Sony Vaio NW Notebook Packs Blu-Ray Drive at Bargain Price

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Sony has introduced its new Vaio NW notebook computer, combining a slim profile, 15.5-inch display, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and HDMI output at a consumer-friendly price. But that’s not particularly new or noteworthy: what is interesting about the Vaio NW is that Sony is offering an option with a BD-ROM player for just $880, making it a solid, inexpensive choice for folks looking to take their high-definition content with them on the go.

“This notebook sets a precedent in the industry merging powerful Blu-ray technology with a portable, head-turning design—all for an unheard of low price,” said Sony’s Vaio business group VP Mike Abary, in a statement.

The Vaio NW offers a 15.5-inch WXGA (1,366 by 768-pixel) display optionally driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon graphics controller with 512 MB of video RAM for handling high-definition content. The Vaio NW also sports up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 400 GB of hard drive storage, 802.11/a/b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless networking, an integrated microphone and Webcam, three USB 2.0 ports, and a 3-in-1 media card reader. The optional BD-ROM drive can also read and write CDs and DVDs for easy data archiving and transfer.

For the entertainment-focused, the VAio NW also offers a “display off” button so users can defeat its internal display while the computer runs in the background, saving power and extending battery life. The Vaio NW also sports an “instant Internet” button that the company says will put the notebook on the Web without waiting for Windows to start up.

Sony will begin offering the Vaio NW online now, and at Sony stores and selected retailers this month. Without a Blu-ray drive, the Vaio NW starts at $800, but with Blu-ray it starts at just $880, which might make a compelling case for consumers who have already been sinking dollars into building out their Blu-ray libraries.