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Sony unveiled a new line of PCs in Japan on Wednesday that in a lot of ways are more like TVs than computers.

The Vaio L PCs are flat all-in-one desktop computers encased in a clear plastic board that are intended to function as entertainment centers. The design--in which the machine appears to be floating--has been used by the company before on some TVs. The L machines are similar to the Vaio W PCs that came to the U.S. in 2002.

Sony's Vaio L
Credit: Sony
Sony's Vaio L appears to float.

Sony's success in the PC business has been an up-and-down affair. After struggling with desktops, the company had an international breakthrough hit in the late '90s with the Vaio 505, a slim notebook in a gold metallic case. By 2002, Sony emerged as one of the fastest-growing PC makers in the world. Sales momentum, however, faltered. Some of the novel PC designs--such as the Vaio U, a handheld computer--have sold only in low quantities.

The idea behind the L line is to better integrate Sony's TV and stereo know-how into its PC line. Toshiba is pursuing a similar strategy with its Qosimo PCs, which also function as LCD TVs.

The showcase model of the new line, the VGC-LA, sports a 19-inch monitor with a 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution, a T2300 Intel Core Duo chip running at 1.66GHz, 512MB of memory, a 200GB hard drive, a built-in video camera, integrated video recording capabilities and a multiformat DVD recorder.

The L Vaios also come with a Felica e-money reader to make impulse purchasing that much easier.

Introductory versions of the Vaio L PCs will start at around $1,400. The PCs are expected to ship later this month in the Japanese market. It is unclear whether the L line will come to the U.S. Many Japanese models are tweaked for U.S. sales, but some never make it across the Pacific.

In all, Sony unfurled 41 new desktops and notebooks on Wednesday.

CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos reported from San Francisco. CNET Japan's Hayashi Sakawa reported from Tokyo.

See more CNET content tagged:
Sony Vaio, Sony Corp., Japan, entertainment, TV


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What about the ROOTKIT?
I sure hope it has a pre-built rootkit in it! Need that great technology. LMAO

Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
rootkit comments are getting old
Especially since it was Sony BMG that developed them, and not Sony CE or any other branch. Boycott Sony BMG products. The others have nothing to do with it.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
That was a CD
This is a computer.

Try to learn the difference.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Link Flag
It's a Sony.... Who cares????
.... I don't. Once upon a time, Sony was an electronics leader. Now,
Sony isn't even in the also-ran column. What Sony does is of little
interest to the American consumer, maybe even to the Japanese

Boycott Sony? No need....

.... just don't buy junk from Sony, .... or anyone else.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree 100%
I was a big Sony fan once, but no more.

IMO, their quality has been slipping over the past few years, but I could put up with a little of that. Everyone seems to be cutting corners.

But I am so sick of their business practices I will never again purchase anything they make.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Bunch of morons!
You guys that left stupid comments probably never owned a Sony computers before in your freaking low life. Start owning a computer from Sony before open your sorry behind mouths,
Posted by sammiebuster (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
There was a time I would have owned something from Sony
But thier business practices have poisoned any desire to buy anything Sony.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sony did us a favor
Because of their screwup, companies may think twice before using excessive methods to protect their IP.

Sony got a major black eye out of this, but I don't think they are any worse that say MS who has even more restrictions coming in their latest OS.
Posted by freemarket--2008 (5058 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vaio is another great idea that Sony can't seem to market properly
First off, let's cut off all this irrelevent commentary about rootkits. Anybody who's owned cutting edge electronics or read CNET over the years knows that Sony is a powerhouse of ideas for consumer electronics. They are not washed up by any stretch of the imagination. They do, however, suffer from a chronic inability to grasp that certain things must happen in order to bring a new product to success in the market; one of them being that you must be willing to license some of your technology at reasonable cost to producers of related products, and another that you can't overprice your intro model too long before the market loses interest. Such is the problem with vaio--I remember seeing these 4 years ago and thinking how incredibly cutting-edge and important they were; but the price was staggering and, when you look at the current generation, the price is still staggering for the stripped-down version it now is. But the idea is great, I would love to have a media station like this, but Sony has to decide what level of profit is realistic for something like this over its lifespan.
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now that's a real laugh....
"Anybody who's owned cutting edge electronics or read CNET over
the years knows that Sony is a powerhouse of ideas for consumer
electronics. They are not washed up by any stretch of the
imagination. "

>> I 'd say that they are totally washed up. There hasn't been a
good Sony idea out in years. There hasn't even been a mediocre
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag

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