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Get Blu-ray for less with new Vaios

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Sony has announced a range of Blu-ray sporting notebooks at IFA. Like Toshiba with HD DVD, Sony is rolling its favoured HD format down the range so it's no longer the preserve of the top most models.

Sony is offering the L, AR and FZ series with either a Blu-ray combo drive or standard Blu-ray drive that will write as well as read Blu-ray discs.

"We want to give more people a clear path into HD," said Hidetoshi Takigawa, marketing director for Vaio in Europe. "At its simplest, this means the ability to watch HD movies at home. For those who want to go further, some VAIO products have the power to edit HD content."

The flagship model in the AR-50 range is the VGN-AR51SU - traditional Sony name-bafflement ahoy. It has a 17-inch X-black screen capable of Full 1080p HD playback courtesy of Nvdia graphics, plus an integrated burner means you can burn dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray discs.

The L Series features a separate keyboard and screen get-up. And no wonder, the LT models have massive 22-inch screens illuminated by four lamps. The screen operates at 1680 x 1050 WSXGA+ resolution. The LM models feature a 19-inch screen, also with four lamp illumination, operating at 1440 x 900 WSXGA+ resolution. Integrated multiple TV tuners are also included.

Pricing is set to be confirmed.


Model: VGN-AR51SU
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHz
HDD: 500GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT
Optical: Blu-ray Disc drive
Screen: 17-inch WUXGA 1920 x 1200 X-black LCD with double lamp illumination
Special controls: TV remote; AV buttons
Wireless: Intel Wireless LAN 802.11 a b g n (Draft 2.0); Bluetooth
Weight: 3.9kg
TV tuner: Hybrid DVB-T/analogue
Dimensions: 416 x 33.5 x 299.5mm
Operating system: Windows Vista Ultimate


Model: VGN-FZ21Z
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz
HDD: 300GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS
Optical: Blu-ray Disc dive
Screen: 15.4-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 X-black LCD with double lamp illumination featuring BRAVIA technology
Special controls: AV buttons
Wireless: Intel Wireless LAN 802.11 a b g n (Draft 2.0), Bluetooth
Weight: 2.8kg
Dimensions: 355.8 x 24.9 - 34.5 x 254.4mm
Operating system: Windows Vista Home Premium


Model: VGC-LT1S
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (details subject to Intel pre-launch embargo)
HDD: 320GB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT
Optical: Slot-in Blu-ray Disc
Screen: 22-inch 1680 x 1050 WSXGA+ X-black LCD with four lamp technology
Wireless: Intel Wireless LAN 802.11 b g, Bluetooth
Weight: 9.7kg
TV tuner: 2 x hybrid DVB-T/analogue
Dimensions: 643 x 418 x 178mm
Operating system: Windows Vista Home Premium


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.