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Sony relents and enters lucrative netbook market

After months of promoting high-end Vaio models, company announces a cheaper alternative will hit Japan soon

Addressing recent consumer demand and expectations, Sony has finally decided to enter the netbook market with new lower-end Vaio models.

The Vaio W series, available in white, pink and brown, will hit stores in Japan for around 60,000 yen ($630) next month. It comes with a 10.1” high resolution LCD and is equipped with Microsoft's Windows XP operating system and Intel's Atom processor.

The price of the W series is much cheaper in comparison to other Vaio notebook models such as the P series of ‘pocket PCs’ that was released in the UAE earlier this year at a cost of more than AED 3,000.

Since Taiwan's Asustek came out with the breakthrough Eee PC netbook in 2007, other top computer brands such as Acer, HP and Dell Inc have pushed out their own lines to an eager consumer base, while Sony initially hesitated to join in.

Sony's US SVP of Information Technology Products Division Mike Abary, told respected technology blog engadget in an interview last year that consumer demand leaning towards cheaper computers such as the Eee PC would have a negative impact on the industry, which he described as "a race to the bottom."