Sony's newest notebooks bring blu-ray, strange screen sizes and a fresh look, for those lovers of good design still wedded to Windows.
Leading the pack is the Vaio FW, which has blu-ray and a 16.4" 1080-line 16:9 display crammed into what was formerly a 15.4" model's footprint. At 6 pounds, it's not too heavy, and includes HDMI output to hammer home the "This is for MOVIES" point. It's cheap, too, starting at $1,000, though it's not clear if blu is included on non-premium models. Premium models start at $1,700.
Most standard is the Vaio SR, a magnesium-framed midranger offered in black or in a choice of matte or gloss silver or pink. With a 13.3" display and 4.14-lb loadout, it's light but not ultraportable, but carries an appetizing $1,400 price tag. The SR has three USB ports, firewire, a PC card slot, and the standard complement of audio in-out.
Cutest is the Vaio Z, a 13.1" ultraportable that has a pleasingly high-resolution 1600x900 display (again with the movies!) and an optional 128GB solid state drive. Starting at $1,800 for a spinning disk model and $2,300 for the flash version, it integrates an optical drive and keeps the bulk to 3lbs or so. They hype this miniature machine's typability: "A seamless sheet of brushed aluminum adorns the keyboard panel elegantly framing its individual keys. The spacing between the keys is precisely engineered..."
Rounding out the pack is the BZ, a 15.4" business bore that weighs in at 5 pounds and change, but has a budget-friendly $1,000 tag. XP downgrade disk still included, Microsoft's wishes notwithstanding.
Press Releases [Sony]