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New Sony Vaio Combines PVR, DVD-RW Functionality

NEW YORK — Sony has introduced a PC that mixes high-end computer functions with a personal video recorder and a rewritable DVD drive. The $2,599 Vaio PCV-RX490TV, which ships next month, will allow consumers to watch television programming on the PC's monitor or TV set, store up to 100 hours of programming on the hard drive or burn shows to a DVD-RW disc. Unlike TiVo and Microsoft's Ultimate TV set-top products, Sony will not charge a monthly service fee. The PC features include an Intel Pentium 4 1.7GH processor, 128MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive.

Flash Storage For The Road

NEW YORK — Flash memory maker M-Systems next month will announce OEM deals with two tier-one PC makers to sell the company's Disk On Key portable storage device. The USB-based product comes in 8MB, 16MB and 32MB capacities and will work with any Windows or Mac OS-based desktop or notebook computer. It is intended as a high-capacity replacement for the 1.44MB floppy diskette. Disk On Key is essentially a flash memory chip, microprocessor and a USB plug in a cigarette lighter-size container. M-Systems executives see its first applications as a portable memory device, but further development will feature having software applications reside on the device for a wide variety of personal and business uses.

Iomega Ships Fast CD-RW

ROY, UTAH — Iomega has expanded its CD-RW drive line with the shipment of a 16x write, 10x rewrite and 40x read device. The new drive has a $199 suggested retail price and is now being offered with a $50 mail-in rebate. The drive is capable of burning a 60-minute album in about five minutes.

New Models From eMachines

IRVINE, CALIF. — Budget PC maker eMachines introduced four new units last week, including a $699, after rebate., PC powered by an Intel Pentium III 1GHz processor called the eMonster1000B. The 1000B has 128MB cache, CD-RW drive, 20GB hard drive and two USB ports. The eTower 800 and eTower766id, both with $499 suggested retail prices, are basically the same as the high-end model, but with Intel Celeron 800MHz and 766MHz processors, respectively, and drop the CD-RW drive in favor of a 48x CD-ROM drive. The entry-level eTower 733i, $399 suggested retail price, has a 733MHz Celeron processor and 64MB of RAM.

DVD+RW Alliance Adds DVD+R To Specification

IRVINE, CALIF. — Citing consumer's interest in write once technology, the DVD+RW Alliance will build DVD+R capability into its rewritable DVD specification, it reported last week. The DVD+R format will play back on all DVD+RW drives and most available DVD-ROM drives and video players.

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