Sony's First True Netbook Revealed: The VAIO W

Many argued that Sony's VAIO P was really the company's first true netbook, but Sony insisted otherwise. Now, however, the company has issued a machine that we can all agree is a bona fide netbook: the VAIO W.

As has become customary for Sony, it has taken a design and tweaked it slightly for higher-end consumers. Make no mistake -- this is definitely aimed to compete with the Aspire One, Eee PC and X-Slim families, but you'll be paying a premium for Sony's take on the netbook. Arriving in a trio of colors (berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown), the machine is equipped with a high-res 10.1" LED backlit display (1366x768 resolution), an Energy Star 5.0 label, an isolated 'chiclet style' keyboard and two USB 2.0 ports.

You'll also find a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, Bluetooth, a 160GB hard drive, built-in webcam + microphone, multimedia streaming support and Windows XP Home. Pre-orders have already started, with retail availability scheduled for next month. Unfortunately, Sony gives us little reason to spend "about $500" on this machine over any of the other netbooks in the field, but we suspect at least a few consumers will be willing to pay the premium for style.