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Sony To Ship PVR-Equipped Notebook

New York – Sony today introduced two new notebook computers one of which incorporates the company’s Giga Pocket PVR technology in a mobile platform for the first time.

The VAIO PCG-GRT190G is Sony’s first notebook computer to utilize the Giga Pocket technology. Giga Pocket combines a TV tuner with PVR functionality allowing users to view, record and manipulate television programming. Giga Pocket has been offered on desktop PCs since last year.

It will ship in July with a $2,500 suggested retail price.

Although a notebook computer by design, the GRT190G is being marketed by Sony as a portable PC and has the power and capability to not only be a home’s primary computer, but act as a home server, Abrary said. To handle these tasks it is equipped with a full Pentium 4 Intel 2.8GHz processor, not the mobile version normally found in a notebook. In addition to the Giga Pocket PVR it has a dual format DVD burner that can write to plus RW and dash RW media, a 60GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, 802.11b wireless networking and a 16.1-inch LCD, the largest Sony has ever offered, Abrary said. This model also will be available in different configurations.

In another first for Sony the Vaio PCG-TR1A ultra-light notebook, suggested retail price $2,000 and shipping next month, and the are the first to feature Sony’s XBRITE LCD technology. XBRITE uses a dual lamp system to deliver higher levels of brightness and contrast, said Mike Abrary, Sony’s product management director, mobile PC group.

The TR1A is the latest model in Sony’s long line of ultra-portable notebooks. Although available in various configurations, the basic model weighs 3.1 pounds and is powered by a 900MHz Intel Pentium M processor with Centrino technology. It has 512MB of RAM, 30GB hard drive, 802.11b wireless connectivity 10-inch by 6-inch LCD CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, USB 2.0 and 1394 ports.

Sony’s unveiling of an ultra-portable and desktop replacement models is indicative of where the company sees the notebook category growing. Abrary said the two ends of the market are doing quite well, with most of the smaller notebooks being used for business and the larger versions for home use and selling through retail. Sony does not plan to ignore the mid-range price and size segment, he said, but it also will not focus on it a great deal. Instead it will spend its marketing dollars and effort on the hotter categories.