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Sony's New Vaio PCG-TR1A: 12" Powerbook Killer?

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the paging-randy-waterhouse dept.

Portables 452

Anonymous Howard writes "Sony has a hot new subnote on it's hand: the Vaio PCG-TR1A. This subnote is packed full of features: integrated camera (still and video), 10.6 inch bright wide-format screen, 900MHz Centrino, CD-RW/DVD Combo drive, 30GB drive, 802.11b, two usb ports, firewire, 3.11 pounds and a magnesium alloy case. The thing looks really cool. For me, it's the first subnote that actually gives me a viable option for purchase instead of a the Apple Powerbook 12". Read a article about it over at Designtechnica. Check out this forum thread that has good pics, other then the stock pics, next to a VPR Matrix 200A5."

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Show some style, fuckers. (-1)

(TK)Max (668795) | about 11 years ago | (#6494992)

.-" "-.
/ \
(_ ^^ _) NO HEED OF THEM.>
\ /
.::::I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face.

Re:Show some style, fuckers. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495252)

Thanks for beating GNAA. You're my role model.

GNAA GETS FP!! WOW! (-1, Offtopic)

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GAY! GAY!! GAY!!! YUO == TEH GH3Y!!!1 FAIL! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495021)

G.N.A.A = K.N.O.B (-1)

(TK)Max (668795) | about 11 years ago | (#6495024)


I bet you thought you were fast eh? None are faster than I. You fucking good for nothing failure.

NAKED POST!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495004)


Re:NAKED POST!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495201)

this is just another evil attempt on MicroSoft's part to monopolize the industry.

3.11 Lbs (0, Troll)

jinglecat (673072) | about 11 years ago | (#6495009)

Yes, Granted it is 3.11lbs, that is, until you attach an external device such as a dvd player or the like.

With the powerbook, this is all included and still weighs less that these flimsy Sony machines.

nope (3, Informative)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | about 11 years ago | (#6495022)

4.6 lbs [] .

Re:3.11 Lbs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495031)

CD-RW/DVD combo drive

Re:3.11 Lbs (2, Informative)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 11 years ago | (#6495136)

yeah and on my 12 in PB, I get a DVD-RW/CD-RW

Re:3.11 Lbs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495037)

Wow, he is one step ahead of us all. A true inovator, he didn't even read the Post, never mind the article!

Re:3.11 Lbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495139)

It comes with a DVD/CDRW player IN IT MAN.

No need for anything external except a flppy drive.

Re:3.11 Lbs (1)

MoosePirate (114589) | about 11 years ago | (#6495164)

Now in order to figure out it weighed 3 pounds, you had to read the sentence that says it comes with a built in DVD/CD-RW, so I really don't understand your point. And how did this get modded up? That many people don't even read the posting?

Re:3.11 Lbs (0, Offtopic)

PhiberOptix (182584) | about 11 years ago | (#6495239)

granted, moderators don't read the articles, but in this case it is because they're lazy AND because the link is slashdotted. Not just the first option. :P

Re:3.11 Lbs (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | about 11 years ago | (#6495192)

How much is a pound, or whatever the arcane measuring unit Lbs signifies, in royal dutch kilograms?

Re:3.11 Lbs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495218)

Perhaps the pound unit should be measured as a fraction of the total weight of a US Tank ripping through the cobblestones of your quaint European village street.

Re:3.11 Lbs (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 11 years ago | (#6495234)

How much is a pound, or whatever the arcane measuring unit Lbs signifies,

About 1/14th of a stone.

Re:3.11 Lbs (2, Informative)

X_Caffeine (451624) | about 11 years ago | (#6495208)

I've been carrying a Vaio Z505 for about three years now, and have never once been in a situation where I was away from home and needed the optical drive. I just don't install software when I'm working or surfing at a coffee shop.

And flimsy? What, do you mean it's flexible or something? Sony shipped laptops with metal (magnesium alloy) frames long before the "tibook" came out.

