Do you want to travel light, or do you prefer a powerful portable entertainment center? The new Vaio notebooks from Sony Electronics break new ground in both directions. Shipping next month, the Vaio VGN-X505 squeezes a 10.4-inch XGA display, 1.1GHz Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processor, 20GB hard disk, and USB and i.Link (IEEE 1394) ports into an exotic carbon-nickel case that weighs under 1.9 pounds and is just 0.8 inch thin (0.4 inch at its front edge). The $3,000 price includes an 802.11g PC Card wireless adapter, VGA/Ethernet dongle, and ballistic nylon carrying case; a plug-in DVD±RW drive will be a $399 option. Sony says the featherweight PC's lithium-ion battery lasts up to four hours on a charge.
The full-sized Vaio VGN-A190 ($2,800) is an 8.6-pound portable with high-resolution (1,920 by 1,200), 17-inch XBrite display with ErgoBrite technology -- the latter automatically adjusts screen brightness depending on ambient light -- and ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics. A DVD±RW burner and Intel's Pro/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b/g) network adapter are standard, as is an AV entertainment dock with premium speakers, a high-quality TV tuner shared with Sony's TV sets, and the same S-Master digital amplifier as the Sony Dream home theater system. Sony's Giga Pocket personal video recorder is built into the dock, while Intel's Pentium M 735 (1.7GHz), 512MB of DDR333, and an 80GB hard disk complete the laptop specs. Both the A190 and a 15.4-inch-screened, 1.5GHz A160 version ($2,300) will ship later this month.
Related Link: Sony