Like its rivals, Sony Electronics has offered recordable DVD drives on its Vaio desktop PCs for some time. But the company’s new holiday lineup adds DVD burning to three notebook models, and bundles both laptops and desktops with new, exclusive Click to DVD software that can import camcorder video and generate a DVD with one mouse click.
Instead of separate applications to import video, edit, and author a DVD, Click to DVD handles the entire process, automatically checking the length of a camcorder tape to choose 1.14Mb/sec, 4Mb/sec, or 8Mb/sec MPEG-2 compression and letting users choose animated backgrounds or themes for their home-movie discs. A manual mode gives detailed control over blending video and still images and creating professional-looking chapter menus.
The 8.4-pound Vaio GRX670 ($2,500 with a 40GB hard disk) and GRX690 ($2,800 with a 60GB hard disk) notebooks feature 16.1-inch UXGA displays, ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics accelerators, 2.0GHz mobile Pentium 4 processors, 512MB of DDR memory, and internal, removable DVD-RW/CD-RW drives.
The slimline DVD burner is also available in the 15-inch-screened, custom-configurable (mobile Pentium 4/1.7, /1.8, or /2.0) Vaio NV200 series notebook, starting at $1,799). And Sony’s new PCGA-DVRW1 external DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, and CD-RW drive with iLink (IEEE 1394) interface — a compact 5.7 by 6.1 by 0.8 inches and under a pound — is $600.
Sony’s top-of-the-line Vaio Digital Studio RZ desktop systems feature the company’s Giga Pocket personal video recorder for recording and time-shifting live TV and planning future recording with an Internet programming guide, along with 120GB hard disks to hold all that video. The PCV-RZ14G ($1,700) has a 2.53GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of DDR, and DVD-RW and CD-ROM drives; the PCV-RZ16G ($2,000) has a 2.66GHz Pentium 4, 1GB of DDR, and DVD-RW and DVD-ROM drives. Both have 64MB Nvidia GeForce4 MX graphics cards.
If you don’t need to record TV, the Vaio PCV-RX680G ($1,300) has DVD-RW and CD-ROM drives plus a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of DDR, and 80GB hard disk with SiS integrated graphics. All three new desktops have six USB 2.0 ports, two iLink IEEE 1394 ports, and modem and Ethernet adapters and come with Adobe Premiere LE and Corel WordPerfect Office 2002.
Eric Grevstad is managing editor of sister site, HardwareCentral.