Sony Readies Launch of Blu-ray Laptop

Sony this week is providing more details about its first Blu-ray DVD-enabled notebook computer, the Vaio AR, which is targeted for retailers before summer's end. Sony said the AR series will come in two configurations: Premium and Standard. The Premium adaptation will play Blu-ray HD content in 1080p. The Premium model boasts a 17-inch LCD Wide Ultra XGA (1920 x 1200) display.

The higher end Blu-ray model will come with an HDMI connector and include cable for viewing Blu-ray disc content on large-screen HD sets. Sony said the Premium model Vaio AR also will come with enough storage and software capabilities to record, edit and burn HD camcorder content to Blu-ray discs.

Edited footage can be burned to Sony high-capacity BD-R and BD-RE Blu-ray discs (up to 50 GB storage per disc), as well as on traditional DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/+RW discs. The AR Premium will be housed in a high-gloss, piano-black finish with silver trim and an illuminated Vaio logo. It will be bundled with Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology for HD video editing.

Both AR models reportedly will ship with Microsoft Windows Media Center 2005 and include built-in NTSC tuners (on most units) with the ability to view and record TV content (along with a built-in camera and mic for online communication).

And it's not hard to predict what Blu-ray movie will be first seen by most notebook owners. A Blu-ray disc of Sony Pictures' "House of Flying Daggers" will be included with all purchases. MSRP for the Premium AR model is reportedly $3,500.