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The VAIO notebook range is to form an integral part of Sony’s focus on HD products, Sony announced at the launch of its updated models today.

Following recent staff cuts and a resulting focus on High Definition products last week,  Gordon Kerr, Group Business Manager for VAIO, said “the VAIO plays a leading role in HD”. He demostrated a model whereby consumers were shooting footage on a Sony HD camera, editing it on a Sony VAIO notebook, and then displaying home movies on a Sony HD display like the Bravia.

Sony introduced eight new models to its VAIO series, including  four consumer laptops and a new range of business laptops. Advanced features like magnesium alloy or carbon fibre construction, white LED displays, and even fingerprint readers were evident amongst the range.

One standout included the ultra-lightweight VGN-TX17 which uses carbon fibre in its construction, making it incredibly lightweight at 1.24kg. It also features a thin, 11.1″ WXGA white LED screen, and an amazing battery life of nine hours. The TX17is available in black or white for $3,799.

The range also includes the VGN-BX168GP which features a fingerprint reader which can be configured for use for anything from secure logon, to individual access to websites. As well as that, it includes an inbuilt webcam for videoconferencing and VoIP. Security and communication would be a significant focus for future VAIO notebooks, Kerr said. The BX168 retails for $3,099.

“This lineup has been designed for the greatest level of mobility for professionals and highly skilled consumers alike”, said Gordon Kerr. “We have a fresh, targeted direction for VAIO, moving toward the development of two distinct offerings – one catering to the needs of business and one to the personal user. These latest additions exemplify our objective to continue delivering strong personal notebooks, whilst simultaneously supporting the discerning business customer”, Kerr said.

The new VAIO products are due from mid-late October, and start at $2,299 for the VGN-FS35GP business notebook and culminate in the VGN-A59GP multimedia laptop at $4,999.

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