First Look: Sony's VAIO Desktops

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted June 18, 2002

Sony's new summer line of VAIO desktop PCs offers options for people who want to record videos onto DVD discs, which includes Simple DVD Maker software in all DVD-RW equipped VAIO desktop systems.

Sony is reintroducing AMD processors into three of its new entry-level models. Additionally, eight Intel powered systems round out the line-up, which includes Sony's fastest VAIO desktop PC to date that sports an Intel Pentium 4 processor 2.40 GHz.

Sony's high-end line of VAIO Digital Studio desktop PCs feature DVD-RW (re-writable) drives, which may be ideal for storing videos and data on blank DVDs. The PCV-RX780G and the PCV-RX790G models, expected to sell for about $2,100 and $2,500, respectively, both include Sony's original Giga Pocket personal video recorder. Giga Pocket is designed to allow users to watch television on their PC and pause, rewind and store recorded shows on the hard drive for viewing at a later time. It may also provide an easy way to capture video from analog camcorders for editing and DVD creation.

Rounding out the recordable DVD-featured models are the PCV-RX752 and the PCV-RX770, available for about $1,550 and $1,700, respectively. Each model in this series comes with DVD recording and editing software to transfer video content from external sources that include video cameras.

To address the needs of the digital music enthusiast, Sony is offering four VAIO Digital Studio models with high-speed CD-RW (re-writable) drives. By using the VAIO desktop PC as a centralized music library, users can create customized, personal music collections that can be burned to CDs and transferred to personal audio devices, such as Sony's NetMD Walkman recorders. The supplied SonicStage for VAIO software may make it a simple task to manage music and create custom playlists.

Available with different options and memory configurations, the PCV-RX750 is expected to sell for about $1,150, the PCV-RX755 for around $1,250 and the PCV-RX760 for approximately $1,400. All of these models feature DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, 60GB or 80GB hard drives and Intel Pentium 4 processors. The entry-level PCV-RX730 model offers an affordable option at about $850, and features a 40GB hard drive and an Intel Celeron processor.

AMD Athlon XP processors, ranging from 1.40 GHz to 1.53GHz, are in three models of the VAIO RX series. All AMD RX systems come equipped with DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives. The PCV-RX742 model, available for about $850, may appeal to people who would prefer to upgrade as their future needs expand. For about $100 more, the PCV-RX740 has a faster processor for quicker data access and processing. The PCV-RX741, expected to sell for about $1,100, comes with 512MB of PC-2100 DDR RAM (expandable to 1GB) and may appeal to those who want to perform digital music creation/management, photo editing and scrap booking.

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