updated 09:45 am EDT, Tue September 9, 2008
Sony VAIO AW More in Japan
Sony this morning gave a glimpse to Americans of future VAIO updates with the launch of a pair of new notebooks in Japan. The VAIO AW replaces the AR and has some of the same barrel-hinged design cues as the FW. Also like its smaller cousin, the AW switches from a smaller 16:10 ratio display to a larger 16:9 display, in this case moving to a new 18.4-inch, 1920x1080 panel suited to playing movies from the notebook's stock Blu-ray drive. Sony claims extreme color accuracy at 104 percent of the NTSC color gamut for the base LCD; an LED-backlit screen is even richer at 137 percent of the spectrum.
The internals also receive a major upgrade and switch to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, a GeForce 9600M GT for graphics, twin 250GB hard drives for storage and a minimum of 2GB of RAM. An 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter is standard, while optional storage can switch to dual 64GB solid-state drives in a RAID stripe when speed is more important than size.
Sony plans to ship the AW to Japan on September 20th and is unofficially expected to price its systems at the equivalent of $2,792 for the standard version and $2,978 for the LED-backlit model. A US release is expected but will likely have multiple and less expensive configurations.
Receiving a similar visual makeover, the 14.1-inch VAIO CS replaces the VAIO CR with a similar 1280x800 display and hinge but a new keyboard and other visual touches. Its largest single change is the introduction of outer LED lights that match the mood, while the inside is upgraded to Centrino 2-era components that include a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel's X4500 integrated graphics for video and 802.11n wireless. A 160GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM are also part of the standard system.
Sony plans a quicker launch for the CS and will ship them to its home country on September 13th. A base white version should carry a street price of about $1,489 while more exotic black, pink and red colors raise the price slightly to $1,536. [via Impress]