Just when you thought Chromebook support from manufacturers might be fading, it looks like Sony is moving forward with a Chromebook of its own. The Sony VAIO VCC111 Series pictures and manual just showed up on the FCC this week, and in case there’s any doubt as to whether this is a Chromebook the reference to “start Chrome OS” on page 2 of the manual should put an end to any debate this might be a Windows machine Ultrabook:
And furthermore, check out the keyboard, it’s missing the Windows key, you just get Ctrl and Alt keys on the lower left side, a further indication of this being a Google Chrome OS machine:
Since the FCC has furnished us with photos of the upcoming VAIO Chromebook (albeit low resolution pics, in typical FCC fashion) let’s take a tour around to see what you get:
Left Side View – The power jack, HDMI port, microphone jack and headphone jack are all found on the left side
Right Side View – There’s an SD card reader and two USB 2.0 ports over here
Back View – Not much to see here, apparently it has Chrome accents as it’s reflecting lights in the FCC lab there
Front View – A green light indicator can be seen, according to the user guide the green light here indicates whether power is on or off
Bottom view – It appears the battery is removable and you can see the typical Chrome recovery method there that involves jamming a pin into a small hole, a la resetting a wi-fi router or modem.
Finally, we can see the Chromebook open and being measured with an approximate depth of 21cm or 8.27-inches for those of us still not on the metric system.
It’s still not clear what the internal specs are for the VAIO CC111, but with the user guide and pictures we can at least deduct some of those. The bottom picture of the Chromebook has a sticker that indicates it has an 11.6” Samsung screen and the CPU is a “T25”. This could be an Nvidia Tegra 2 T25 ARM based processor, which would be interesting as it would make for the first Chromebook to run on a non-Intel based processor.
Deduced Specs, question mark indicates assumed or unsure:
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 250 T25 1.2GHz ARM based processor (?)
Screen: 11.6” diagonal, produced by Samsung
OS: Chrome OS
Memory: 2GB RAM (?)
Ports: two USB 2.0, SD card reader, headphone port, microphone port, HDMI
Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth
Storage: SSD – 16GB (?)
So far Samsung and Acer have been the only manufacturers to release Chromebooks, so this is certainly a win for Google to have another manufacturer jump into the fray. It seems like Sony has been dragging its heels on the release. The documents for approval were first submitted to the FCC last September and just this Wednesday the user guide and FCC test photos showed up:
Pricing on Chromebooks generally start around $299 – $400 range, so we’d expect this Sony to be about the same, based on pictures there doesn’t appear to be anything extra special Sony has done to warrant a higher price. There are very few Chromebooks currently available, the Amazon Chromebook store lists only four and one of those (the Acer AC700) is out of stock, so it’s interesting to see Sony toss their hat into the ring now. We expect availability to be within the next couple of months or so based on past experience of the time it takes to migrate from FCC approval to landing on shelves.
Now the only mystery remains is to when will Sony release an Ultrabook…