Blu-ray PCs coming in June

Sony Corp. will begin selling its first personal computers with Blu-ray Disc drives in Japan in June, the company said Tuesday.

Both laptop and desktop computers will be available.

The Vaio VGN-AR70B laptop has a 17-inch widescreen LCD (liquid crystal display) panel with 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels resolution, so it can show high-definition content at full quality. The Vaio VGN-RC729DP desktop includes a digital TV tuner and will be sold with or without a 19-inch LCD monitor.

The drives in both computers can read and write to Blu-ray Discs. A single-layer Blu-ray disc can store 25G bytes of data, or about five times that of today’s DVDs, and can be used to store both computer files and video. In Japan, Sony is bundling software with the machines that can record digital HDTV broadcasts to the hard disk and later copy that content across to a Blu-ray Disc.

The computers can also import video from external sources such as Sony’s high-definition camcorder. Once in the PC, users can edit the video and burn it to a disc. This fills an important gap in Sony’s high-definition offerings, since people using the camcorder today have difficulty exporting the HD video out of the PC in a useful format.

There’s also an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) connector on the laptop for sending the video signal to an HD television.

The laptop is based on an Intel Corp. Core Duo T2500 (2GHz) processor and has 200G bytes of storage. The desktop uses a Pentium D (3.2GHz) processor and has 500G bytes of storage.

The laptop will cost around

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