Sony's New Vaio NS and CS Laptops Are (Almost) HD Ready

The NS series of laptops is the latest in Sony's Vaio update frenzy, and they're machines aimed at delivering HD video. Hence the NS is available with a Blu-ray ROM drive and has a widescreen 15.4-inch Xbrite-Eco LCD for showing video off. Trouble is, the screen resolution is 1200x800, just enough to deliver 720p, but not enough for 1080p. Ditto for the cool new CS, which already made it to Japan. They both also have minimum battery lives of 1.5 hours—likely what you'll get when you're trying to watch that 2-hour Blu-ray movie. More overall feature info below:

The NS has a built-in A-V mode which pops up a shortcut menu to nine selected programs, which could be media players, music players, browsers, and includes media control functions. It's got a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, 250GB HDD, 1.3-megapixel webcam, and all the usual connections except for Bluetooth. There's Vaio Movie Story software aboard, for "professional-looking" video editing, but the lack of a Blu-ray burning drive might frustrate your HD film-making desires. It's also got a textured exterior, which may tickle your pickle, and comes in nightfall blue, silk white and granite silver. Out in the Fall, $650 to $1,000 if you want Blu-ray. [SonyStyle]

Sony's also announced that the CS range of Vaios, that we mentioned before for the Japanese market, are also coming to the US. These are similarly entertainment-focused machines, also with a Blu-ray ROM drive option and A-V mode, but just a 14.1-inch screen. It's also got a "uniquely configured" keyboard with extra inter-key spacing and, surprisingly and strangely, and in-built "12-tone music analyzer" visualizer system which produces an LED light-show beneath the wrist rest. Weird. The CS will cost between $920 and $1,070 depending on whether you choose BD.

Sony's New Vaio NS and CS Laptops Are (Almost) HD Ready

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 12, 2008 –- Sony today introduced two notebooks with Blu-ray Disc™ technology— the VAIO® NS and CS models.
“With these new units, Sony is now offering consumers a host of multi-media PC options to choose from,” said Mike Abary, senior vice president of VAIO product marketing at Sony Electronics. “And with a starting price of around $1,000 for the NS model, we’re expecting a new audience to experience HD entertainment on their computers.”

HD Entertainment Attractively Priced

The VAIO NS notebook features an optional Blu-ray Disc-ROM drive that is ideal for viewing HD content. It also has the added convenience of DVD and CD read/write functionalities.
The PC is equipped with a 15.4-inch (measured diagonally) widescreen display, and Sony’s own XBRITE-ECO™ LCD technology for sharp details and vivid colors.
The NS model easily accesses your music, movies and the Internet. Its integrated A/V mode features a dedicated menu, putting entertainment within easy reach by letting you select up to nine programs, such as a favorite web site, from one location.

Packing an Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo processor, significant RAM and ample storage, the NS notebook is equipped with the tools required for everyday computing.
Available in three colors— nightfall blue, silk white and granite silver— the VAIO NS notebook will start at around $650, while the Blu-ray Disc model will go for about $1,000.

High Fashion Meets High-Def

The VAIO CS notebook is available in four glossy colors— sangria, cosmopolitan, dove and black. A standard black matte finish is also available.
The unit is equipped with a 14.1-inch widescreen display and XBRITE-ECO™ LCD technology for sharp images. Matched with an optional Blu-ray Disc-ROM drive, the CS model is ideal for watching HD entertainment on-the-go.
Its instant A/V mode lets you kick off your entertainment with ease. Go straight to watching a movie, playing music, or viewing photos with the touch of a button. A built-in A/V slide control also lets you control all functions (play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, stop, eject, etc.) all with one-touch ease.

The PC has a uniquely configured keyboard, designed with spacing between the keys, for a comfortable typing experience. A specialized keyboard font adds a fun touch. The unit also has a12-tone music analyzer that translates your music into a colorful LED light show that plays out beneath the palm rest of the PC.

It is backed by optional Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology with plenty of power for high-speed performance and an energy-efficient design for remote computing.
The CS model will start at about $920, while the BD model will go for around $1,070.

The VAIO NS and CS notebooks will be available online at www.sonystyle.com. They will also be sold at Sony Style® stores and select retailers around the country starting this fall.