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  (Source: Sony)
ASUS goes for the low-end, Sony blankets the high-end

ASUS's Eee PC has been grabbing headlines for its relatively low price for an Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) and its relatively brisk performance in Xandros Linux and Windows XP. The $399 price point -- $200 above the initial $199 quote -- is still quite palatable given the $999 Fujitsu LifeBook U810 and $1,500 HTC Shift.

Sony is no stranger to top-dollar hardware, so the price tag of the company's latest iteration of the VAIO UX should come as no surprise. The new VAIO UX VGN-UX490N/C occupies a price point which is at the polar opposite of the Eee PC: $2,499.

$2,499 will get you a device that hasn't changed much physically since the VAIO UX series was first introduced in May 2006. Sony has, however, tinkered with the internal components over the past year and this latest edition is no exception.

Under the hood lies an Intel Core Solo U2200 processor (1.2GHz), Intel's 945GMS Express Chipset and 1GB of DDR2 PC2-3200 memory. Primary duties are handled by a 48GB solid-state disk (SSD), while a MemoryStick slot can accommodate additional storage needs.

Wireless communication is handled via Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection and WWAN (via AT&T EDGE).

The display is still a 4.5" unit with a 1024x600 resolution. The resolution is actually quite impressive for a UMPC device, but the small 4.5" screen is sure to induce eye strain on many users.

Likewise, the tiny keyboard offers little in the way of feedback, yet it is backlit for those that need to do some late-night typing.

Sony's 1.2-pound VGN-UX490N/C has an estimated battery life of 1.5 to 3.5 hours and runs Windows Vista Business.

The device is available for purchase now from Sony's SonyStyle retail site.



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RE: ???
By fleshconsumed on 11/5/2007 12:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Totally disagree. A big international corporate company I am aware of is issuing these as standard equipment to 2nd level managers and up as replacements for regular desktops and notebook desktops. That is to those that prefer to have them as replacements


That totally depends on how it is used. In a mobile setting where you don't need to type and can get away with a very simple interface touch screen UMPC is a great device. However, if you need to type some emails or god forbid make up a quick presentation/excel spreadsheet, an UMPC like this which has to be typed using your thumbs is a very very poor choice for productivity. In a case like that I would prefer sub-notebook like Toshiba Portege R500. R500 is marginally bigger and heavier, but it still weighs under two pounds and yet has optical drive bay and full keyboard.

Personally I think managers who are choosing this are making a very bad choice. Big advantage of UMPCs is touch screen interface and small size while retaining full PC functionality. Keyboard on these things is an afterthought because it is implied it will not be used frequently (if at all). Managers typically live by email and frequently need to quickly type an email/make up some demo, so UMPC like this is typically a bad choice for them.


RE: ???
By Ajax9000 on 11/5/2007 7:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That totally depends on how it is used. ..., if you need to type some emails or god forbid make up a quick presentation/excel spreadsheet, an UMPC like this which has to be typed using your thumbs is a very very poor choice for productivity.

... Big advantage of UMPCs is touch screen interface and small size while retaining full PC functionality. Keyboard on these things is an afterthought because it is implied it will not be used frequently (if at all). Managers typically live by email and frequently need to quickly type an email/make up some demo, so UMPC like this is typically a bad choice for them.


Well, my previous manager and my current director both loved the O2 XDA-II Mini they were given. I think they are typical in that middle & upper managers' need to read e-mail (and attachments) on the road is far greater than their need to write them -- if the mesage is that important to respond to straight away they will typically try phoning in any case.

(My director in particular is spitting chips that IT want to stop supporting the O2 XDA-II Mini.)

I agree that "afterthought"-type keboars generally suck. personally I'd prefer a UMPC+phone with a minimal keypad and the option of a bluetooth keyboard.


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