Sony’s New VAIO AX

Sony is taking its stand in the midrange multimedia machine market. The new VAIO AX Digital Studio laptop is a mixed bag of potential, with the power of a desktop PC, the creative juice to rival Apple, and the security to match any locked-down business notebook.

Sony’s VAIO AX boasts a built in 0.3 mega-pixel camera, and offers data security tighter than a Glaswegian’s wallet, thanks to the a built-in fingerprint reader. The tech cherry topping the hardware cake is a 17-inch widescreen display with XBRITE LCD technology and WXGA+ resolution. This should bring to life any of your photos or home movies. Combine the screen with the DVD+R Double Layer read-write drive, and you’ll have the power to duplicate crisp and clear images at will.

Or watch television on the Vaio with the removable TV tuner and Windows CP Media Center Edition 2005. Both the DVD drive and the tuner fit into the VAIO’s versatile multi-function bay. Swap one bay unit for the other, or take both out and slip in the 80GB HDD bay unit or HDD Adapter bay unit, both optional.

To be a true multimedia station, the VAIO AX notebook also would need the software to turn an amateur into an artist, and an artist into a genius. And the Sony laptop indeed has it. For managing and editing your music collection, there’s the SonicStage Mastering Studio. For video, high-def and otherwise, there’s the DVgate Plus software.

Sony made the new Vaio AX even more flexible and compatible with other multimedia devices with a variety of standard but essential interfaces. The IEEE 1394 interface is the i.LINK, or for a more slow-mo connection, try one of the two USB 2.0 ports. For data transfer, Sony provides a Memory Stick and Secure Digital media slots.

Sony has an awful lot of notebooks on the market right now, and it’s difficult to make a choice between them all. However with all these features, the new AX Vaio will probably interface with laptop buyers when it’s released in November.

By Matthew Brodsky

Friday, October 21, 2005