updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue May 15, 2007
Sony BX40 and LA3
Following the US release of the VAIO FZ, Sony today refreshed three portables and one desktop in Europe, all of which will point to future American updates. The AR40 (pictured) is the fastest update, bringing Intel Santa Rosa architecture with either a 2GHz or 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo and up to 320GB of storage spread across two drives. The company has also made a major change to its unique media center desktop with the LA3; though based on Intel's earlier Merom generation, the all-in-one sees a major boost in storage with a 320GB hard drive as well as 2GB of RAM. A 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo and GeForce Go 7600 video provide enough performance for HD video and recording analog video through a TV tuner.
Three of the more mainstream VAIO notebooks have also seen upgrades. The 15.4-inch BX40 (pictured) is one of the company's first to see new AMD graphics, receiving the Mobility Radeon HD 2300 for basic but strong 3D acceleration for Vista; they also bring a 1.3-megapixel webcam and a fingerprint reader for those who use the PC for business. It also shares an equivalent in the N30, an update to the mainstream version also available in the US without the camera or reader.
Finally, Sony has also updated its carbon-fiber portable with the SZ5. Like the LA3, the SZ5 addresses storage with a jump to a minimum 120GB. It also tops out with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo based on Merom as well as 2GB of RAM.
Pricing for the entire refresh will vary by region. Most of these updates should translate to North American equivalents within the next few weeks. [via Sony France and Trusted Reviews]