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Sony chooses Transmeta again

The consumer electronics giant plans to announce its second Transmeta-based notebook, which is expected to hit U.S. store shelves in June.

Sony plans to sell a second Transmeta-based notebook in the United States, the consumer electronics giant will announce Wednesday.

Last fall, Sony became the first company to bring to the United States a notebook with a Transmeta processor. The first unit, the Vaio PCG-C1 PictureBook, used Transmeta's 600MHz Crusoe.

Sony's second such notebook, the Sony Vaio PCG-C1VP PictureBook, uses a 667MHz Crusoe and will ship next month in the United States for $2,000. The unit has been shipping in Japan for several months.

Transmeta is the latest upstart trying to break into the competitive world of processors and is taking on the likes of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

Several notebook manufacturers have introduced notebooks using Transmeta's Crusoe processor, including Toshiba, NEC and Casio.

All of these units fall into the thin-and-light category of notebooks that generally don't ship in high volumes, noted IDC analyst Alan Promisel.

"In order for Transmeta to have any sort of real success in the portable PC space they will have to get into larger notebooks, which ship in higher volumes than these Transmeta-based units," Promisel said.

By larger notebooks, Promisel said, he is referring to units with two or more media slots for drives and batteries.

Sony's new PictureBook comes with an 8.9-inch active-matrix screen, a 15GB hard drive, 128MB of SDRAM and 8MB of graphics memory. The unit is 1.06 inches thick, 9.8 inches long and 6 inches wide. It weighs 2.2 pounds.