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Sony unveils Blu-ray notebooks

Confirms Vaio AR11S details

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Sony Japan has unveiled the Blu-ray Disc player-equipped Vaio notebook expected to ship in the UK and Europe as the AR11S, which the consumer electronics giant also announced today. The Japanese model will ship on 24 June, Sony said. It didn't provide a date for the AR11S' debut, though it too is expected to debut next month.

As we revealed yesterday, the AR11S sports a 17in 1,920 x 1,200 display, a 2GHz dual-core Intel Core Duo T2500 processor, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GT GPU with 256MB of video memory and 200GB of hard drive storage built out of two RAID-able 100GB units. The AR70B has the same core specification.

sony vaio ar11s blu-ray notebook

The USP, however, is the BD drive, the first of its kind to ship in a notebook PC, Sony said. The unit can also handled DVD±R/RW, DVD-RAM and CD-R/RW media, and there's an HDMI port on the back on the notebook to connect it up to an HD TV or other HD sources.

Speaking of picture sources, the two models have an integrated webcam and a hybrid analogue/digital TV tuner. The Vaios ship with Windows XP Media Center Edition. They also have a four-pin FireWire connector, three USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an ExpressCard54 slot, Bluetooth 2, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and a MemoryStick/SD/MMC slot. The HDMI port is complemented with digital optical audio output ports, and s-video I/O.

Both regions will see Sony ship a range of A-series Vaios, most with a lesser spec than the AR11S/AR70B and without the BD drive. The flagship models will ship in a glossy black casing, though plainer, matte versions will also be offered, we understand.

sony vaio ar11s blu-ray notebook

Sony didn't provide pricing information, though we expect the AR11S to set you back the best part of £2,000 ($3,779). The AR70B is expected to retail for around ¥400,000 (£1,926/$3,639). ®

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