If there's one thing Sony knows how to get right it's design and its latest home theatre offering, the DAV-F200, is no exception. Better yet, those great aesthetics don't come at the cost of disappointing specs. What more could you want from a 2.1-channel multimedia system?
All the expected features such as DVD up-scaling to 1080p, support for DivX and the ability to play files from USB devices are present alongside the requisite HDMI port for outputting to a TV - a Bravia set being Sony's preference no doubt. On the audio front, all three channels of the DAV-F200 get 135W of the main unit's 405W total output, which isn't too shabby.
Sony's S-Force Front Surround technology and S-Master digital amplification are present giving a virtual surround sound experience, without rear speakers. We've had good experiences with similar set-ups so hopefully Sony's system is as good.
The system is also compatible with Sony DMPORT, adaptors for iPods, Sony Walkman devices and the like. External devices connected this way, or via USB, can be streamed from and, in the case of Sony devices, recorded to using the DAV-F200. It's definitely arguable that just chucking a CD into the player to rip it to a Walkman is a more elegant solution than using a PC.
Sony's DAV-F200 will be available around June for an as-yet unspecified amount. Knowing Sony it won't be cheap, but it offers a pretty decent set of features in a great-looking package that will no doubt win over many consumers.