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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Sony to Launch First Blu-ray Notebook and Desktop PCs

Sony said on Tuesday it would launch the world's first notebook and desktop personal computers equipped with a next-generation Blu-ray optical disk drive in Japan in June.

Sony's "VAIO type A" notebook PC series will be equipped with 17" LCD display, and will be available in the Japanese market in June 24. The notebook will come with Windows XP Home Edition (SP2) and Microsoft's Office Personal Edition 2003 installed.

The high-end VGN-AR70B model equipped with a Blu-ray burner is expected to retail for about 400,000 yen ($3,600).

The VGN-AR70B also comes with the "BD DiskRecorder for VAIO" software by Ulead for creation of Blu-ray videos, and the "WinDVD BD for VAIO" Blu-ray disc playback software. The Blu-ray drive is able to write on BD-R/-RE media at 2x, while is it supports writing on DVD-RAM/ħR/RW and CD-R/RW media.

For those who prefer to watch content on a larger screen, the model also has an HDMI connector and included cable. The notebook has a 17-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) widescreen display and uses Sony's XBRITE Hi-Color LCD technology.

The specifications of the notebook also include an Intel Core Duo T2500 (2GHz) processor, 1Gb of memory, an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 GT (256MB) GPU, a built-in TV tuner as well as a 200GB hard disk drive (100GB x 2/RAID 0).

The VGN-AR70B offers a wide range of connectivity with its MMC and Memory Stick (PRO)/duo slots, the 3 USB 2.0 and the IEEE 1394 ports. The device also features a IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN port, Gigabit Ethernet, Blue tooth 2.0+EDR and a V.92 modem. Apart from the HDMI A/V output, the notebook is equipped with S-video ports (input/output) and an S/PDIF output.

Furthermore, Sony Japan announced the "VGN-AR50B" model, which will not feature a Blu-ray drive. It is expected in the Japanese market in July 8, priced at approximately 280,000 yen.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate said earlier this year it would launch notebook and desktop personal computers with Blu-ray drives in early summer in the United States. According a press release of the Sony Style web page, Sony will launch the notebook in the US under the codename VAIO AR in the mid-June for $3,500.

Toshiba launched the Quosmio G30 notebook computer with an HD DVD drive last week in Japan and will start U.S. sales this week.

Sony Japan will also put the "VAIO type R" Blu-ray equipped desktop PC in the Japanese market on May 27, priced at about 440,000 yen.

The high-end model come with a 20-inch SXGA (1280x1024) LCD display and will be compliant with the HDCP content protection requirements, needed during the play-back of BD-ROM video movies.

Other specifications include a Pentium D 940 (3.20GHz) CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT (256MB) GPU, a 500 GB HDD.

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