Jan 8, 2009

Business - Sony to Roll Out World's Lightest 8-Inch Notebook

LAS VEGAS--Japan's Sony Corp plans to launch the world's lightest 8-inch notebook PC, taking aim squarely at a rapidly growing market for ultra-portable personal computers.

The new Sony Vaio PC will come with Microsoft Corp's (MSFT: 19.51, -1.25, -6.02%) Windows Vista operating system, supporting all the software programs found in full-sized notebooks, and sell for about $900, setting itself apart from Netbooks.

Netbooks, pioneered by Taiwan's Asustek in 2007 and one of the rare bright spots in the electronics industry in recent months, are generally described as low cost, mini-laptops optimised for Internet use, and sell typically for $300 to $400.

Sony said on Wednesday the new notebook, weighing 1.4 pounds and as thin as a mobile phone, will be available for pre-orders on Thursday and be sold at major retailers in the United States beginning February.

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