Sony has released its new VAIO NW laptop, which comes with an optional Blu-ray player. The 15.5-inch widescreen display features Sony’s XBRITE-ECO LCD technology for sharper viewing but, helpfully, the notebook also has an HDMI output, so it can directly connect to a TV for that big-screen, high-def experience. But perhaps the laptop's most impressive feature is the price.

At USD$880, the cost of a notebook with Blu-ray player has fallen dramatically. When Sony announced the world’s first Blu-ray-equipped notebook, it was commanding a hefty USD$3500.

Even the recent VAIO FW laptop with Blu-ray drive ran to USD$1750. But, now, you only have to pay an extra USD$80 more than the standard VAIO NW model to receive the Blu-ray player. Who wouldn’t want it?

Otherwise, the new notebook continues Sony’s subtle appropriation of Apple style. (Although, it must be noted, while the white and silver are familiar, Apple would never offer brown as a color choice.) The isolated keyboard is translucent, the slim profile stylish, and the built-in webcam and microphone handy features.

The Sony NW is powered by an Intel Core2 Duo processor and comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium, VAIO Movie Story, a home movie program, and the VAIO MusicBox song management system. Connectivity includes three USB ports as well as ExpressCard, SD Card and Memory Stick PRO slots.

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