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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • Sony to Launch Slim Notebook PC Models
  • September 23, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp. said it will launch three new models of its thin, B5-sized VAIO 505 series with thinner displays than earlier models.
    Other changes include enhanced specifications in main memories and hard disk drive capacity.

    Very slim is the highest-end model, the PCG-505RX (photo). It has a slim, low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD). The front body is now 19.8mm (the rear body is 22.2mm), which is 4.1mm thinner than the preceding model's 23.9mm.

    Even the PCG-505RS and PCG-505R, which have the same color TFT-LCD as the previous models, are slightly thinner in size at 22.2mm in thickness.

    The new models weigh less too. For example, the 505RX weighs 1.24kg, while the 505RS and 505R weigh 1.22kg as opposed to the 1.39kg of the old models.

    The PCG-505RX, with a low-temperature polysilicon TFT-LCD, is the first model in the series to have an XGA display of 1,024 x 768 dots. Neo Magic's MagicGraph 128XD (video memory is 2MB) is adopted for the graphic chips for a display of 1,024 x 768 dots at maximum and 16.77 million colors.

    Other major changes on the new models are the maximum capacity of the main memory, hard disk drive capacity and the processor installed in the lower-end models.

    All three models will be pre-installed with Windows 98. For the main memory, the new models will have 64MB as the standard specification. The possible expandable capacity is from 96MB to 128MB.

    The 505RX/RS has a 266MHz MMX Pentium microprocessor, the same frequency as the earlier models. The lower-end model PCG-505R was changed from a 200MHz to 233MHz MMX Pentium chip.

    The capacity of the hard disk drive is increased from the previous 2.1GB to 4.3GB for the PCG-505RX and PCG-505RS and to 3.2GB for the PCG-505R.

    An i.LINK terminal enables connection to Sony's digital video equipment. The PCG-505RX and PCG-505RS will be have one port for this connection. The products use lithium-ion batteries, the same as the old models.

    The life of the battery is 1.5-3 hours for the PCG-505RX and 1.5-3.5 hours for the PCG-505RS/R. Compared to the old models, each operates 0.5 hour longer.

    The 505RS and 505R are scheduled to be sold on Oct. 10, and the 505RX is to be sold on Oct. 17.

    The over-the-counter prices set by Sony (the products carry open pricing) are 350,000 yen (US$2,645) for the 505RX, 300,000 yen (US$2,270) for the 505RS and 250,000 yen (US$1,890) for the 505R.

    Related story: Sony Senior VP Says Company is Brimming with PC Biz Ideas

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Tue Sep 22 18:38:47 1998 PDT