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Sony Vaio RC204: Blu-ray arrives in the UK

We've got the world's first Vaio Blu-ray computer here, in our hands. It's blinking heavy, but who cares when it can burn four hours of HD video to one disc?

Mad props to the people at Sony for sending us the UK's first Blu-ray-ready PC (which we've reviewed here). It's called the Vaio RC204 and it's an imposing-looking thing. After spending several minutes just staring at it, we ripped it open and peered inside to find out what makes it special.

On the surface, it's very similar to the other desktops in the Sony Vaio RC range. It uses the same mammoth chassis that has a gaping hole all the way through the side, which serves as part of an elaborate cooling system. It's not our favourite case in the world, but we can't help but drool when we see the Vaio logo gradually light up when you hit the power button.

Inside, Sony has opted for a dual-core Intel Pentium D 940 processor clocked at 3.2GHz, 1GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT graphics card. Hard drive space is pretty generous thanks to 250GB and 350GB disks in a RAID 0 array (600GB total), and there's a hybrid analogue/digital TV tuner to help make the most of the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system.

It's the Blu-ray disc burner sitting in the top drive bay that's got us truly excited though. It'll write up to 50GB of data onto Blu-ray discs, which is enough to burn around four hours of high-definition movie footage onto a single disc. Close your mouth.

The RC204 is set to cost a pretty reasonable £1,799 and according to Sony, will be available from 'mid-June'. We'll have the UK's first full review of it very soon. -RR

Update: a full review of the Sony Vaio VGC-RC204 is now live.