Home > Eee PC, Mobile, Picturebook, Technology > Sony C1 Picturebook vs. Asus EeePC

Sony C1 Picturebook vs. Asus EeePC

Back in 1998 I first laid my eyes upon the Sony Vaio C1 Picturebook. It was an amazing piece of machinery at the time, a super small subnote with some nice hardware. At over $2000 it was out of the price range for this recent college grad with no job. It wasn’t until late 2001 that I found myself able to purchase the C1. Three years since I first saw it, the Picturebook had undergone a slight case redesign, and was sporting the newly designed Transmeta Crusoe processor. After a little searching, I was able to find the latest model on an online auction, purchasing it for about $1200. Over the next few years, it faithfully served as my main computer. Extremely portable, it drew a lot of attention at the coffee shops. I still feel it is one of the best designed subnotebooks ever.

After the EeePC was released in November, I decided it was time for a portable upgrade. At 1/4th the cost of the Picturebook, it seemed like a company had finally designed a comparable subnote at a price anyone could afford. Still, the Eee is no Picturebook. If I could meld the Eee and Picturebook into one computer I’d do so in a heartbeat.

Here are some comparative photos of these two subnotes:

From the top:

Right side:

Left side:

Side-by-side:

As you can see from the pictures, the size is not terribly different. Comparing the features, the Eee is the obvious winner given it has about 8 years on the C1. Most notably, the Eee sports the faster processor, wifi, upgradeable to 2gb ram, and USB 2.0. Where the Picturebook wins is in the build department. It has a very high quality 8.9″ screen at 1024×480 resolution, the keyboard feels a lot more solid, it also uses more standard notebook parts like PCMCIA and sports a 2.5″ PATA hard disk connection to run that 250gb hard disk. The Picturebook also was the first computer to sport that on-display video camera so familiar nowadays. The camera is still unique in that it swivels so you can broadcast what you are looking at.

While it’s nice to own a feather-light subnote that’s filled with somewhat recent hardware. I can’t forget the Sony Picturebook, the one that was revolutionary for it’s time – the one that you could say started it all. With all the success of the Eee, you’d think they’d bring back a 10th anniversary edition or something. However with the Sony brand name attached, I don’t think you’d find it in the same price range.

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