That said, I'll be picking up an iBook soon... but I sure wish they would shave a few pounds off it by leaving out the optical drive.

Dell has had one for some time too (5, Informative)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | about 11 years ago | (#6495010) _latit_x200.htm [] . it's pretty nice, although i prefer the c400 myself. the x200 is just too small.

Re:Dell has had one for some time too (1)

taeric (204033) | about 11 years ago | (#6495071)

They only thing I did not like about the x200 was the abysmal battery life. If I remember correctly, it was just at 110 minutes. That is just not long enough. :(

The new centrino offerings look nice, though.

Re:Dell has had one for some time too (2, Informative)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | about 11 years ago | (#6495161)

110 minutes? maybe burning cds back to back to back. i had one on for at least 3 hours, surfing over wireless

Re:Dell has had one for some time too (5, Insightful)

KevetS (600647) | about 11 years ago | (#6495122)

How can this be considered a PowerBook killer when it has no DVD-R option, and EXTERNAL DVD/CD-RW drives as the only possibility for burning cd's? Sure it looks small and light, but the 12" PowerBook has a hell of a lot crammed into it's small package, which is more than I can say for this Dell.

Re:Dell has had one for some time too (1, Informative)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | about 11 years ago | (#6495188)

why would one buy an ultra-small laptop, only to then need a dvd burner or external drive? if i'm going to shell out $$ for an uber-small laptop, i want it as light as possible

besides ... are there any actual valid uses for an optical disc reader these days?

12 inch powerbook killer? (5, Insightful)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | about 11 years ago | (#6495014)

I don't see how it can be when it costs more. I purchased a 12 inch powerbook with a superdrive (DVR-R/CD-RW), 802.11g, firewire, 2 usb ports, 32mb nVivida gforce 4 and a bunch of other stuff for the same price as this thing, and the prices for the 12 inch pb have since gone down. I hardly see how its a "killer." Plus, I love how everyone plays catchup to apple. For such a small market share they sure do seem to set a lot of standards.

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495032)

True. Also, I think Mac OS X is a significant value addition.

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495034)

"For such a small market share they sure do seem to set a lot of standards."

Too bad taste isn't one of those standards.

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (5, Funny)

thefinite (563510) | about 11 years ago | (#6495077)

You're right, Apple Computers taste horrible, despite all of the "lickability" people talk about. Still, they do look great and kick butt over any other laptop.

(This post written from my sixth limb--a TiPB 667.)

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (5, Insightful)

ravenousbugblatter (682061) | about 11 years ago | (#6495146)

I agree - no way in hell you can compare a 900 mhz centrino (which is nothing but a gimmick) against a 867mhz G4. Not to mention being able to burn DVD's on the powerbook, 802.11g, better graphics, a bigger screen, and the biggest thing of all - OS X 10.2 Jaguar, with the soon to be available OS X 10.3 Panther.

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (2, Interesting)

markclong (575822) | about 11 years ago | (#6495238)

I've got a 1.6 Ghz Intel Pentium-M (centrino is a marketing gimmick [] . It is the chipset, processor, and wireless LAN module not the processor). The processor is as fast as a 2.4 Ghz Pentium chip in every benchmark I can run. Centrino may be a gimmick but the Pentium-M processor delivers real performance and allows for decent battery life too.

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (-1, Troll)

VPN3000 (561717) | about 11 years ago | (#6495155)

Yes. Everyone plays catchup with Mac all the time.

That's why Mac dominates the desktop market. Not. They are too expensive and proprietary.

Just because they have a few innovative products doesn't mean they are the benchmark. I cite the G5 as a neat system, but not innovative in the current market. I do consider the iPod innovative, as well as most of their laptop's designs.

