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New VAIO Media Center PCs

New VAIO Media Center PCs

Sony's got two new Media Center systems that deserve a closer look. We saw these in person a while ago, but they were officially announced just yesterday. First is the VAIO VA, which is an all-in-one system, like the iMac, with a computer and a screen built into one unit. The 20-inch wide-screen LCD is nice, but the all-in-one market is pretty limited, and we thought the unit was a little bulky around back. It's going to run about $2,000 and should be available by the end of the month.

The other new Sony Media Center is the XL1 Digital Living System. This is a pretty unique machine that right away takes advantage of some of the new features in the latest update to the Media Center operating system. It's comprised of two separate parts--a slim, A/V-style desktop computer and a rather large, 200-disc DVD changer. You can do all kinds of cool things with it, like load up your entire DVD collection for easy viewing or set up 200 audio CDs to rip overnight. Main output is HDMI, no VGA or DVI output at all. The $2,300 price tag may seem steep, but it's still less than half what some of the other high-end Media Center systems we've looked at cost.