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Sony to unveil “revolutionary” VAIO in New Year. May enter low-priced handheld terminal business

1, 09. 2009

   Sony Corp. is to sell a new model of the VAIO laptop. Sony on Dec. 24, 2008, showed on its website for VAIO a catch phrase reading, "VAIO New Mobile Coming Soon" and white envelope. Until a few days ago, it had been written on the home page of the New Zealand unit of the company that "revolutionary" mobile of laptop that would completely change the concept of the conventional laptop would be put on the market on Jan. 9, 2009.

Super-thin, light PC that would fit into women's purse

   The website of Sony's NZ unit announced that the new model of VAIO would be sold starting on Jan. 9, 2009. Sony said, however, that the website of its NZ unit had already been closed down. Its public relations center said when the sale of the product would start or any other details about it were yet to be decided.

   On the home page of "VAIO", however, the photograph of a dressed-up woman who is putting out a white envelope from a handbag she is holding is shown. The picture gives the impression as if the new model of VAIO were inside the envelope and that it were the super-small, light laptop.

   The newest model of the VAIO series currently sold is the "type T" that was put on the market on Sept. 10, 2008. Its size is 272.4 millimeters wide, 195.1 mm long and 21-28.5 mm high. It weighs 1.25 kilograms. Thus, it might be said this is considerably small in size and light in weight for the product of the kind.

   The mobile type model of the series, "type U", is compatible with the 1seg TV broadcasting. It is fitted with the flash memory tip, instead of the hard disc. It is a super-light model measuring 150.2 mm wide, 95 mm long and 32.2-38.2 mm high and weighing about 500 grams.

   Sony has the lineup of so many different models of small and light VAIO's, and it would a source of wonder what sort of the still new model of VAIO will be introduced in the New Year.

Ready to offer low prices?

   What makes us wonder is the price. The major target of competition on the personal computer market now is low price. For mobile laptops, the "ASUS" made in Taiwan has been introduced at the prices in the range of 50,000 yen, and domestic and foreign makers are following suit with "50,000 yen PC".

   The "VAIO type T" models are priced at 164,800 yen and up on the official site of Sony. The prices for the "type U" are 109,800 yen and up. Sony says nothing can be said about the prices at this point. It would depend as a matter of course on what kinds of functions are attached to the new model. But it would be shunned if the price is too high.

   It might be said that even Sony is ready at last to join in the "low price" competition.

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