It's hard to say whether Sony intends its just-announced VAIO RM HD Video Editing system as a professional-level workstation or not. Its $3,500 price tag, its Blu-ray burner, and the fact that it comes with Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 say, "yes," but its single dual-core processor, the lack of a FireWire 800 port, and the use of the word "videophile" in the product's press release say otherwise. Apple's Mac Pro crosses over between the professional and the consumer worlds well enough, so perhaps it's easiest to consider the VAIO RM as you would Apple's flagship desktop.
However, even if this new VAIO is supposed to be a Mac Pro competitor, it's still hard to judge its merit. The VAIO RM has a single Intel Core 2 Duo processor to the Mac Pro's pair of dual-core Xeon processors, so Sony has only two processing cores to the Mac Pro's four. Sony gets the win, though, for its Blu-ray burner. As of today at least (don't forget, MacWorld 2007 starts Tuesday), the Mac Pro is still stuck with a standard-definition SuperDrive DVD burner. And if Apple doesn't announce an HD optical drive for the Mac Pro, then it might do so by March, which is when the VAIO RM is set to hit the market.
Other highlights of the VAIO RM HD Video Edition System include Windows Vista Business ("making it easier to manage huge volumes of videos," according to the Sony announcement), 1TB of hard drive storage, and a USB jog dial input device for sliding frames around on the video editing software.