updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue October 3, 2006
Sony VAIO R Master
The CEATEC conference in Japan has begun, carrying with it a flurry of new hardware announcements. One of these is Sony's new VAIO R Master, an unusual blend of desktop and tower design in a media center PC. Its segmented design is not just for visual impact, according to the company. The smaller element holds all the removable media slots such as the optical drive, memory card readers, and USB ports; it can sit as far away as six feet from the main system, which stores the processor and other main components. Sony envisions owners hiding the core unit out of view in a home theater or a crowded desk space.
The computer itself is also very capable as both a conventional system and as a media hub. Systems can be configured to use as much as a 2.93 GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, 2TB of hard disk storage, and a 256MB GeForce 7600 GT video card; video enthusiasts have the option of a Blu-Ray drive, analog and digital TV tuners, and input for S-video as well as RCA. Many models come bundled with a 24" widescreen LCD as well. Sony Japan is shipping the system on October 28th at a starting price of $1,632 US; an American release has not been announced but is likely in the near future.