Look at processor speeds on desktop systems over the past few years. It's already a rather foggy memory the last time I looked at a Mac's specs and thought 'wow, the PC market really needs to play some catchup!'. The last one I was impressed with were the PowerPC clones, actually. They moved pretty quick compared to PC's of the same price. But that was like '94 or '95..

In the case of laptops, I agree in this particular case, but as for other configurations forget it.

For the price of a new G5 I could have a monster of a PC that would make the G5 look like last year's PC except for the pretty case that matches a cinema display. Is that worth the extra money? Nah, I'll stick with Lian Li cases for now.

Yeah, you can get a G5 with dual CPU's.. Whoopee. For that price I can get a quad CPU PC. Not that 99.9999999% of users will get a dramatic performance gain out of multiple processors. It's just a way to spin people with advertising by making them think 1.4+1.4 cpu = 2.8. Not that it doesn't do well in the server department, but there's not a lot of serving to be done with 'em.

If I was a latte sipping, feminine male, I'd probably show more loyalty. But for now, I think Linux or Windows on PC hardware is better when it comes to options, software, and cost.

Anyway, when I get a Mac it'll look cool. But it'll also look like every other box like it on the market. At least with a PC, I can dress it up with nice parts and have something at bit more unique.

This might be a little off topic, but I had to get it off my chest. I don't mean to sound like a flame tard either. Just have to pour some water on this before it gets started. :)

Re:12 inch powerbook killer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495245)

Are you smoking crack? The single-G5 beats the fastest P4 out there - and NO WAY you can build your quad-zeon for less than a dual-G5. So explain again how for $3000 you can beat a G5 killer? Dumbass.

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

Rura Penthe (154319) | about 11 years ago | (#6495015)

Interesting that Apple's notebooks (and mp3 player) are now the standard others are compared against. A big shift since the 90s...

They're not. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495073)

Just the Mac-heads here do that.

Re:They're not. (4, Interesting)

Jon Abbott (723) | about 11 years ago | (#6495130)

Just the Mac-heads here do that.
With story titles like "Powerbook Killer?", wouldn't you expect the Mac-heads to defend themselves?

Re:Interesting... (5, Interesting)

SN74S181 (581549) | about 11 years ago | (#6495149)

It's something that I don't understand.

Unless you've bought into Apple's desktop systems, buying an Apple notebook means having to maintain two seperate sets of software to run on your systems.

I look at the Powerbook and shake my head because I have too much fairly good and rather expensive Windows software. If I'm going to run a second software platform (which I do) I want it to be a free software platform. I'm not interested in investing lots of money in applications for yet another properietary OS.

I guess if I had an unlimited amount of money to spend, the Powerbook would be worth considering. But then if I had an unlimited amount of money I would get an IBM PPC based laptop to run AIX and/or NetBSD on.

Re:Interesting... (5, Insightful)

neuroklinik (452842) | about 11 years ago | (#6495207)

"I'm not interested in investing lots of money in applications for yet another properietary OS."

Hmm... Open-source Darwin core... X11... More "open" technologies than you could shake a stick at... Loads of great built-in languages... Freely available ports of tons of great Unix apps... Exactly what is so "proprietary" about Mac OS X that is scaring you away?

You're Forgetting the Toilet Seat (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495214)

I remember Apple laptop (the toilet seat model) owners drooled over my Sony Vaio (one of the super slim models) for years till the Powerbooks finally caught up. Apple has fantastic design aesthetics, but Sony's got it too.

Power comparison (3, Insightful)

Millyways (262662) | about 11 years ago | (#6495017)

A 900 MHZ Centrino really doesn't compare that well to a 987MHZ G4.

Re:Power comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495098)

Why, which do you figure would perform better?

Re:Power comparison (2, Informative)

uunh haun (638348) | about 11 years ago | (#6495131)

that's 867

Battery Life. (3, Interesting)

Joseph Vigneau (514) | about 11 years ago | (#6495018)

extra long battery life, estimated at 2.5 - 7 hours

That's a pretty wide range...

