Not so much of a surprise now, but Sony's bringing its 10.1-inch VAIO W stateside as well, and yes, according to the Sony reps we talked to, this time they really do mean to call it a netbook, unlike its VAIO P brethren. Likewise, with that nomenclature comes none too surprising specs, including a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 160GB HDD, 1GB RAM, Windows XP, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n, VGA out, two USB ports, Ethernet, webcam, and MemoryStick / SD card readers. The three cell battery should last an estimated three hours, and like usual there's also an option for six cell. That isolated (read: chiclet) keyboard is said to be 86% the size of a normal typing surface, and the aforementioned bundled VAIO Media plus software enables content streaming across DLNA-enabled devices like the PC or PlayStation 3.

Now for what's missing: the reps stressed this an "in-home" product for them, and as such there's no talk of 3G or GPS, nor should hold your breath for an optical drive or SSD option. The company stressed the hardware's build quality here, and while we'll have to wait until we get our hands on to validate, like we said before, the pics aren't exactly flattering when you look at what the competition is producing. All that's left to discuss for now is the release date, pricing, and color options, so in order: just around the $500 mark, mid-August, and berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown. Welcome to the bottom, guys. Full press release after the break.

Sony Vaio W netbook now official in US, coming August for $499

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SONY DEBUTS HOT NEW MINI NOTEBOOK IN COOL NEW COLORS

VAIO W Series Ideal for Casual Computing and Staying Connected

SAN DIEGO, July 7, 2009 – Sony today took the wraps off its chic new line of mini notebooks- the VAIO® W Series.

Featuring an ultra-portable design, the W Series is perfect for using as a secondary PC, in any room of the house, for surfing the web, checking e-mail, and social networking.

The W model comes in three vibrant colors- berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown. A more subtle shade of the exterior hue finishes the inside of the PC while the touchpad is lined with a splash of brightness.

"The W Series lets you quickly look something up online whether searching for a recipe in the kitchen or relaxing on your recliner- there's no need to trudge upstairs to your office," said Mike Abary, senior vice president of the VAIO business group at Sony. "And it's sturdy enough for the kids to use, making it perfect for every member of the family."

The W Series incorporates a high-resolution, 1366 x 768, LED backlit 10.1-inch (measured diagonally) ultra-wide display, making it easy to view two full web pages- no side-to-side scrolling necessary.

The model features an isolated keyboard with springy and responsive keys making it comfortable and easy to use. Its carefully designed touchpad and mouse keys make the PC functional and mouse movements easy to control.

The W Series unit is ENERGY STAR® 5.0 compliant, EPEAT Gold registered and incorporates eco-conscious features such as a mercury-free LED backlit LCD. Its corrugated cardboard packaging is comprised of 95 percent recycled content. Sony will also help recycle your old PC (www.sony.com/green; recycling fees may apply).

The model comes with VAIO Media plus Multimedia Streaming software, a media sharing application that lets you wirelessly stream content across DLNA®-enabled devices throughout your home network. Stream video, music and pictures from your W Series to your compatible primary PC or PLAYSTATION®3 and vice-versa and enjoy your content anywhere in the home including on your big-screen TV.

Easily transfer data, such as photos from your digital camera or music from an MP3 player, to and from the PC with the unit's two convenient USB ports. Incorporated Bluetooth® technology enables peripherals such as a wireless mouse to be utilized without tying up the unit's ports. A built-in webcam and microphone let you video chat with family, friends and colleagues. A third-party internet service provider is required.

A roomy 160GB hard drive has been included providing ample storage for all your photos, files and videos. It comes pre-installed with Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition operating system.

The VAIO W Series mini notebook will retail for about $500. It is available for pre-orders today online at www.sonystyle.com/pr/w. It will also be sold at Sony Style® stores and at other major retailers around the country starting next month.

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Sony VAIO W netbook now official in US, coming August for $499