and Intel announced the new Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) form-factor
back in March with the aim to bring full Windows XP (and later
Windows Vista) functionality to a handheld, tablet-based devices.
Over the past few months, we've seen UMPC devices from Asus, Samsung,
ECS, DualCor and TabletKiosk. Today, we can add a new player to the game:
Sony. Here's the real kicker though, Sony claims the whole ultraportable weighs in at just 1.2lbs.
Rather than just enter the fray with a
cookie-cutter "been there, done that" design with its new
VAIO UX, Sony has decided to spice things up a bit. While all
previously displayed UMPCs make do with a stylus for input as well as
a somewhat awkward on-screen keyboard, the VAIO UX features a
dedicated sliding keyboard for quicker data entry in addition to the
traditional stylus. The VAIO UX also comes with a "touch
launcher" which gives users quick access to oft used functions
like email and music.
On the hardware side of things, the
one-pound unit packs an Intel ULV Core Solo processor, 4.5" SVGA (1024x600)
touch sensitive LCD with XBRITE technology, three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, VGA,
Firewire, WiFi, Bluetooth and WWAN (compatible with Cingular's EDGE
wireless network). And the VAIO UX features not one, but two built-in
cameras. The one located on the front of the device is for VOIP
communication and video conferencing while the camera on the back of
the unit is used to take pictures. Security is handled by an
integrated biometric fingerprint scanner and G-Sensor technology is
used to protect the VAIO UX's 30GB hard drive in the event of an
The UX is built around an Intel Core Solo U1400 processor running at 1.2GHz with 2MB L2 cache. Sony has managed to cram an Intel 945GMS chipset into the device with 512MB of 400MHz DDR2. Intel's GMA950 provides all of the graphics, and uses up 128MB of the system memory when needed. Sony claims the entire devices runs on a mere 41W during normal operation, giving the unit up to 4.5 hours per battery charge.
That's quite a lot of features packed
into a pint-sized package and Sony seems to be quite proud of their
new baby. “This model is an achievement in ingenious design. With
this pocket PC, you can have the same functionality as your office or
home PC in a device that fits in the palm of your hand,” said Mike
Abary, vice president of VAIO product marketing at Sony Electronics
in the U.S.
For those of you intrigued by Sony's
new VAIO, the ticket price is $1,800 and the show begins in July of
this year. You can preorder the unit from SonyStyle right now.