First Look: Sony’s Latest Notebook PCs

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor,

Sony says that its latest VAIO PCG-VX88 notebook PC combines the best of mobility with a screen and keyboard real estate that rivals those of full-sized systems. The notebook comes with integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) access to keep users connected; a Low Voltage Pentium III 850MHz-M processor; and a high-capacity lithium-ion battery that may provide power for up to five hours between charges.

The VAIO VX88 PC comes standard with an external CD-RW/DVD combo drive that connects via an enhanced i.LINK (IEEE 1394) interface. This allows the drive to draw power directly from the notebook, which eliminates the need for an external power supply.

Sony’s VAIO is wrapped in a tapered magnesium alloy casing. An innovative hinge design may maximize the viewable screen space without adding to the unit’s overall roofline. According to Sony, the entire package is about an inch thick and weighs in at just over 4 pounds. And the notebook comes standard with a suite of multimedia digital editing software, including Sony’s MovieShaker, DigitalPrint, Smart Capture and DVgate applications.

In addition to the i.LINK interface, the VX88 offers several other connectivity options, including a Memory Stick media slot and two USB ports. This may give the user the ability to connect to Sony Memory Stick products that include camcorders, digital still cameras, printers, voice recorders and more.

Availability and Pricing
The VAIO VX88 notebook PC ships next month in two configurations. The base model comes with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for about $1,900 after a $100 mail-in rebate. The VAIO VX88P model will also be available next month for about $2,000 with the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system.

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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