Sony Eyes Small Businesses With New Direct Vaio Site

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Sony reported that beginning in June it will expand its online computer build-to-order program with the addition of the Sony Business Direct web site in an effort to entice small- and medium-size businesses to buy direct from Sony. The company also unveiled its second half Vaio desktop PC and notebook line that it will officially launch at PC Expo next month.

The new site differs from Sony's existing Vaio Direct site by offering an array of dedicated business options like financing, leasing and direct purchase of BTO computers and equipment. In addition, Sony has created a field and telesales operation to support a company's purchase, said Patrick Vogt, Sony's direct sales VP.

The Vaio Digital Studio line will include three new SKUs with estimated street prices between $2,199 and $1,099. The high-end model features an Intel Pentium III 500MHz processor, CD-RW and 6x DVD-ROM drive. The mid-range model steps down to a Pentium III 450Mhz processor and drops the CD-RW drive, while the entry-level Vaio uses a Celeron 450MHz process and 32x CD-ROM drive.

Three new SuperSlim notebook models are on tap. The Z505SX SuperSlim Pro and Z505s SuperSlim Pro feature, respectively, Intel Pentium II 366MHz and Celeron 333MHz processors as well as 128MB of RAM and 64MB of RAM. Both models come with a 12.1-inch LCD screen, 6.4GB hard drive, USB and Memory Stick capability. Estimated street prices are $2,999 for the Z505SX and $2,499 for the Z505S. The 505TR SuperSlim, estimated street price $1,999, uses an Intel Pentium 300MHz with MMX, 10.4-inch screen 6.4GB hard drive and 64MB of SDRAM.

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