back to article Sony teases netbook fans with 'new mobile' Vaio promo

Sony is now teasing Japanese punters about what could be a new, tiny Vaio notebook, having begun baiting New Zealanders earlier this week. Sony Japan's website now shows a statuesque young woman whip a long, thin package out of her handbag. The box slims down to an envelope and out slides an 'invite' for the forthcoming "New …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I still have an old Picturebook. Amazingly parts of it are still better than today's modern netbooks in terms of battery life, usability, features, durability, specs and design.

    Obviously as it is a trend to hate Sony over here, no doubt many readers will accuse Sony of copying or whatever dirt they seem to conjure up.

  2. Neil Greatorex

    Take care El Reg.

    Psion will be on your case.

  3. Robert Sneddon


    The first PictureBooks used Celeron CPUs and later PIIs. the Transmeta version came afterwards in a desperate attempt to cut down on power consumption and extend battery life. I used to have the C1XN model with a 266MHz Celeron CPU. It ran W98SE sluggishly but it was (for the time) about the smallest fully-PC-compatible laptop around.

  4. A

    Actually the Picturebook is older than that.

    I have a first generation Picturebook, C1F, and it's based on a super speedy Pentium 266MHz MMX. That one came out a year or two before the Crusoe based model.

    I'll be interested to see what lies at the end of the promo, regardless of whether it's a Picturebook or a SCC. I doubt it'll be an S *C* C anyway, as Sony doesn't tend to work the low end much.

    Is it definitely a Vaio? Any chance it could be a completely new PSP?

  5. James O'Brien

    Say what?

    "*Probably not cheap, we'd say."

    Its Sony when do they EVER make a cheap product? Name alone gets them double whatever the going rate is......or atleast they think so I rufuse to buy Sony for a number of reasons Least of which is price but it is one.

  6. Andrew Moore


    The first Netbook was the Psion Netbook.

  7. Dr Trevor Marshall

    Let's hope they get the screen resolution right

    The really killer problem with the Picturebook (I own several C1XS which I still run with XP and Linux) is that the 480 pixel high screen is just not enough to get a decent menu displayed, let alone a default XP max menu size of 600 pixels.

    Any netbooks with less than 768 pixels height are of no interest to me at this point. With Linux or XP.

    I can just manage with XP on my Fujitsu P1510 with its 1024x600 screen, but I had to set the menu bars to disappear, and use other tweaks which are a pain. Even then many windows open to large for me to be able to click the "OK" button at their bottom...

    The form factor with which the advertising is teasing us does not bode well for a decent screen geometry...

  8. Patrick

    Sony Picturebook

    I got my PCG-C1XD from ebay a while back for only £60 as it needed a harddrive.

    Based on the Pentium 2 @ 400mhz, 64mb ram and it running windows XP.

    Its a good little machine. works well and even with the 64mb ram.

    takes a while to boot. but once into XP runs nice.

    I hope Sony make one the same size and it would beat most netbooks and I hope they use a Pentium M ( centrino ) instead of the rubbish slow ATOM CPU. this model can handle the heat from a P2 so a Pentium M should be ok in it too...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First netbook?

    Not sure of specific models, but Sony and JVC (and possibly Fujitsu?) have been making seriously small portables for quite a few years.

    The only real innovation in the past year has been the addition of the CHEAP adjective (these devices all came at a hefty premium - definitely more for less!).

  10. b

    that's a box of chocolates!

    ..that's not a laptop, it's too long?

    (puts on harry enfield scouse wig) caalm down, claam down!

    fyi go check on the sony website, they had NINE families of laptops, each with about 2 or 3 members in each..!

    choice is stressfull, huh?!

    gimme an hp2133 with some decent cpu power and i'll be happy..



    p.s. stuff and nonsense:

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    C1CVN WAS _NOT_ the first picturebook

    It was preceded by a P2-266 MHz C1F.

    I happen to have one of these. Unfortunately it is no longer functional after trying to adapt the battery from a C1VN for it. Sony have used the same connector on both (with different battery shapes), but with different pinouts so this ended up with the charge control logic being nice black and smokey. And while it was possible to find batteries for C1V long after Sony stopped making it, batteries for C1F were no longer available a mere 1 year after it was superseded by C1V (this says all that there needs to be said about relying on Sony for maintaining your kit).

    Otherwise the C1F was a total P.O.S. It just about managed an hour when its battery was brand new while the spec was for 3 hours. It used some strange memory which resulted in abissmal (even for a P2-266) performance. The video was the mobile "standard" for those days (neomagic), but the laptop bios did not report the panel dimensions correctly so getting linux to work on it was rather painful.

    Overall, it was the worst of my IT purchases ever in terms of ROI. I switched to HP from there onwards and never regretted the decision.

  12. Fred

    PowerBook memories...

    I still have my old PowerBook, which had a Pentium II BTW, the Crusoe versions came later. It ran for a whooping 1 hour 20 on its smallish battery. And despite Sony's claims, the later models didn't run for that much longer (unless you got the extended battery).

    I used it for ages with Mandrake Linux and have been considering reviving it. However the fact that you can only boot it from a special USB floppy drive makes it a bit more complicated than with your random laptop.

    Still a great little machine at the time. I have PCMCIA WiFi cards that fit nicely in it. Mine needs a new battery though, it can only run for ten or twenty seconds at the moment before needing to be plugged back in.

    And it does fit in a coat pocket !

  13. Paul


    Are we slowly moving back to the Palm Pilot? LOTS more features but a similar profile.

  14. Keith Wingate

    It's the ergonomy stupid!

    I agree with other posters that these announcements all sound very nouveau-retro.

    As with palmtops before them, I believe that the limiting factor on how small you can make a laptop isn't the weight of the batttery, etc. as much as the ergonomic issues: Can you read the screen at the resolutions required to fit your average display's worth of info on it; can the average finger use the keyboard, etc.

  15. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Probably not a netbook

    I think this will probably not count as a netbook. Fujitsu, Sony, and several others have been (on and off at least) making small portables for years. But a $1000+ machine is not a netbook, as the reg says, it's probably not going to be cheap at all. Personally, the Sonys I've seen have had enough... umm... idiosyncracies I guess I'd call them... that I don't know if I would want one even if they were inexpensive, with all the fine competitors out there now. If they do manage to make this machine not stratospherically expensive, I'll be impressed and it should put some pressure onto the market, which is always nice.

  16. stizzleswick

    @Fred re PowerBook memories...

    "I still have my old PowerBook, which had a Pentium II BTW, [...]"

    Wow, I'd love to see that one. For all I know, PowerBooks only ever used Motorola 68k and later on PowerPC CPUs...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Another Sony classic

    Given Sony's track record, I look forward to the machine being crippled by bloatware (Vista or otherwise), nasty creaking plastic, and exploding batteries. I'd wait until after the first recall.

  18. Carl Williams

    First netbook was Tosiba Libretto

    Started with the CT20 but first I encountered was the CT50. IIRC spec was something like a P75 and 16mb or RAM running Win95, Went right to the heady heights of the CT110 with it P233MMX and 64mb a ram running NT4 (all unofficially).

    PSION's are nowhere near the functionality of todays netbooks but the Libretto (with PCMCIA wifi) could do everything that one can today.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here We go Again

    Another wave of sub-miniature devices that will require flawless eyesight and endless patience to use. Oh but wait --- If we add the 3D goggles................

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