Re:Battery Life. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495042)

Not in the opinions of %5 - %90 of its potential customers.

Re:Battery Life. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495119)

2.5 if the laptop is on.

7.0 if it's off.

Re:Battery Life. (5, Funny)

vidnet (580068) | about 11 years ago | (#6495204)

They should never have put in that red "Off"-light.

Does it run Mac OS X ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495025)

Or can ya just stick an Apple sticker on it and then attract lots of friends?

900MHz Centrino (5, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 11 years ago | (#6495033)

Sony used to use Transmeta chips in their subnotebooks. This can't be good news for TMTA. It's good that Linus could read the writing on the wall, but I feel bad for their other employees... facing unemployment in this economy. And, let's be honest, even if they do find work elsewhere, few companies have as much potential as Transmeta had.

Re:900MHz Centrino (2, Interesting)

dnaboy (569188) | about 11 years ago | (#6495189)

Potential, true, but Transmeta was doomed long ago. With StrongARM processers in PocketPCs which run faster than the original Celerons (400MhZ Pocket PCs vs 300 on my old POS Compuke), way higher speed current generation celerons, and Centrino as a way of marketing a chip / board / etc combination, Intel pretty much has the low through high end (along with AMD) of the market covered.

I know someone, had I not mentioned it, would instantly pipe in that all MhZs are not created equal (I'm a Mac nut- trust me I know), but I'm merely trying to say that there really is no niche for Transmeta anymore.

Once again from your intellectual, moral, social, and emotional superior, []

OSX On Sony? (5, Insightful)

evil_roy (241455) | about 11 years ago | (#6495035)

Hard to believe. It's going to be hard to be a PowerBook killer without it.

Re:OSX On Sony? (4, Interesting)

SN74S181 (581549) | about 11 years ago | (#6495168)

Actually, for lots of us, (one could say 'for the rest of us') OSX is the Powerbook killer. It might be a cool OS platform, but since all our Adobe apps, etc. are the Windows versions, etc. etc. the fact that the Powerbook only runs OSX kills it as an option. Where binary OS lockin is concerned, why switch from one lockin (Windows) to another (OSX)?

You haven't looked very hard (4, Informative)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | about 11 years ago | (#6495036)

Hmm... you obviously haven't looked very hard [] .

Re:You haven't looked very hard (1)

joe_bruin (266648) | about 11 years ago | (#6495147)

when looking into buying a laptop (i was in the market for ultra-portables). the fujitsu lifebooks were definitely the winners in my book (the p2000, specifically). the sony's seem to have way too much unjustified junk that i don't want, and quite overpriced (although they do look pretty sweet).
what finally stopped me from buying it was the crusoe processor. if they only went with intel or amd, i'd be a happy camper. but from the benchmarks i've seen, the transmetas are not even close in performance.

Re:You haven't looked very hard (1)

Kenshiro (6045) | about 11 years ago | (#6495211)

The P5k (which the top post linked to) has a 900mhz intel, not transmeta.

I'm typing this from an older P, though, with an 800mhz crusoe.

A Question (5, Informative)

X-wes (629917) | about 11 years ago | (#6495039)

Seems Slashdotted--Here are some pics [] from []

Not so much a comment as a question...

What has really set the Vaio apart from ye olde everyday laptop was the interesting addition of the integrated still/video camera. Are there any other manufacturers out who do this? it really usable as an integrated camera?

Sony Notebook?? (5, Interesting)

unixwin (569813) | about 11 years ago | (#6495043)

Have you *EVER* tried to load a different OS (as in what did not come originally on the system) nto a Sony Notebook?? You will tear your hair and generally feel like throwing out the notebook... ou will find no drivers or support on their site or it, and contacting Sony will give you a response of "It did not come with that OS so we do ot support it"

I am not talking about putting Linux/BSD or Solaris (what I am thinking??) ... just a Win2k or something.

