Sony's press release describes the Vaio AR as a 'multimedia powerhouse' (some would say it's certainly built like a house).
Not only can you play Blu-ray discs, but you can record content from your favourite HD camcorder onto the discs. Of course you can do large-scale data backups, too.
This is in contrast to the first HD DVD laptop from Toshiba, whose drive is a read-only affair.
The notebook will come in two versions: Premium and Standard. Though i haven't seen detailed specs for either, I'd presume all the really cool stuff will only be found on the premium model.
“The VAIO AR has the ability to capture, edit and record in HD on a notebook PC right out of the gate,” said Mike Abary, vice president of VAIO product marketing at Sony Electronics in the U.S. “Combined with unsurpassed storage capability our new Blu-ray Disc enabled notebook computer offers users with limitless creative possibilities.”
There's a massive price difference between the premium and standard models - the premium is almost twice the price at around US$3500, whilst the standard edition will go for around $1800. One presumes the additional price isn't just because the premium will ship with “House of Flying Daggers" on Blu-ray DVD...
No official word on when it'll be coming to the UK or its price. We'll keep an eye out.