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1.4-Pound Sony VAIO P Series Gets Official, Includes GPS and EV-DO

Update: We have a full review of the Sony VAIO P.  Check it out here. Is it an overpriced netbook or an affordable luxury ultraportable? Sony makes a  good case for seeing the $899 VAIO P Series as the latter. This unusually long and thin fashion statement is the world's lightest notebook with an 8-inch display at just 1.4 pounds. And Sony crams some pretty high-end features into the VAIO P, including GPS for navigation, instant-on functionality, and mobile broadband connectivity via Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network. This is no ordinary 8-inch display, either. It features a sky-high resolution of 1600 x 768 pixels. That's a lot of detail for viewing full Web pages and even spreadsheets with side-to-side scrolling, but will it make you go blind? Sony hopes to avoid the lawsuits by including a shortcut button to view parts of the screen, as well a helpful utility that lines up all open windows alongside each other with the touch of a button. Full specs below along with lots more details and photos. Specs: OS: Windows Vista CPU: 1.33-GHz Z530 Intel Atom Memory: 2GB RAM Hard Drive: 60GB (standard), 64GB and 128GB SSD options Display: 8 inches (1600 x 800 pixels) Ports: 2 USB ports, headphone, included dongle adds connectivity for VGA, Ethernet, and additional USB Slots: SD, MS Size: 9.6 x 4.7 x 0.78 inches Weight: 1.4 pounds Unlike most netbooks Sony includes 2GB of RAM. That's because the P Series runs Windows Vista only, which may be a turn-off to some. Storage choices include a 60GB hard drive standard and optional 64GB and even 128GB hard drives, bringing the total from $899 to $1,249 and $1,499, respectively. Sony claims that the keyboard on the VAIO P is 88 percent the size of its TT ultraportable, and that the layout extends to the edges of the design for optimum comfort. Just don't expect a touchpad; you're limited to a pointing stick. What about battery life? Sony rates the VAIO P with the standard three-cell capacity battery with 4 hours of battery life, and you should get up to 8 hours of runtime with the optional six-cell large-capacity battery (a $129 option). Note that you won't get spoken turn-by-turn directions from the GPS feature, as it's powered by Microsoft's Streets & Trips 2009. However, you will be able to follow the directions on-screen, and third-party solutions are available. (We suggest Garmin Mobile PC; the software costs $59.) Sony's instant-on feature should be familiar to anyone who has used a PSP or Playstation. It uses the same Xross Media Bar interface, enabling users to bypass Vista for quick access to music, photos, videos, and the Web. The VAIO P is available in red, green, black, and white. Sony will be selling color-matched carrying cases and Bluetooth mice. Is the VAIO P worth $400 more than well-rounded netbooks like the Samsung NC10? Stay tuned for hands-on impressions and a full review.

The VAIO P is the Best Netbook of 2009 CES!