Plus their position/membership/stance on DMCA,RIAA et. all makes me want to spend my money elsewhere...

Re:Sony Notebook?? (5, Informative)

rindeee (530084) | about 11 years ago | (#6495105)

Well...yes. I just did so last Friday. I have an old PCG-C1VN (the original Picturebook) with the Transmeta 600MHz. It came with ME preinstalled (worthless). I have run several different Linux distros on it. On Friday I reformatted it and installed W2K as I just got a T-Mobile wireless Internet card (only works on Windows...out of the box) and wanted to use it on my smallest laptop. Went to Sony's sight and clicked on the link for Installing W2K on the PCG-C1VN. Had all the drivers, and all "special instructions" for such things as installing the drivers in the right order (dependancies in effect) and getting W2K to allow the odd (1024x480) resolution. Lots of drivers to download, but no real problems. Works great with my T-Mobile card. All that said, it isn't the most useful notebook PC in the world...I much prefer my Thinkpad with SuSE 8.2.


Re:Sony Notebook?? (4, Informative)

Aix (218662) | about 11 years ago | (#6495124)

I don't know about other models, but until I dropped it and broke the screen after 3+ years, I was very happy running Red Hat, then Debian and then Gentoo on my Vaio PCG-XG9. I found support for pretty much everything but the WinModem. A single anecdote does not a dataset make, but hey, you asked "Have you *EVER* tried..." and yes, I have. Successfully.

Re:Sony Notebook?? (1)

cheezedawg (413482) | about 11 years ago | (#6495248)

Nah. I upgraded my XG-29 from Win98 to Win2k a few years back without any problems. From the looks of it right now [] , they have drivers available for XP too.

Maybe other models are different.

Re:Sony Notebook?? (1)

peterprior (319967) | about 11 years ago | (#6495253)

I've had no problems with my vaio. The pcmcia cdrom drive can make things a little akward, but thats half the fun :)

The only thing I can see being an issue is the new Centrino chipset. Whats the linux support for this chipset like? Last thing I heard it wasn't supported very well, which could give issues with irq routing / dma etc.

Centrino (0, Redundant)

$exyNerdie (683214) | about 11 years ago | (#6495045)

Until now most of the small form factor notebooks had transmeta crusoe processor...this looks much better

-- Sig
(What's Google doing on time magazine? ) []

Redundant moderators (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 11 years ago | (#6495162)

I wish people who moderate redundant would check the posting times. When a new article opens up, there's a flood of posts within minutes of each other. There's no way short of Elron Super Powerz to know that someone else is about to post basically the same thing.

And I hope that all meta-moderators examine all redundant moderations in context.

VAIO no-way (4, Informative)

mpd2014 (608255) | about 11 years ago | (#6495046)

I recently sold my Vaio after owning it for less than a year. Memory had problems, seemed slow and just did not live up to expectations. I recently bought a Mac PowerBook G4, my first Mac laptop and I am extremely pleased with it. Airport Extreme 802.11G works flawlessly with my Linksys router using the G standard, I have Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, PhP and host of other apps installed all working flawlessly. If you're looking for a great UI with unix under the hood look no further.

Re:VAIO no-way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495110)

Why the hell is this moderated informative?

Re:VAIO no-way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495117)

Take your advertisements to, shill.

Re:VAIO no-way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495193)

The phoney Macintosh astroturfers are getting ridiculous on this site.

Do you guys get a bonus if you spend your coffee breaks shilling your companies' product?

Re:VAIO no-way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495250)

I don't see why Mac users can't speak their mind about the products they use. People always say stuff on these forums about how great their specific PC is, or their distribution of the OS they use is. So as soon as someone says anything that is pro-apple people always jump on top of that. What if someone said stuff like, take your ogg-support to an ogg website, or take your gentoo advertisement to the gentoo website, etc etc. I think you get my point...

