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Sony is to bring out two trendy versions of its Viao computers aimed at fashion-victim laptop users.

From next month punters will be able to get their mits on a blue-black translucent model as Sony shifts from the traditional purple-gray Viaos currently on offer. The Viao QR (PCG-QR I/BP) will also be decorated with a light grey aluminium pipe around the outside of the machine which connects to a fold-out handle.

The inside of the Vaio QR is reportedly pretty similar to the rest of the range - with a 13.3 inch screen, CD-Rom etc - so it is just the funky design which Sony is hoping will attract buyers. There are no plans to copy Apple's iMac sales magnet idea and bring out more colours.

The laptop will cost $1,850.

The other product announced today, the Viao GT (PCG-GTI), is a hybrid laptop/video camcorder. It has a big video lens unit stuck on the side, and both this and the display can be turned 180 degrees.

The machine will be based on a Transmeta Crusoe chip, which is designed to make laptops run longer, and it will have a battery life of up to 17 hours. Sony is going to throw in software that will let users make live online personal broadcasts, and the Viao GT is expected to cost $2,785.

Last week Sony revealed the latest designs of its robot dog Aibo. The cyberpet will now come in gold, silver or black and express more canine traits such as being able to wag its tail and respond to its own name. ®

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