If you caught my mention last year when Sony launched the Vaio VGN-TP1 you may remember I thought it looked quite good. Well, thanks to a few upgrades and the addition of a Blu-ray drive it just got better.
It may be a rather large speculative jump, but this news isn't long after Sony unveiled its new Blu-ray laser, promising to offer smaller form-factor drives of the kind used in the TP1. Coincidence or not, the addition is an attractive one, the TP1 is not really much bigger than any stand alone Blu-ray player out there, arguably more attractive than many and of course functions as a standard PC as well. Obviously there are trade-offs, (a lack in some audio codec and Deep Colour support) but for a majority of users I can't imagine they are deal breaking ones.
Elsewhere the specs have been bumped to support the new drive. The previous processor choice has been given a Penryn refresh, bumping it up to a 2.1GHz T8100 and the integrated graphics have been replaced by an nVidia GeForce 8400. Normally this is the point where said chip is decried as being worthless for anything but video decoding, but as that is exactly what it is for in the TP1 it would seem counter-intuitive.
Alas along with the details of the new specifications there is also a significant lack of information as to when the refresh will take place. Knowing how reluctant Sony is to spill the beans on any new products long before launch it seems reasonably safe to expect we might see this sooner rather than later. As to pricing, your guess is as good as mine which, for the record, is about £800-odd - or some £200 on top of the previous model.