Sony has long been a reluctant player in the netbook space. A few years ago when everybody and their kid brother had already brought 7 to 10 inch netbooks with sub-$400 price tags and Intel Atom chips to market, Sony took a different path and introduced the $1000 Sony Vaio P mini-laptop with a super-high resolution display and a super-sluggish CPU.

A year later, Sony finally introduced a 10 inch model called the Sony Vaio W, but charged a premium due to a high resolution display and Sony branding.

Now Sony is reportedly taking a new approach, by dropping the Intel Atom chips in favor of new AMD Brazos processors. According to CNET, these devices may be netbook-sized, but Sony will likely price them above $500 and justify the higher cost by pointing to the higher performance the AMD chips offer.

Of course, that doesn’t mean other companies won’t be launching cheaper notebooks with new AMD chips. But it sounds like Sony is using AMD’s new offering as an excuse to drop out of the netbook business it never really wanted to be part of in the first place.

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