Series netbook will start cost $499
The VAIO W Series netbook comes with a a high-resolution 16:9 (1366×768) display. Jamming more pixels on the display means users won’t have to scroll as much compared to lower-resolution displays.
Sony’s netbooks will be available in pink, white and brown. The lid has a matte soft-touch finish. The interior of the white and brown netbooks will have a silver finish that complements the exterior colors. The pink W’s interior will have a silver-pink finish.
I spoke with a Kevin Sather, a Sony product manager, yesterday who said the standard three-cell battery will last up to three hours. An optional six-cell battery will be available in September. He said that Sony is targeting consumers who will be using the W Series netbooks at home since research shows that is where the majority of netbook users end up using them.
To make media sharing easier at home, the W Series comes with VAIO Media. This software makes it possible to stream multimedia content to any DLNA-enabled device, including the PS3, other PCs and select Sony Bravia HDTVs.
The Sony W Series netbooks come with a built-in webcam, Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n.
Sony will sell a USB mouse for $29.99 in pink, black and silver. Matching sleeves are also available for $24.99.
The VAIO W Series is available for pre-order at SonyStyle.com and will be available at retail partners begining August 17.
Sony execs previously stated that the company would stay out of the netbook space and hoped the industry would avoid a “race to the bottom,” but the market for affordable computers is apparently too big for Sony to ignore.