UX490 goes missing from SonyStyle

Posted on 10 June 2008 by

Jenn from Pocketables.net notes that the Sony VAIO UX490 has gone missing from SonyStyle.com. This isn’t abnormal for Sony. It’s been seen before, however this time it seems a bit different as Sony has completely removed the UX section from their website. This is the first time that there hasn’t been at least one UX model for sale on SonyStyle. Without the UX490 there is nothing under that category, so the whole section has been removed from the site.

I think the big question is whether this is an indicator of Sony moving away from the UX line and instead replacing it with the netbook. Sony is rumored to be taking advantage of VIA’s OpenBook design which would help them bring a low-cost netbook to market in a relatively short period of time. Does that conflict with the UX line? I would say no. The two are in completely different categories. The netbook is a low-power, low-cost device targeted toward first time PC users or users who don’t need a lot of power. The UX line, on the other hand, is a high-power premium device targeted toward mobile professionals. Sony managed to pack enough power into the UX490 to make it one of, if not the most powerful ultra mobile PC to date, and in one of the smallest packages.

So what could explain the removal of the UX490 from SonyStyle.com? Sony is often very mechanical about the way it does things when it comes to pricing and online sales. When the UX180 was first released it was only on shelves for a few months before it disappeared entirely and was replaced with the UX280. The UX280 sold for the same price as the UX180 but had double the RAM and a larger HDD. Then of course came the UX380/90 models which were slightly upgraded versions of the UX280 for the same price. Consequently the UX280 faded off into the background. The same thing happened with the UX380 before the UX490 came out. If anything, I would say that removal of the UX490 from SonyStyle.com has more to do with marketing and sales than telling us whether or not the line is going to be discontinued in favor of a netbook. It’s quite possible that Sony stopped producing the UX490 because they new a new model would be coming to market soon, but something has prevented them from bringing the new model on board at the right time.

So the way I see it, the two are not going to interfere with each other. Sony will probably continue its incremental updates of the UX line. Sony is large enough that it can experiment with a netbook while continuing to manufacture the UX series of computers. Its anyone’s guess as to when they will update the platform that the UX runs on. They have been using the same powerful Intel hardware since the series started with the UX180. There has been some fishy activity on Sony’s support website which may hint at new models. I’ll be keeping an eye on that and keep everyone posted.

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  • scoobie

    That link wont let you buy one though

    I think the UX is due an upgrade this summer. Hopefully it wont be a ux590 but s full upgrade, fixing its usability issues like the keyboard

  • Well I was going to explain B2B but decided not to… B2B = business to business, so if you have a business and/or a B2B account with Sony there wouldn’t be any problems, you can see the price at the bottom and the “Add to My Products” statement, also you can see the see the HOW TO BUY top right of the page :)

  • someone

    These are pretty cool little machines.

    But too expensive for me… if they were priced like netbooks I’d consider a UX. But netbooks are more practical.

  • scoobie

    I think we all know what B2B is. But the website should not give an error if you’re not logged in, that’s just bad web design.

    The point of this article is still valid in my view. eg I’m reading reports elsewhere from Malaysia and Singapore saying the device isn’t available anymore from Sony. So Sony are either getting out of the UX altogether or winding it down for a replacement in my opinion.

  • One can never know what “all know” since one can never know who all the “all” implies to online :)

    Not giving me any errors, perhaps you are outside its intended market?

    The point of the article is, is there a new gen of UMPC from Sony, right? I hope sincerely there is as for the UX being “missing” from SonyStyle’s site is has happened before with both the UX and TZ lineup, why don’t know. But on all occasions they have been available on the B2B site.

    Here is a similar “incident” of it being missing from 2006
    http://www.handtops.com/forum/2635/2//UX_is_Discontinued.html

  • nice piece. what will be the price? seems that sony umpc keep the high prices :(

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