Sony cooks up world first: a hulking Blu-Ray laptop

Chomping at the bit for a spot of high-def movie action but don’t like the look of HD-DVD? Sony’s heard your early hour cries, and its answer is befor

Chomping at the bit for a spot of high-def movie action but don’t like the look of HD-DVD? Sony’s heard your early hour cries, and its answer is before you in the shape of this 17-inch leviathan, the planet’s first Blu-Ray laptop.

As well as being nifty at playing high-def Blu-Ray movies – the 1920 x 1200 screen will display the highest of high-def, 1080p, without breaking a sweat – the VAIO AR is capable of burning the discs too.

Unlike today’s old skool DVDs, which store around 9GB of movies, files and the like, Blu-Ray discs can store a humongous 50GB of data: enough for a feature length, high-def home video. Happily, Sony’s laptop will also write DVD+R/RW and –R/RWs too.

The rest of the specs are fittingly fearsome. Top of the pops is a HDMI socket, which means you can connect one of the dozens of HD Ready flat tellies we’ve been recommending for the past year. We’ve also just heard the UK version will have two tuners: one analogue and one digital, perfect for recording the delights of Freeview.

Elsewhere there’s the top Intel Core Duo processor – the T2500 – plus a Nvidia Go 7600 graphics card, 1GB RAM and a 200GB hard drive. All of which should provide enough grunt for editing your vids in Final Cut. Rounding things out are a mic and built-in webcam – good for vid chats on Windows Live Messenger and Skype 2.0 – and Windows XP Media Center for the OS.

Want one? Yep, we do too, and you won’t have long to wait ‘til you can own one - it’ll be in UK shops by the end of June.

There are two versions. The first is the Standard job minus the Blu-Ray called the VGN-AR11M, and the second is a Premium edition – the VGN-AR11S – that comes with Blu-Ray and a free high-def copy of House of Flying Daggers. Yeah, the one with the cracking fight in the bamboo forest. The Standard’ll cost £1,500; the Premium’ll set you back a cool £2,000.

5.30pm update: ach! Actually, it transpires you'll only get Flying Daggers if you buy your laptop in the States. Trip to New York, anyone?

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