A leading industry analyst at Gartner and a number of PC magazine editors have criticised Sony's ultraportable PC strategy, following the news last week that a Sony Vaio P 'mark 2' is set for release later in 2009.
TechRadar was first to break the news earlier this month that an updated version of Sony's sexy-but-costly Vaio P was in the works, but it seems that analysts and PC mag editors alike are not overly impressed with the news.
"The Vaio P screen size is below 10-inches," Annette Jump, Research Director at Gartner reminded TechRadar. "And the challenge with that product is that most mini-notebooks cost between 350 to 399 Euros."
"Obviously Sony's product is very good in terms of quality and looks, but is very expensive at $900 plus," the Gartner analyst continued. "Most consumers would never consider buying a product like that, especially with the current offerings on notebooks."
"Also, to make it even less appealing there is a growing trend in slim and light notebooks, in price range of $800 to $1200 based on something such as the Intel CLUV processor – which is in the price range of Sony's Vaio P machine," Jump added.
"So while Sony focus a lot on quality, they maybe miss where the market is moving and where the demand is."
For MP's expenses only
While many of us were quite taken with Sony's rather individualistic design with the first range of Vaio P ultraportable PCs, some PC magazine editors were not great fans.
"If Sony really has to persist with this silly design, then it needs to be priced around £300," said Alex Cox, Reviews Editor over on PC Plus magazine.
"But then again, they are now releasing netbooks in that range, so I really don't understand why they are planning on another Vaio P."
Alan Dexter, Editor of PC Format was not so critical of the design, telling TechRadar: "The first Sony VAIO P series was certainly one of the most attractive ultra-portables in the market, but beauty was unfortunately skin deep.
"It was dog slow to boot and use, and in terms of value for money a complete non-starter. If Sony can squeeze more raw power into a second generation machine, sort out the laughable boot times and halve the price it may be worth a second look.
"Somehow though, I don't see Sony making much impact in the netbook market even if it manages all these. One for MP's expenses only..."