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The Sony VAIO PCG-C2GPS was a Japan exclusive subnotebook released by Sony in November 1999. It wasn't supposed to be a successor to the PCG-C1 but more of a revision, being based on the PCG-C1XE.

The PCG-C2GPS was gray and made out of metal and plastic, with purple battery and mouse buttons, and featured generally the same build quality as the PCG-C1XE, apart from the display which is totally different.

PCG-C2GPS with Backlight

It was aimed at navigation and being a device that could be taken outside, due to its reflective polysilicon TFT display. Instead of having a traditional backlight, this display uses external light as a light source, which means that it can be seen even in direct sunlight. There was an attachable backlight unit that "clipped" onto the back of the display unit and made the it visible in the dark.

Sony wanted the PCG-C2GPS to be used for navigation in the car and on foot and included a "Handy GPS Receiver", which had the ability to be used separately with an AA battery or with the unit via USB power. It could record location information at regular intervals to the built-in 512KB memory in the receiver by pressing the "Mark" button, which could've been used to show where you had previously been on the map.

PCG-C2GPS with Backlight behind display

The rotating camera from the PCG-C1 series was removed and the bottom bezel of the display was increased in size. The PCG-C2GPS is slightly lighter than the PCG-C1XE, due to the thinner screen and lid and due to the removal of the camera which allowed for less moving parts on the top bezel.

Being a VAIO, this laptop came with a plethora of Sony software, including special navigation software and many others, such as: BatteryScope, DVgate, PictureGear, etc...

The starting price was around JP¥300'000 (around 1900€), with only one model launched, presumably due to it having mediocre success.

Handy GPS Receiver

Detailed Specs

Processor: Intel Pentium II 266MHz

Graphics: NeoMagic MagicMedia256AV(NM2200)

Memory: 64MB

Storage: 8.1GB IDE HDD

Display: 8.9" Ultra Wide XGA 1024x480 reflective polysilicon TFT

OS: Windows 98 SE

Weight: 960g

Size: (W) 248 mm x (D) 153 mm x (H) 24 mm

Battery life: 2.5h (Small Battery), 5.5h (Large Battery), 11h (Extra Large Battery)

Other: PC-Card Slot, GPS receiver, External backlight, Jog Dial, i.Link port, Infrared port, Headphone and Microphone jack, 1x USB, 56kbps modem, Display adapter terminal

Daily Usage Today

Today, the PCG-C2GPS is a collector's item, and is not particularly useful, apart from office tasks. Retro gaming and other tasks are almost impossible.

It could still be used as a navigation device, as there is no reason for it not to work anymore. But good luck getting the software, and the device itself in in the first place.



Forum post containing PCG-C2GPS

PCG-C2GPS Informations

PCG-C2GPS Infosheet

PCG-C2GPS Specifications

More PCG-C2GPS Specifications

Disassembly Guide

Sony VAIO PCG-C2GPS Disassembly Guide

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