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Blu-ray era begins with the Sony VAIO RC310G

Blu-ray era begins with the Sony VAIO RC310G

Perhaps expecting things to go exactly right on 6/6/06 was a bad idea. After all, our eagerly awaited Sony VAIO RC310G ended up stuck in Indianapolis, a victim of what FedEx called "damage in transit." A mere 24 hours later, and today's much less menacing date brings us a new and unscathed Sony desktop.

What makes this system different from other VAIOs? It seems to share the same slick industrial design as its recent predecessors, and while powerful, it doesn't feature any sort of cutting-edge CPU or video card. But you don't have to open the case to find out what makes this PC unique. The answer is right in front of your eyes: the main optical drive is a Blu-ray burner, making this the first Blu-ray desktop we've gotten our hands on.

Included with our RC310G was a blank Blu-ray disc, but sadly, no actual Blu-ray movies. Mid-June, we hear, is the key date for that. Other than the Blu-ray drive, the RC310G seems very familiar--an incremental upgrade to the last RC-series PC we looked at, the VAIO RC110G.

The basic specs are nothing to sneeze at: a 3.2GHz Pentium D940 processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 7600GT video card, and 300GB of hard drive space. But the real reason we've been hitting refresh on the FedEx tracking page all morning is the built-in Blu-ray burner.

We'll be putting the VAIO RC 310G through its paces in CNET Labs this week, so stay tuned for our full review.