Updating an earlier post, Sony is indeed bringing an 18-inch laptop to the U.S. in the form of the Vaio AW. Announced Wednesday morning, the Vaio AW features an 18.4-inch display with Adobe RGB color management. That is, your digital photos will look the same onscreen as they will on paper.
The display does 1080p for full HD playback, and its 16:9 aspect ratio matches that of movies. The 18-inch Acer Aspire 8920 also features a 16:9 screen ratio; most wide-screen laptops have a 16:10 ratio. Sony says the Vaio AW weighs "a little more than 8 pounds."
Pricing starts at $1,695. For that amount, the Vaio AW packs a Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, and TV tuner. Take this same configuration and add the Adobe RGB color compatible display and Sony's premium photo bundle that includes Adobe Elements 5 and Photoshop Lightroom 2, and your total is $2,299. Sony's Web site lists the expected ship date for both models as September 18.
Oddly, for a laptop that targets "the multimedia enthusiast or photographer," the graphics aren't specified, nor are any graphics upgrade options listed. You can, however, choose up to a Core 2 Duo T9600 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and a Blu-ray burner. Most interesting, perhaps, is the option to pair a 500GB hard drive with a 64GB or 128GB solid-state drive, which provides fast boot-up and access times along with large storage capacity. You can also opt for dual 500GB drives for an even 1TB of space.