VAIO launches Sony into notebooks

Sony has hedged its bets by launching a range of notebooks into the retail market which will be sold both directly and through the channel.

The launch of the VAIO notebooks is the company's first foray into the PC market. The initial notebook range - five models in all - will be sold both via retailers and directly through Sony's Web site.

It is also the first time Sony has undertaken direct sales. The company maintains, however, that it will not be compromising the channel.

Sony Australia's VAIO project team leader Daniel Horan said the company would avoid pricing conflict by selling the VAIO range at the recommended retail price.

"We need our retailers to give service and the personal touch," he said. "Our only direct outlets are via our Web site and call centre and our Sony showcase store at Fox Studios in Sydney."

The VAIO range is based around the oft-touted concept of integrating the multimedia platforms with personal computing and telecommunications. All the notebooks feature an iLink port, also known as a firewire connection, which allows users to connect to digital consumer electronics.

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