everything we'd ever need to know about Sony's new VAIO lineup before we ever laid eyes on it, but Sony has finally confirmed its new VAIO Z, FW, SR and BZ laptops. They share a common design language, Centrino 2 processors, configuration options and setup software to remove that icky trial ware, and a whole lot of Blu-ray between them. Of particular note is the VAIO Z, which packs a Blu-ray drive and HDMI into a 1-inch thick, 3.4 pound, 13.1-inch 16:9 form factor, and even discreet NVIDIA 9300M graphics and a full size hard drive bay, with an option for dual SSD in a RAID configuration (which is just rubbing it in, if you ask us). The Z, FW and SR keyboards are all of the isolated, raised key variety, which might remind people of the MacBook keyboard, but is actually a design Sony has been toying with for a while now. The 13.3-inch VAIO SR is Sony's bid at bringing its ultraportable line "mainstream" with supposedly aggressive price points, multiple color options, and a four pound form factor which leaves room for discreet graphics, but sadly no Blu-ray. The 16.4-inch VAIO FW, on the other hand, has room for it all, with a 16:9 aspect ratio screen well suited to playing back Blu-ray movies. Finally, the VAIO BZ skips over the home theater fanciness and shows a growing commitment from Sony in the business laptop space. There's a 15.4-inch screen, magnesium alloy case, spill-resistant keyboard, vPRO and all that other fancy security-related business stuff, though no HDMI or Blu-ray to speak of. The BZ and FW start at $1,000, the SR at $1,400, the FW premium at $1,750, and the Z will hit at $1,800, with an SSD option for $2,300. All should be available in the late July / August time frame.
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