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Sony to ship 17in Blu-ray Vaio next month?

AR11S makes its appearance on dealers' lists

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Sony's first Vaio notebook to ship with a Blu-ray Disc optical drive could hit the UK by the middle of June, it has emerged. A variety of European resellers are already beginning to list the product. Some are even starting to advertise the 17in machine.

Dubbed the VGN-A11S, the machine is believed to contain a dual-core 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500 processor, 1GB of SDRAM (probably 667MHz), 200GB of hard drive storage (some say twin 100GB hard drives, others that it's a single unit), an Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GT graphics chip with 256MB of dedicated graphics RAM, integrated webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a TV tuner and the aforementioned BD drive.

It's said the Vaio will ship with Windows XP Media Center Edition. The machine measures 41.6 x 30 x 3.4cm and weighs 3.8kg.

The bulk is matched by the hefty price: the prices we've seen suggest consumers should expect to pay between £1,850 and £1,999 ($3,506-3,788) for the AR11S. Buyers on a budget could look out for the cheaper AR11M and AR11B models, but these seem unlikely to feature the BD drive.

Curiously, Sony is currently running a teaser ad on its US site for a Vaio with Blu-ray support. Some observers wonder if it's the company's anticipated UMPC offering, though we can't help thinking, given the Blu-ray connection, whether it's a reference to the A11S. Either way, Sony promises more details tomorrow. ®

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