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Sony Bows Vaio TZ Notebook

San Diego — Sony has introduced its Vaio TZ high-performance, ultra-portable notebook.

Weighing in at 2.65 pounds and measuring less than 1-inch thick, the notebook is intended to offer the power and performance of a larger PC. It features the recently introduced Intel Core 2 Duo ultra-low processor, which is said to be designed for “advanced multitasking,” offering between four and 7.5 hours of standard battery life on a single charge.

The unit has built-in 802.11n wireless LAN capabilities and is Bluetooth enabled. It also incorporates wireless WAN technology provided by the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network; however, a separate Sprint service subscription is required to use the technology.

The machine is equipped with Sony’s SmartWi technology so that users can seamlessly navigate between the wireless WAN, wireless LAN and Bluetooth technologies.

Users have the option of selecting a model with a Motion Eye camera with a microphone built into their LCD panel for video conferencing. According to Sony, the camera requires a broadband connection and separately sold VoIP services.

The Microsoft Windows Vista Business operating system comes pre-installed.

For security, users can access password-protected data via an integrated biometrics fingerprint sensor.

On the entertainment side, the TZ model has LocationFree software pre-installed; the software is said to allow users to “place-shift” live TV broadcasts, access a personal video recorder or DVD player, and view that content on the notebook via the Internet with broadband connectivity.

The included Instant Mode technology is said to let users avoid having to boot-up the operating system, instead allowing them to begin watching a movie, playing music or viewing photos with the touch of a button.

Users can create customized DVDs and manage multimedia files via the notebook’s Click to DVD software and DVD+/-R DoubleLayer/DVD+/-RW drive.

The TZ notebook will be available in four colors and each features an 11.1-inch widescreen display with Sony’s XBRITE-HiColor LCD technology. Its keyboard keys are raised slightly above a piano-black bezel layer and the company said it added an extra support layer to increase key stability for quieter typing.

The units will available beginning in August. Pricing is expected to begin at about $2,200 and a flash-based model is expected to start at around $3,000.