The truth about Sony’s UX tablet

Meet Sony’s unique twist on the tablet PC.This official snap is one of a series leaked to Mobility Today – you can see the rest here – showing the VAI

Meet Sony’s unique twist on the tablet PC.

This official snap is one of a series leaked to Mobility Today – you can see the rest here – showing the VAIO UX in all its handsome silver and black glory.

Contrary to earlier web reports suggesting it’s Sony’s first foray into the world of Ultra Mobile PCs, we can confirm it’s actually a replacement for 2004’s quirky but unsuccessful U50 and U70 touchscreen handhelds. Like the old U efforts, this one’s expected to run Windows XP Pro instead of Tablet Edition.

Sony is also hinting the UX will be one of the first handheld computers with a Blu-Ray drive, running an Origami-like teaser (over here) on its US site. A short video flashes tantalising glimpses of the tablet before – not very cryptically – asking ‘is it green, red, orange, or Blu?’. We suspect, Sony, it’s a Blu-Ray drive.

According to Mobility Today, the specs include a 7in screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, two cams and a biometric sensor for Bond-like security.

Looking at the pics – which our sources assure us are authentic – we’ve also spotted a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot, Firewire socket and, most exciting of all, an HDMI port. That last one should make the UX a tidy little portable media player: just load it up with a few hi-def movies, connect any old HDTV and you’re sorted.

Our contact also said the UX will hit shops around July, though it’s likely to be limited to the US and Japan. Fingers crossed, gadget importers Dynamism UK will take it up: we’ve dropped them a line to find out, so check back for an update.

16th May 10am update: Dynamism's been in touch and, huzzah, it will be stocking the UX when it goes on sale.

10.30am update: Sony's site has had an update - apparently the official name for this tablet wonder is the UX Micro PC. Photos also show a chunky black laptop dubbed the AR Digital Studio. Interestingly, a quick Google for the AR turns up a blank page on Sony's online shop in Canada with just one detail: a $10,000 price! We suspect schome mischake.