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Sony Bows Built-In Wireless DataVaio

5/16/2005 01:39:00 PM Eastern

San Diego, Calif. — Sony announced last week that its T-Series of Vaio notebooks will feature integrated high-speed wireless wide area network (WWAN) technology in a partnership with Cingular Wireless.

The notebook offers a suite of built-in network connectivity options, including WLAN and Bluetooth and a new “SmartWi” technology from Sony that lets users toggle between network options. The T-Series notebooks will bundle a free trial of Cingular’s Edge Network with the option to subscribe to its $79.95 monthly unlimited data access plan and get one month free. Consumers who sign up for a two-year unlimited plan earn two months of free access.

Cingular also offers a 50MB per month data plan at $49.99 per month. According to Cingular, its high-speed data network blankets 13,000 cities and towns and nearly 40,000 miles of interstate highways in the United States, with typical speeds clocking in at 70 to 135 kps.

The T-series notebooks weigh in at 3.04 pounds and offer from 3.5 to nine hours of battery life, depending on the application. It features a DVD+R double-layer DVD+RW drive with click-to-DVD software for disc burning, a 10.6-inch wide-format LCD, and built-in Dolby technology for headphone surround sound.

The notebooks with a midnight blue chassis will be available in June starting at $2,200. The company will also offer a silver and burgundy colored notebook through its online store or at SonyStyle retail location.

Jeff Bradley, business data services VP, Cingular, said that thanks to the success of the BlackBerry, the “next wave” of demand for mobile data access would come from laptops.

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