Sony today used the occasion of Intel's Santa Rosa platform to unveil the VAIO FZ, a completely new entry into its PC line. The FZ is said to be the world's first truly thin and light notebook with a Blu-Ray drive: at 5.8 pounds, the 15.4-inch system is far smaller and more portable than the desktop replacement AR-series but loses little of the media-friendly touches. Dedicated media controls ahead of the keyboard, as well as HDMI output on the Blu-Ray model, should streamline playing movies directly from the notebook itself or through a TV. Unlike many PCs introduced today, 802.11n Wi-Fi is standard across every model. An ExpressCard 34 slot and readers for both Memory Stick and SD cards are part of the chassis.
The PC maker intends the FZ to cover a wide spectrum and has several different trim levels for its new computer. Starting the series will be the FZ130 with a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM, Intel X3100 video, a 160GB hard disk, and a DVD-RW drive for $1,400. A second premium model, the FZ180, has the option of the Blu-Ray burner and increases performance through a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, a GeForce 8400M GT video, and a total 200GB of hard drive space for $2,000.
Both systems, as well as the mid-grade FZ140, FZ150, and FZ160, are due to reach stores quickly and will ship in mid-May preloaded with Vista Home Premium.