What we always ask here... (0, Funny)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | about 11 years ago | (#6495053)

What we always ask here...

can it run Linux?

Does a bear shit in the woods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495075)

Is the Pope a Catholic?

ad (1)

heli0 (659560) | about 11 years ago | (#6495059)

Looks like Designtechnica's new ad campaign is working out well for them.

12" vs 10.6" (4, Insightful)

ajiva (156759) | about 11 years ago | (#6495067)

How can this thing be better, when the screen is 1.4" smaller? Heck I think 12" is too small, but 10.6"? Geez can anyone even read /. on that? :)

Re:12" vs 10.6" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495203)

Have you ever actually used a small screen or are you just blowing smoke out your ass?

I'm guessing smoke.

Re:12" vs 10.6" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495222)

Of course you can read Slashdot on it...

I have a hitachi visionbook (P133, 1 GB, 40 MB RAM, 2.7 lbs!) with an 8.4" 640x480 screen and with the exception of the occasional need to scroll sideways, browsing the web works just fine.

Just a little perspective for those who haven't used hardware like that since years ago...

Linux support (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495072)

12" Powerbook killer... err except that all Apple hardware is very well supported by linux... whereas the Centrino 802.11b isn't supported at all. So your fancy subnotebook is going to have an 802.11b card sticking out the side.

Unless you want to run Windows that is, in which case you have bigger problems. :)

It doesn't look so hot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495086)

It looks pretty white and texty if you ask me. It's also telling me to check my network settings.

where's my OPENGL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495089)

via radeon or geforce

i don't care, but at least the slowest of the powerbooks have a radeon in them.

Well it's slashdotted ... (2, Informative)

SuperDuG (134989) | about 11 years ago | (#6495092)

But yeah there's a little problem with calling it a "powerbook killer" for one, it doesn't run Mac OS. That would be a key component for it to "kill" the power book's notebook share. Plus lets face it there are many laptops for many needs. Many things come into play when purchasing a laptop and best bang for the buck seems to be the #1 reason people actually buy laptops.

While this may be cool (wouldn't know can't read the article), let's face it people will sacrifice weight, size, and battery life for a cheaper model that does the same thing. UNLESS they are walking around with the thing, or travel a lot, or have a particular breifcase they'd like this to fit it. Believe it or not I've seen someone buy a new laptop because it was the right "size" of the breif case they had grown quite accustomed to.

12" is hard to read at a res bigger than 1024x768 as well. I really don't see this thing killing anything as there are so many laptops on the market now that no one can decide on one "ultimate" laptop.

Re:Well it's slashdotted ... (1)

greymond (539980) | about 11 years ago | (#6495166)

It's true - I keep buying Thinkpads because I have this really cool IBM sling bag that can transform into a back pack or briefcase - its super comfy too in any position and holds all my accessories perfectly.

Of course my mammoth Thinkpad may not be as sleak as others Sony or Toshiba, but it works for what I want and was cheeper.

Screen resolution vs. screen size (1)

Amit J. Patel (14049) | about 11 years ago | (#6495205)

12" is hard to read at a res bigger than 1024x768 as well.

This all depends on your font size, no? I just got a laptop that offers 1400x1050 on a 14.1" screen, and it's beautiful. Yes, I had to increase the default font sizes, and yes, ads on web sites are smaller, but the text is easier to read than on the lower resolution screens. Given this experience, I now want to see the Dells that have even higher resolution (1600? 1900?).

- Amit []

Neil Peart is the Greatest Drummer Alive! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495095)

Neil Peart is an amazing drummer. He wields an unearthly drumming power like no other drummer on this planet. If you have time download The Rhythem Method by Neil Peart. If you already have and like what you hear, please mod this up.

