It's not like we really rely on Sotec
to spice things up on the PC front, but we're still a little disappointed in the distinct lack of interestingness
going on here in Sotec's new "e-three" series. The HA3000 laptop sports a 1280 x 800 15.4-inch LCD, Windows Vista (Home Basic or Business) and ExpressCard/54 slot -- and that's about it. There's a VIA VN896 chipset for integrated graphics, WiFi and gigabit Ethernet, but it's only certified for Vista Basic, so don't plan on squeezing much Aero action out of this unit. The rest of the laptop is BTO, and while prices start at a commendable 96,390 yen ($808 US), you'll only be getting a 1.46GHz Celeron M processor, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB HDD and a DVD / CD-RW combo drive. There's room for up to a Core 2 Duo T7400, 2GB of RAM, a 120GB HDD and a DVD burner, but it'll cost you. The HC5010 (pic after the break) takes a similar approach, but does it in a slim desktop form factor. Starting at a Celeron D 331 2.66GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 80GB HDD and Intel 945G Express integrated graphics, you can pick one of these up for 64,800 yen ($543 US), but there's plenty of room to grow on specs and price. Both of these should be available in Japan on March 1st.