Sony Announces First Blu-ray Laptop

Sony on Tuesday unveiled a new addition to its VAIO line of notebook PCs that is the first to include a Blu-ray capable disc drive. However, the VAIO AR with 17-inch widescreen display won't come cheap; the Premium model with Blu-ray will retail for around $3,500 USD.

With both HD DVD and Blu-ray now complete and ready for consumer adoption, manufacturers are eager to offer the high-definition technologies in high-end portables and desktop PCs. Toshiba is expected to begin shipping an HD DVD enabled notebook computer in Japan sometime this month.

The Sony VAIO AR sports a 1920x1200 pixel screen that can display movies in full 1080p HD resolution. The laptop also includes an HDMI connection for outputting the Blu-ray content directly to a high-definition television.

Under the hood is an Intel Centrino Duo chipset, built-in TV tuner, NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 graphics card with 256MB of video ram, and integrated camera.

“Combined with unsurpassed storage capability our new Blu-ray Disc enabled notebook computer offers users with limitless creative possibilities," said Mike Abary, vice president of VAIO product marketing at Sony Electronics.

Sony expects to begin shipping the VAIO AR this summer. A Standard model without Blu-ray drive will be available for $1,800 USD. Sony says it will include the Blu-ray movie "House of Flying Daggers" with the Premium version.

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