Sony bumps Vaio SZ and AR notebooks to Santa Rosa

Looks like Sony's decided to go all the way with Santa Rosa -- not only did it introduce the new FZ today, it's also giving the AR and SZ lines the full Centrino Duo makeover, with Core 2 Duos ranging from 1.80 - 2GHz sitting on that oh-so-popular 800MHz frontside bus and 802.11n networking. The AR (pictured above) is the real bruiser here, with a 17.8-inch XBRITE screen powered by an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M, a built-in webcam, HDMI out, a recordable Blu-ray drive, and a digital TV tuner beakout box with a CableCARD slot. All that power doesn't come light, though -- the AR tips the scales at 8.4 pounds. Road warriors will be more interested in the 4.1-pound SZ, which drops the old-school EDGE modem of its predecessor for a Sprint EV-DO model but otherwise remains basically the same: 13.3-inch XBRITE screen with the ability to toggle between integrated Intel X3100 graphics and an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M chip to save battery life, built-in webcam, and a trick carbon fiber body on the Premium model. No word on pricing or availability, but these two rolled out at around $3000 each the last time around, so we're not expecting any mad rush here.