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Sony turns to Centrino revamp for Blu-ray, HDMI laptop

Hot on the heels of chip maker Intel's Centrino Duo notebook platform revamp come the laptops based upon it. One of the first: Sony's vaguely MacBook Pro-like Vaio FZ series.

Sony Vaio FZ series notebook

The line comprises eight models. The top-of-the-line unit packs in a Blu-ray Disc burner; 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 processor; 2GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory; a 200GB 4,200rpm hard drive; and, among a broad I/O array, an HDMI port.

Interestingly, it also packs in an as-yet-unannounced Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT graphics chip with a gigabyte of video memory. Register Hardware will have full details about this and other 8M series GPUs shortly.

Sony Vaio FZ series notebook

At the other end of the scale, the lowest-rung FX relies on its 965GM chipset's X3100 graphics chip, which grabs up to 256MB of the 1GB main memory bank. It has a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo T7100; a 160GB, 5,400rpm hard drive; and a standard DVD writer.

Both models sport a 1280 x 800 widescreen 15.4in display and 802.11n-enabled wireless networking - they'll do 802.11a/b/g too. They all have s-video, USB and VGA ports, along with an SD, MMC and MemoryStick Duo card reader, and an ExpressCard 34 add-in slot.

Sony Vaio FZ series notebook

They're pre-loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. Above the keyboard - available in black and white versions - there's an array of media playback controls available to use even when Windows hasn't been started up.

Sony Vaio FZ series notebook

Aimed at the US market, prices range from $1400 to $2000. They'll go on sale there mid-May, Sony said.

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