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January 08, 2009

Sony Unveils World's Lightest Notebook PC, Targets Growing Market

Eyeing a robust market that serves increasingly mobile Internet users, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates reportedly unveiled a new ultra-light 8-inch notebook PC.

Officials at Tokyo-based Sony Corp. unveiled the new portable computer – the world’s lightest – at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Reuters (News - Alert) reported today.
Sony says on its Web site of the new notebooks: “E-mail at the airport, IM from the park, or just show it off when you want some attention. Traveling to a new city? Turn-by-turn GPS navigation will get you there faster. Best of all, it fits right in your purse or jacket pocket.”
The device weighs 1.4 pounds, is as thin as a mobile phone, and was unveiled by Sony officials at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show.
“The new Sony Vaio PC will come with Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp’s Windows Vista operating system, supporting all the software programs found in full-sized notebooks, and sell for about $900, setting itself apart from Netbooks,” Reuters reports.
Here’s what the notebooks look like:
According to Reuters, Netbooks – devices similar to the ones that Sony is unveiling – are low cost, mini-laptops optimized for Internet use. They usually sell for about $300 to $400, and they’ve emerged as one a bright spot in the struggling electronics industry.
That market’s PC space took a major hit today when, as TMCnet reported, the world’s fourth-largest PC maker announced that it’s laying off about 11 percent of its workforce, or 2,500 employees.
Officials at Lenovo, a Chinese company with U.S. headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina, say they’re also reducing executive pay by 30 to 50 percent, including merit pay, long-term incentives and performance bonuses.
According to Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s (News - Alert) chairman of the board, though the integration of the IBM PC business for the past three years was a success, the company’s last quarter’s performance did not meet expectations. Lenovo hasn’t yet released its quarterly earnings report for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, but said today that it’s expecting a loss.
“We are taking these actions now to ensure that in an uncertain economy, our business operates as efficiently and effectively as possible, and continues to grow in the future,” Yuanqing said.
Officials at Sony said the new ultra-light PCs would be available for pre-orders on Thursday and sold at major retailers in the United States starting next month.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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