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Sony to ship dual-GPU, dual-core Vaio mid-March

Plus carbon fibre chassis, Trusted Platform biometric security

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sony has announced its Vaio SZ notebook range in the UK, boasting the laptop's carbon-fibre chassis, biometric security and the ability to flip between two graphics engines to boost either 3D performance or battery life.

The SZ series take in Intel's Core Duo dual-core processor line, and ships with 512MB or 1GB of 533MHz DDR 2 SDRAM. All models feature a 13.3in, 1280 x 800 widescreen LCD. The graphics come courtesy of an Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 using up to 128MB of system memory for its frame buffer, but users can switch to the Intel 945GM chipset's graphics engine to conserve power.

The six notebooks contain 80, 100 or 120GB of hard disk storage - all with motion sensors to park the drive heads if the laptops are dropped - and a dual-layer DVD±RW optical drive. They've got an integrated fingerprint scanner linked to the machines' Trusted Platform Module security engine. There's also an integrated webcam above the screen.

As Centrino-branded computers, the Vaio SZs have 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi on board. They've got Bluetooth too, and for wired connections 10/100Mbps Ethernet, a 56Kbps modem, Firewire 400 and USB 2.0. There's a Memory Stick, SD and xD card-compatible slot, and a bay for Express Cards.

The whole package weighs around 1.7kg, and measures 31.5 x 23.4 x 2.2-3.3cm. Sony claimed the battery can yield up to six hours' usage time.

Prices range from £1299 to £2049, and all six notebooks are expected to ship mid-March. ®

sony vaio sz notebook

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