Sony has a long history of making small, beautiful notebooks targeted at the high-end market thus not quite at the price points you have come to expect from the current crop low-cost notebook makers such as Asus. According to Quanta Computer, however, Sony will soon join the low-end ultra-mobile PC bandwagon with a notebook based on the VIA OpenBook reference design.

While there is limited information about the notebook, rumors suggest the system will run a 1.6GHz C7-M processor, while sporting a 60GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, WiMax support, and Windows Vista Home Basic. Sony has not stepped up to claim the system, so it's all speculation for now, but more information should arrive in the coming months as Quanta says the notebook will ship in Q3. The move would certainly impy a big shift in Sony's strategy for the notebook market and a significant boost for Via.