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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Sony Offers Low-Price Notebooks: Nikkei Personal Computing Survey
  • October 20, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp.'s new notebook personal computers are becoming less expensive, according to Nikkei Personal Computing, which conducted a survey on PC prices at six large-scale PC shops in Tokyo on Oct. 11.
    According to the survey, Sony's new thin notebook computer, called VAIO PCG-505R, was marketed at 199,800 yen (US$1,750). The company had expected its retail price to be about 250,000 yen before its introduction.

    After the new model was introduced at a low price, the prices of the two older models, the 505G and 505GX, were reduced by about 30,000 yen. Inventories of both models are slim. The old models are less attractive in terms of specifications and prices.

    Sony's VAIO PCG-766/BP, an A4 full-size notebook computer, also is becoming less expensive. This model is equipped with a 266MHz MMX Pentium microprocessor, a 3.2GB hard disk drive and a CD-ROM drive. It is priced at 249,800 yen (US$2,180) including Word98 and Excel97.

    Prices of some notebook PCs from Fujitsu Ltd., IBM Japan Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. have recently decreased by an average of 30,000 yen (US$260).

    For example, the price of Matsushita's Let's note mini/M32 (CF-M32J8) A5 notebook has been declining since last summer, and is now at the level of 150,000 yen (US$1,310). It appeals to those seeking an inexpensive notebook PC. Personal computer specialty stores reportedly have sufficient inventories of the model.

    Almost no change has been seen in prices of desktop computers. Compaq Computer K.K.'s low-end models have fallen in price, due to the introduction of new models in the same price range. Compaq's new PRESARIO 2262-15 W98 model, which uses an MII-300 CPU from Cyrix Corp. of the United States, is being offered for less than 120,000 yen (US$1,050) without a monitor.

    Prices of Macintosh machines also are stable. Supplies of Apple Computer Inc.'s iMac had been scarce, but the situation began to change as a few stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area now have some stock. Its price remains at 178,000 yen.

    The survey is conducted regularly covering six large-scale PC stores in Tokyo's Akihabara and Shinjuku areas. Details of survey results are made public through the Web site of Nikkei Personal Computing, and are available only in Japanese.

    Related story: Prices of Toshiba Notebooks Decline: Nikkei Personal Computing Survey

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Mon Oct 19 18:23:34 1998 PDT