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Sony Corp. has unveiled its first laptop that will integrate a Blu-ray disk drive. Sony’s Vaio VGN AR190G is the second laptop in the world – after Toshiba’s Qosmio G35-AV650 – that will have a blue-laser optical drive. The notebook is also designed for multimedia enthusiasts and while it is lighter than Toshiba’s, it is still too heavy for customers, who need mobility.

“The VAIO AR has the ability to capture, edit and record in HD on a notebook PC right out of the gate. Combined with unsurpassed storage capability our new Blu-ray disc enabled notebook computer offers users with limitless creative possibilities,” said Mike Abary, vice president of Vaio product marketing at Sony Electronics in the U.S.

Sony Vaio AR190G comes in two different configurations: premium and standard. The AR premium version plays Blu-ray discs, whereas the standard does not.

Sony Vaio AR190G premium is equipped with 17” screen with 1920x1200 resolution, is based on Intel Core Duo processor 2500 (2.00GHz) and Intel 945PM chipset, features 1GB of dual-channel PC2-4200 (533MHz) memory, 200GB hard disk drive, comes with Nvidia’s GeForce Go 7600 256MB graphics accelerator, sports 802.11a/b/g network controller, may be equipped with integrated TV tuner, MemoryStick/SD card reader and so on. The main feature of the notebook is its optical drive that allows to playback and record Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs.

The premium laptop is equipped with HDMI output and appropriate cables as well as Sony Pictures’ House of Flying Daggers movie on Blu-ray.

The Vaio AR190G is definitely powerful machine, but its weight is about 8.4 pounds (3.80 kilograms), which will hardly suit for those, who travel a lot, or use their notebooks in different locations. Therefore, just like the competing product from Toshiba, Vaio AR190G is mostly a desktop replacement computer.

The AR standard model will start at about $1800, while the AR premium Blu-ray disc enabled model will go for about $3500. Approximate release date of the newcomers is the second half of June, 2006.

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