It may not look like the lightest and slimmest multimedia PC ever designed but the new VAIO VA1 Series represents a curious new form of hybrid.
Part desktop, part laptop, the VA1 is a curious beast but it could be just what a few of the more novelty driven amongst you need. Designed with just a single mains plug, a wireless keyboard with a built in touchpad, wireless mouse and remote, the VA1 should fit into any room you ask it.
The display is classic Sony: a 20 incher with true 16:9 aspect ratio, X-black technology and double lamp illumination for vivid colours and high levels of brightness. A 2.8GHz Pentium D 820 processor pushes things along and an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 with 128MB RAM takes care of the visuals. In theme with the VA1 itself, the integrated TV tuner is also a hybrid capable of providing both analogue and digital TV and has built in Freeview.
Windows Media Centre is the OS of choice so consequently a high capacity 250GB hard drive is fitted to store all that recording and ripping the companies expect you to do. A dual layer DVD rewriter offers hefty backup facilities and the audio is taken care of by Direct Stream Digital (DSD), a high def technology developed by Sony in conjunction with Philips. Just as importantly, given its mix and match parts, is the news that the VA1 is partly upgradeable with space for a second hard disk and additional slots for adding further RAM.
Sony has been its usual mysterious self and not put a price or release date on the VA1, but it’ll probably stick it up on its website imminently without bothering to tell anyone. At least that’s the way it usually works…