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Sony low-end all-in-ones updated with touch screens, Blu-ray

Sony introduces new all-in-ones for back-to-school.

We're confused by Sony's press release announcing its new J Series all-in-one PCs. It mentions that pricing starts around $900, but of the two models available for preorder, the most affordable comes in at $1,099.

Sony's new Vaio J-Series all-in-one, available in black and white. Sony

That higher price encompasses all the benefits of the new models, which include a 21.5-inch, 1080p touch-screen display, a Blu-ray drive, and a Core i3 CPU (Core i7 in the $1,549 model). Perhaps a lower-cost model will emerge without the Blu-ray drive closer to next month's launch.

That $1,549, 21.5-inch model will be tough for consumers to stomach with the 27-inch iMac available for $150 more, and 23-inch Windows all-in-ones available for less than $1,000. The lower-end model is more palatable. All-in-one base touch input isn't too exciting, and a new Apple Genius-style Media Gallery app will be redundant if you use iTunes, but a decent-looking, reasonably fast all-in-one with a Blu-ray drive and a 1080p screen could appeal to the dorm crowd.

Sony's announcement is one of the first for the back-to-school season, and the company has taken a fairly conservative approach. We'll be interested to see if other vendors take more risks when their new announcements hit over the next few weeks.