Sony intros wide, expensive Vaio P netbook

A year and a half after the first Eee PC made its debut in Taiwan, Sony has jumped on the netbook bandwagon—well, sort of. The company's new Vaio P seems to couple an Intel Atom processor and a small form factor, but it has little in common with the $500 sub-notebooks you can buy today.

For one, the Vaio P is very wide: its 8" display has a 1600x768 resolution, and Sony has thrown the trackpad concept out the window in favor of a TrackPoint-style pointing stick. The whole system also weighs less than 1.4 lbs, which is substantially less than an 8.9" Eee PC. However, the clearest hint this isn't your typical netbook is the price tag: a whopping $899.99.

That amount of cash will get you a 1.33GHz Intel processor (again, presumably of the Atom variety), 2GB of RAM, up to 60GB of mechanical storage or 128GB of solid-state storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Verizon 3G wireless WAN, Bluetooth, a GPS, and a battery rated for up to four hours of run time. (Sony sells an eight-hour battery separately, too.) On the software side of things, Sony offers either Windows Vista Home Premium or Home Basic, and it also includes an "instant-mode" Xross Media Bar option that lets you "rapidly boot up and access music, video, photos and the Web."

Sony is already accepting pre-orders for the system at its online store. Prices range from $899.99 for the base system to $1,499.99 for higher-end variants. Check out Gizmodo's hands-on report for a closer look at the machine.

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