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Sony revamps Vaio notebooks

New S2, T1, B1, A200 series

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Sony today revamped its entire Vaio notebook line-up with a range of models aimed at consumer and businesses, highly mobile users and those looking for desktop replacements.

The A200 series is pitched at professionals and consumers who want DVD recording facilities. All the models in the line-up feature dual-layer DVD+RW/DVD-RW drives. Based on Intel's Centrino platform, the A200 series incorporates Wi-Fi, to which Sony has added Bluetooth support in some models, along with a wireless mouse.

All the models come with 15.4in or 17in X-black displays, many in widescreen format, and a light sensor that can adjust the screen's brightness according to local lighting conditions. A200s with a 15.4in screen use ATI's Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics chip; the 17in models use the 9700. All the machines have 64MB of dedicated video RAM.

For further multimedia functionality, Sony is offering the S-Master AV Docking Station, which adds a TV tuner, MPEG encoder, digital video noise reducer, audio amplifier and 10W stereo speakers to the notebook.

The Vaio S2 series updates the S1 line with single-layer DVD+RW/DVD-RW drives, more capacious hard drives, faster processors (up to 2GHz) and more memory (up to 1GB). They continue to use ATI's 64MB Mobility Radeon 9700 chip for graphics, though some lower-end models use a 32MB 9200 instead. All S2 models feature 13.3in, 1280 x 800 widescreen displays. Bluetooth and 802.11b/g are standard across the line.

Like the S2 line, the B1 series is pitched primarily at business users and are based on Centrino technology with 802.11b and g WLAN support and 512MB of 333MHz DDR SDRAM. It too features single-layer, dual-format DVD+RW/DVD-RW drives, though the low-end machine contains a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo unit. The B1 line, however, is built around a 14.1in display and a large-key keyboard, with one model offering a 1400 x 1050 resolution and the other 1024 x 768. The two units have 60GB and 40GB hard drives, respectively, and 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz Pentium M CPUs.

The T1 notebooks are geared up for a greater degree of mobility. Again, they're Centrino-based machines, with Ultra-low Voltage 1.1GHz Pentium M processors for longer battery life rather than raw processing horsepower, and 802.11b/g wireless networking. Bluetooth 1.2 is standard on all T1 machines.

Each model provides a slimline single-layer DVD+RW/DVD-RW drive, a 40GB hard drive and 512MB of DDR SDRAM squeezed into a unit that weighs 1.4kg. The T1s are fitted with a 1280 x 768 10.6in X-black LCD. ®

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