Sony Beats Others to the Punch

Finally…a notebook that won’t conk out on you during those long New York-to-San Francisco flight.

Sony Electronics Friday revealed that its new computer, the VAIO PictureBook C1VN notebook, would be the first to market with Transmeta Corp.‘s Crusoe processor. The Crusoe processor’s energy-saving capabilities nearly doubles the computer’s battery life to five-and-a-half hours.

Other PC manufacturers have discussed incorporating the processor into their gadgets. However, Sony said it expects to begin shipping the C1VN model as early as next month.

“At just 2.2 pounds, the PictureBook is lightweight,” said Mark Hanson, vice president and general manager for VAIO PC products at Sony Electronics. “Couple that with the enhanced battery life Sony is experiencing with Crusoe and consumers get more productive mobile time and greater flexibility in how they use their notebooks. With this technology, there’s no reason to be tethered to a power cord or searching for an AC adapter.”

Dave Ditzel, chief executive of Transmeta, added, “Unlike other microprocessors, Crusoe uses an innovative ‘smart layer’ of software to perform functions normally done in hardware on a chip. This fundamental, unique design difference allows Crusoe to be smaller, run cooler and be more power-efficient than traditional microprocessors.”

The new PictureBook will also feature a new built-in progressive scan camera for better digital still and video images, as well as digital video editing software. Applications will include: Sony’s MovieShaker, an application for producing digital home movies with transitions, effects and music; Intuit Quicken 2000; QuickTime; Microsoft Word 2000; Adobe Photo Deluxe Business Edition; and Sony’s DVgate and PictureGear.

The C1VN will ship with a 12 GB hard drive, 128 MB of SDRAM, and a dedicated MagicGate Memory Stick media slot for storage of downloadable SDMI-compliant music, high-resolution graphics and other data. It will also feature Sony’s programmable Jog Dial control for application loading.

The PictureBook has an estimated sale price of $2,299 and will come with Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition operating system.

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