After months of complaint from US would-be VAIO P buyers, Sony has apparently relented and added a new, faster processor option to their "don't call it a netbook" ultraportable. The VAIO P VGN-P698E gets Intel's 1.60GHz Intel Atom processor, likely the Z530, together with a 128GB SSD and the usual integrated Verizon EVDO Rev.A and GPS.
Unfortunately that's still a fair few clock-cycles behind Japan's latest VAIO P, the 2GHz Atom Z550 model announced earlier this month. In fact it's slower, even, than the now-toppled Japanese flagship - which ran at 1.86GHz with an Atom Z540 CPU - and the Windows XP option is also unavailable, as Sony have seemingly decided US customers only want Vista.
Best of all is the price: for the smudge of extra processing power and double the SSD you're looking at $1,499.99. That's a full $500 more than the 1.33GHz 32GB SSD model. It's available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping around June 26th.