Fire Up The Kneetop

Sony hopes this new, ultrathin notebook can kick-start its stalled PC business

It was a humbling experience for one of the most admired brands in America. When Sony rolled out its pricey home PCs in 1996, the company was supposed to lure millions of couch potatoes into the digital age. Instead the $51 billion-a-year Japanese electronics giant barely made a ripple in the market.

This time it may really have something to brag about. Sony's new VAIO 505 SuperSlim Notebook, which hit U.S. stores last week, is a marvel of miniaturization that has won rave reviews from no less discerning critics than Bill Gates and Andy Grove. Weighing just 3 lbs. and measuring...

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