updated 11:05 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2008
Sony VAIO FW
As part of a sweeping update of its notebook line to Intel's new Centrino 2 mobile platform, Sony tonight unveiled what it says is the first media-centric notebook with a 16.4-inch, 16:9 ratio display. The VAIO FW replaces the FZ and uses its extra-wide 1600x900 resolution not just to play Blu-ray movies and other widescreen content without black bars but also to offer an ideal size mix: the image is closer to a 16:10 ratio 17-inch display but has the depth of a 15.4-inch notebook, rendering it easier to carry. It also more easily fits two documents side-by-side, the company argues.
Every model comes with HDMI video output, an ExpressCard slot, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. A newly redesigned through-the-case keyboard reminiscent of the MacBook Air is said to assume a lower, more comfortable profile and has a more seamless look than the earlier tray design of the FZ.
In the US, several models will be available to accommodate both mainstream and desktop replacement buyers. A base FW Standard model will sell for $1,000 with a 2.26GHz Core 2 duo on the newly improved 1,066MHz system bus, 2GB of DDR2 memory, Intel's GMA 4500MHD for integrated graphics, and a normal DVD burner. An FW Premium should start at $1,750; exact specifications at the price are unknown but should include a Blu-ray drive as well as dedicated Mobility Radeon HD 3000-series video and up to 4GB of memory.
All configurations should be ready by the end of July.