Sony to Join Low-End UMPC Party, Quanta Claims

According to Quanta Computer—who will be the manufacturer—Sony will join the low-end ultra-mobile PC bandwagon with a notebook based on the VIA OpenBook reference design. As shown in the image, Sony's machine will use a 1.6GHz C7-M VIA processor, and while at this point it looks quite generic, it will be interesting to see if Sony—which is already known for its ultra-sleek sub-notebooks—would tweak the final design and technical specs.

Sony to Join Low-End UMPC Party, Quanta Claims

Sony prototype features

• Via 1.6 GHz C7-M processor.

• VX800 chipset.

• 8.9-inch 1,024 x 600 pixel screen

• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

• WiMac support

• 60GB hard disk.

• 1GB memory

• Windows Vista Home Basic

Openbook reference design

Powered by the VIA C7-M ULV processor and the VIA VX800 digital media IGP chipset, the VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design is a small, 1kg, 8.9" mini-notebook form factor design that supports screen resolutions of up to 1024x600 and high performance VIA Chrome9™ DirectX™ 9.0 3D graphics. Advanced video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1 and DiVX video formats, a VMR capable HD video processor and 8-channel HD audio make it a highly media rich mini-notebook platform.

The VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design offers unrivaled broadband connectivity options though two internal modules, with the first one featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional AGPS connections and the second one offering a choice of WiMAX, HSDPA, or EV-DO/W-CDMA options. In addition, the VIA OpenBook also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and audio-in/audio-out jacks as well as a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS) and a 2 mega-pixel dual-headed web camera.

The VIA OpenBook supports a wide range of operating system environments, including Microsoft Windows Vista Basic, Microsoft Windows XP, and various Linux distributions. The device features up to 2GB DDR2 DRAM and can be equipped with a choice of hard disk drive and solid state storage options.

Featuring a 4-cell 2600mA lithium-ion battery, the VIA OpenBook delivers up to three hours of battery life and measures just 240mm(W)x175mm (D) x36.2mm (H).

[PC Advisor and VIA]