It took a while for Sony to enter the netbook market, but now they seem to be reinforcing their commitment to this budget-minded segment by releasing the new M series
. The netbook -- or mini notebook, as Sony likes to call them -- looks a lot like the W series unveiled last year
with two key differences: the Vaio M has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 Pine Trail processor, rather than the old N280, and its 10.1-inch screen only supports a 1024 x 600 resolution instead of 1366 x 768.
It also includes a beefier 250GB hard drive pre-loaded with Windows 7 Starter Edition and the same 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Graphics come courtesy of an integrated Intel GMA 3150 chip, there's a built-in webcam and connectivity options such as 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and three USB 2.0 ports. It's reasonably light at around 3 pounds and comes with a 6-cell battery. While pricing isn't official, the system is expected to sell for around $450 when it hits the U.S.