Vaio P pre-orders: Sony unofficially rolls into the netbook market in a Cadillac

2009 looks like it's going to be a hot year for functional and affordable netbooks. Sony, as the company is wont to do, is at least aiming for functional with its Vaio Pocket. Though it's coming out in February, Sony is already offering several tiers of the 1.5 pound, 8" Vaio P at different price points. The cheapest model, at $900, will get you a 60 GB hard drive while the beefier $1,500 option comes with a roomy 128 GB solid state drive (along with Vista instead of XP).

Sony isn't billing the Vaio P as a netbook, but it certainly feels like one — if it doesn't really look like it. The laptop sports an alluringly long and thin form factor that's geared toward portability with an insanely high resolution for it's tiny screen. It also has an instant-boot OS that gives you access to the Internet and your pictures, music and other media, featuring the kind of glossy front-end Sony is known for.

To our minds, the best part is that the length of the keyboard is closer to what you'd experience on your computer at home — or your full-sized laptop — which could more than make up for the squat screen.

Sony Vaio P, via CrunchGear