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---a--a-a--aaaaaa------a-------a----------aaaa---a aaaaa----a---a---aaaaa----a--
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Price, price, price (5, Interesting)

Jon Abbott (723) | about 11 years ago | (#6495120)

Apple's 12" Powerbook [] costs $1,600 ($1,400 for students), while the new Sony Vaio [] is expected to cost around $2,000. Even with the cheaper price, the Apple laptop gives you 10GB more hard drive space, and a larger screen, and OS X as well. The only advantage I see is the weight difference, as the Sony weighs 32% less than the Apple. As long as you don't have trouble lifting 4.6 pounds, go for the Apple. :^)

Re:Price, price, price (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | about 11 years ago | (#6495163)

lets not forget the DVD recorder / CD-RW that comes with the powerbook.

Re:Price, price, price (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | about 11 years ago | (#6495241)

Actually, DVD-R option for the 12" Powerbook costs another $200 to purchase, so I didn't mention it for price reasons... But yes, you could have a DVD-R equipped 12" Powerbook for less than the cost of one of these new Sony laptops.

Shhh! (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 11 years ago | (#6495251)

The powerbook is more expensive! Macs have to be more expensive, or what would the trolls complain about (Greater ease of use? Longer battery life?)?

But.. (1)

Aliencow (653119) | about 11 years ago | (#6495128)

Does it play ogg ?

Re:But.. (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | about 11 years ago | (#6495176)

No, not yet.

The Centrino is missing essential floating point instructions (muls,mulu,adda,addq) which makes the floating point Ogg decoder choke.

Since the integer Ogg decoder isn't yet finished, no Ogg on the Vaio yet.

Untapped Market? (5, Interesting)

VidarJMD (680958) | about 11 years ago | (#6495132)

It seems to me there is a largely untapped market for notebooks. As I shop for one I am looking for a small, lightweight system with a long lasting battery. What I am NOT looking for is a 1Ghz+ system. I do not want a laptop that replaces my desktop but instead one that accompanies it. 500MHz is plenty for something that I would use for word processing, listening to music, and browsing the web. As processor technology improves you'd thing the long battery life and other features would make a great combination with older processors but I never see that. The only choice is to buy an old laptop but it's big and bulky and usually used. On top of that the cost savings isn't enough to warrent such a device. Why don't I ever see something like this: Pentium III 500MHz 20GB Harddrive 128MB RAM 12 inch screen 4lbs or less And some crappy 4MB video for $500 I'd buy one in a heartbeat. I just want something portable yet more capable than a PDA. I don't want to replace my desktop.

PB 12" Killer? (2, Interesting)

bastard01 (532616) | about 11 years ago | (#6495134)

Um, if I remember the benches [] for everyday use, there already was a 12" powerbook killer [] . Not much less performance, with the exception on altivec, and cheaper too.

linux-sony mailing list (2, Informative)

rtnz (207422) | about 11 years ago | (#6495143)

Not sure if this one runs Linux but anyone else running Linux on Sony Laptops should check out the linux-sony mailing list [] .

Powerbook Killer? (1, Insightful)

phatcat625 (668966) | about 11 years ago | (#6495152)

Honestly, PC's at one point had Apple begging for scraps at the dinner table like a dog. However biased you are, Apple will not just disappear into the good night. First off, 900 MHz Centrino isn't going to beat the 867 G4 considering that the G4 competes quite well with the intel mobile market. DVD-R? No. Up to 1152 MB memory? Think again. 60 GB hard drive? HA. Any OS besides windows... Dream On. So what about this Powerbook Killer? I would look at it and say... "oh it's a Sony" and then look at something else.

Ok, let's get this over with... (1)

upplepop (684833) | about 11 years ago | (#6495153)

1. They must have been running their web server on one of these! 2. Imagine a beowolf cluster of these babies!

12" Powerbook killer? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495157)

This VAIO costs $700 more than a 12" Powerbook. Show me a Mac user who actually wants a Windows machine, or better yet, wants to pay *more* for one?

uhh... Don't forget about support (4, Interesting)

danlor (309557) | about 11 years ago | (#6495159)

Have you ever tried to call Sony's support desk? I have a pretty sweet little sony R505-ELK. It has been a really great machine, until I started loosing sectors. So I called them up to get a warentee replacement. They told me... and I quote... "That's only a couple megs! You have a 30 gig drive. That doesn't come close to meeting our criteria for failure." They went on to explain that they would not replace the drive until it was completely nonfunctional.

