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VoodooPC preps Athlon 64 gamers' notebook

Plus: Sony goes all-in-one

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Notebook

Gamer-friendly notebook maker VoodooPC has introduced an AMD Athlon 64-based machine to its line of Envy Pentium-based portables.

The Envy m:855 is built around a VIA K8T800 chipset. Its graphics sub-system is driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 chip with 64MB of video RAM, hooked up to a 15in screen. Since all of VoodooPC's machines are built to order, the company didn't detail memory, hard drive and DVD-RW optical storage, but the HDD it's offering is Hitachi's 7200rpm notebook-friendly Travelstar, probably a 60GB version.

The unit includes a built in card reader, an S/P DIF audio port, four USB 2.0 ports, a 1394 connector, 56Kbps modem, 10/100Mbps Ethernet. And a 12-cell battery. With 12 cells, says VoodooPC, this is the first desktop replacement offering "decent" battery life. Generic tests show around 3.9 hours, but two hours is probably a better 'real world' life.

The (8lb) m:855 will come in an array of coloured cases, with room for personalised decals to be added on the buyer's behalf. The machine is expected to begin shipping at the end of the month, internationally as well as to North America.

Desktop

Sony launched its latest all-in-one Vaio, this week. The slimline, black PCV-V100G crams the entire consumer-oriented rig into the 15.3in LCD panel housing, resulting in a PC that the company claims is barely thicker than a standalone LCD monitor.

Aimed at home users, the PCV-100G also operates as a TV and a TiVo-style personal video recorder, activated using the machine's remote control unit and powered by a built-in Giga Pocket MPEG 2 Realtime Encoder/TV tuner board. Stereo speakers are built-in too. Sony bundles its own Vaio Media software, which allows music, movies and photos to be shared over a local network.

Inside the PC is a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of 333MHz DDR memory, an 80GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combo optical drive. The system's graphics come courtesy of the SiS651 chipset.

External connections can be made using the integrated 56Kbps modem or 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. There are also two USB 2.0 connectors and a 1394 (iLink) port. There's a Memory Stick slot too. The PCV-100G ships with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

In addition to Sony's software - which also includes its Creation Suite Plus collection of content management and editing tools - the PCV-100G ships with Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Sony will begin shipping the PC in the US later this month, though it will begin taking pre-orders via its Sony Style web site from tomorrow. ®

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