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Sony expands color palette with new notebooks

Sony unfurled a new line of Centrino notebooks, the FJ Vaio series, this week that sport, among other features, new colors. The FJ Vaios will come in Onyx Black, Pearl White, Sky Blue, Jade Green and Raspberry Red. While the white and black ones will be available at retailers, the other colors will only be available through Sony's web site.

Although Apple and its iMac deserve credit for making PCs a fashion statement in 1998, notebook makers were actually toiling around with the color concept earlier. One of the first fashion statement notebooks was the Pedion, a $6,000 notebook from Mitsubishi and HP released in 1997. It didn't work well. (Before that, IBM made basic black its signature color on the ThinkPad.)

Sony, which had struggled for years to make a big splash in PCs, then got a big boost through the Vaio 505, a thin notebook with a gold metallic chassis.

The company currently offers a burgundy T series Vaio which sells well, according to a spokeswoman, as well as a TX series Vaio with a blue-tinted carbon fiber shell.

The FJ Vaios start at around $1,400 and come with a 14.1-inch screen.