Sony Electronics has begun selling its Vaio TP1 Living Room PC. Unveiled last January at CES, the TP1 sports a while cylindrical design that might look at bit like one of those round covers you put over your plate to keep your food warm…or perhaps a storage container for a few of your favorite Frisbees. But under the cylindrical hood lies a 1.83 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 300 GB 7,200 RPM hard drive, HDMI, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and Windows Visa Home Premium, all waiting to act as your mid-range living room media center and a gateway to the wild world of Internet video. And users can control it from across the room using a remote control and wireless keyboard.
The TP1 sports NTSC and ATSC television tuners and an HDMI interface for high-definition content, which can be adapted to DVI to support a wide variety of large-screen displays. The unit also features composite and VGA output, S/PDIF audio output, headphone and microphone jacks, and an 8× DVD±RW drive for saving your video to a more-portable media. The system can connect to a home network using either 100Base-T Ethernet or 802.11g Wi-Fi, and users can access camcorders or camera media using an i.Link port, four USB 2.0 ports, or a Memory Stick card slot.
The TP1 isn’t looking to be the final word in media center PCs: it ships with 2 GB of RAM, but unfortunately, it also maxes out at 2 GB of RAM, and some users may also be disappointed by the integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics system, lack of CableCard and surround sound support, and some will not Sony didn’t even want to put a Blu-ray drive in the unit. Nonetheless, it’s both round and available for $1,599.99.
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