Sony has announced its first Blu-ray equipped laptops and desktop PCs. The VAIO AR range (pictured above) sport both a Blu-ray drive and high definition video editing software (for editing material shot in HD with Sony’s HDR-HC3E camcorder). The models have 17-inch WideUltraXGA screens with a resolution of 1920 x 1200.
All the AR-Series have an HDMI video output and run Intel Core Duo processors up to and including the 2GHz T2500. Graphics are courtesy of an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 video processor. Hard drive capacity tops out at 200GB.
Extra features include an integrated MOTION EYE videocam and microphone and digital Freeview TV tuner. The AR-Series is configured with Windows Media Center Edition.
“We are setting a new standard for mobile computing with dual-core technology, HD display which outperforms many HD televisions and Blu-ray as the new optical standard – placing the AR-Series in a category of its own,” said Colin Woodward, Group Product Manager for IT at Sony UK.
For desktop users, Sony has the VAIO RC204 (above). The PC is built around Intel’s 3.2GHz dual-core Pentium D processor 940 and has NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT graphics loaded with 256MB of high-speed dedicated video memory.
Twin hard disks in a RAID 0 array offer upwards of 600GB of storage. Each system is supplied with specially pre-installed HD-capable applications.
Users can import HD video to the hard disk with DVgate Plus 2.2, edit with Adobe Premiere and burn to Blu-ray Disc with Ulead BD DiscRecorder for VAIO. There’s also Roxio DigitalMedia SE 7 for burning data to Blu-ray Disc media and Intervideo WinDVD BD for VAIO for BD playback.
Official Sony briefing notes:
Deriving its name from the short wavelength (405 nanometer) blue-violet laser that allows it to achieve far higher data densities than DVD, Blu-ray Disc (aka BD) was introduced in 2002 by a consortium including Sony, Hitachi and Philips.
Blu-ray Disc media is the same size as DVDs (12cm diameter) and BD drives are backwardly compatible with the DVD format and are currently available in single and dual layer variants, with a single layer disc offering 25GB capacity while a dual layer disc can hold 50GB.
Currently available standards for Blu-ray Disc include BD-RE (rewritable), BD-R (recordable) and BD-ROM (pre-recorded).
Windows Media Center Edition
Thanks to this specially designed version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, it’s easy to get the most from the media features offered by the AR-Series. Owners can set up TV recording up to two weeks in advance with the searchable Electronic Programming Guide (EPG), or use built-in intelligence like the Record Series option.
All 2006 VAIO notebooks and PCs are bundled with Adobe Software. Photoshop Elements 4 allows easy editing of photographs. New features in this version include slideshows with narration and sound, automatic redeye elimination on download from the camera, easier skin tone adjustment, easier re-touching and simple connection to a TV for viewing pictures.
Premiere Elements 2 lets users create and edit videos with features that include importing of DV footage directly to the timeline.
A new Media Downloader lets movie-makers import video, audio and still images from virtually any device like digital cameras or mobile phones. DVD creation with menus and effects is easier and more powerful, and tools like thumbnails with effects preview make editing simpler and faster than ever.
Acrobat 7.0 Elements allows users to create their own PDF documents, mixing images, graphics and text.