So. Please keep this in mind before you make the leap. Dell and Apple have high support ratings for a reason. Your laptop WILL fail at some point. Make sure you pick a company that honors thier warentees. Although as of late, Dell has been getting pretty bad too.

Totally different kettles of fish... (1)

Goonie (8651) | about 11 years ago | (#6495170)

I haven't seen the pictures of this one, but my former boss (hey Bill, if you're still reading /.), had an older generation of Picturebook. They are much smaller than a Picturebook, or indeed anything else with a (sorta) full-size keyboard. Depending on what you intend to do with a notebook computer, the extra portability (you can shove one in a backpack and still have plenty of room for other stuff) makes them an alternative worth looking at.

Bah, NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495180)

powerbook killer

This subnote is packed full of features: integrated camera (still and video),

Sony has a history of not sharing ANY information about the camera. So it won't work with BSD or *Linux.

For this to be a 'powerbook' killer:
1) Sony would have to be less onerous than Apple (Sony supports the DMCA, Apple didn't)
2) The Sony product would have to run BSD. And, well, Sony wants money, so it whores itself to Microsoft

Sorry Sony. Go back to making rice cookers that burn rice.

This is news?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495183)

I had a Toshiba Libretto years ago. Size of a VHS tape. Fujitsu's had a subnotebook line for years (better specs than the libretto). And this isn't even new for Sony. They've had PictureBooks for years.

Come on, slashdot, try to keep up.

Sony uses ACPI not good for non MS OS (1)

chaffed (672859) | about 11 years ago | (#6495194)

Sony laptops use ACPI [] instead of APM. This makes lif very difficult for loading non MS OS's. Though there is some great work being done for linux it is still not at a usable and stable level. This may change come the 2.6 kernel but I doubt it.

Re:Sony uses ACPI not good for non MS OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495246)

I can run FreeBSD like the blazes on my sony notebooks.
Maybe you should switch?

The real 12" PowerBook Killer is the IBM X31 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495223)

The real 12" PowerBook Killer is the IBM X31, beside the lack of intergrated optical media it has it all, and the 1.4 Ghz Pentium-M is really fast (notably faster than my P4 2.4 Ghz Desktop when there is no 3D involved)

One of the most important questions for a subnote (2, Interesting)

Tyrdium (670229) | about 11 years ago | (#6495228)

How's the screen and keyboard? I drooled over the Actius MM10 for months, but when I went to Micro Center I immediately hated it. The 10" screen tries to pack in a resolution of 1024 x 768, and the keyboard is tiny. Heck, the thing is even missing one of the shift keys... Since most of what I do on a subnote is typing (since, given their power, they aren't decent for gaming), screen size and keyboard usability (and battery life) are some of the largest factors for me. My iBook has a great keyboard (the one on the 12" PB G4 is even better), an amazing screen, and a battery life of over four hours. The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of a PCMCIA slot and the fact that Apple tech repair keeps sending it back with problems (the thing is making this really annoying ticking noise, and the ethernet port is shot). The ethernet port wouldn't be such a big deal, except that it has no PCMCIA slot for me to plug an adapter into, there are no Mac drivers for any USB adapters, and they want 600ish bucks to get the motherboard replaced... Conclusion: Macs make great lightweight notebooks, but have a few design flaws. All in all, they're probably better than the new Sony laptop.

Powerbooks are the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6495243)

It seems every new laptop these days is compared to the Powerbooks, which shows that Apple has set the standard for laptops that everyone else now has to measure up to.
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