Sony unveils two-tone Vaio K series notebooks

Slick systems designed for DVD watching

Reg Kit Watch Sony's lead in funky-looking Wintel notebooks continues unabated with today's introduction of new K series Vaios, introducing not only a slick look but the manufacturer's XBrite screen technology, which it claims yields "sharp contrast, crisp graphics and breathtaking colour resolution during video playback".

The K series comprises three models: the PCG-K13, 15 and 17. All of them provide integrated 802.11b/g WLAN connectivity. Designed as desktop replacements, the Ks are based on Mobile Pentium 4 processors - 2.8GHz for the K15, 3.06GHz for the K17 - running a 533MHz effective bit rate frontside bus.

Sony did not provide specifications for the K13, but the other two models sport 512MB of DDR SDRAM. The three machines offer 40, 60 and 80GB of hard drive storage, respectively. The K15 and K17 also feature a DVD+R/-RW optical drives.

In each machine, the graphics are powered by the ATI Radeon IGP 345M integrated chipsets, connected to a 15in 1024 x 768 LCD. Designed specifically for DVD playback, XBrite offers a viewing angle of 160 degrees horizontal and 110 degrees vertical, Sony claims, and provides anti-glare and anti-reflection coatings.

Beyond Wi-Fi, the K series offers integrated 56Kbps modem and 100Mbps Ethernet. There's a 1394 port, three USB 2.0 ports, a Memory Stick Pro slot and a PC Card bay.

The machines weigh 3.3kg (7.3lbs) and measure 32.5 x 27.5 x 4.3-5.8cm (13 x 10.9 x 1.7-2.3in).

The K series will be available next month in the US. Prices start at $1400 for the K13 model and go up to about $1900 for the K17. ®