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Sony Will Introduce Dual Drive Notebook PC During CES

Sony will introduce its first Dual Drive rewritable DVD notebook here this week at International CES.

The Dual Drive, which can burn and read DVD+R/+RW and DVD-R/-RW media, will be incorporated into Sony’s top-end GRV Series Vaio notebook, said Mike Abary, Sony’s notebook marketing director. The company has been shipping aftermarket internal and external Dual Drives since last October and Vaio desktop PCs are expected to be announced shortly.

The notebook should be shipping by the end of February with a suggested retail price in excess of $2,000, Abary said.

“We believe we have an opportunity to be the first to market with such a drive in a notebook,” he said.

The Dual Drive Vaio is a desktop replacement model capable of handling video editing, although the initial model will not have analog inputs so only consumers with digital camcorders will be able to download video. Future models are expected to feature analog inputs, Abary said.

This model is not Sony’s first to contain a rewritable DVD drive. The GRX-670 is equipped with a DVD-RW drive and has been available for several months with a $2,299 suggested retail price. Abary said there is no plan to phase out the GRX-670 when the GRV model comes on board, instead it will be positioned just below the new model as a less expensive rewritable DVD option for customers.

Abary said there is a demand for rewritable DVD in notebooks, citing the healthy sales of the GRX-670. These have comprised 30 percent Sony’s notebook sales since last November.

In other notebook news, Sony is expected to show a new ultra-portable notebook this week, the V505. This is the replacement for the popular R505 that has been on the market for the past few years, Abary said. This single-spindle model will have a completely new design that will stay within the current model’s size parameters, he said.