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We scope Sony's Blu-ray RC310 desktop

We scope Sony's Blu-ray RC310 desktop

At last night's Sony VAIO 10th anniversary party in New York, we got a chance to hobnob with some of our fellow tech journalists and check out VAIOs past and present. At the West Chelsea lounge Guest House, we saw several classic systems, like the 1998 ultraslim 505 notebook, in museum-like glass display cases.

Sony used the event to unveil two new systems, the handheld VAIO UX180P Micro PC and the Blu-ray VAIO AR190G notebook. But what caught our eye was the RC310 desktop, Sony's long-promised Blu-ray Media Center PC. It wasn't on the official agenda last night, but we had a chance to look at it up close, and wedging our heads around the back, we saw that the display model had VGA and DVI outputs (but no HDMI, important for playing back Blu-ray movies with next-gen downscaling copy protection turned on) and a single TV tuner card.

Also on display was the recent VAIO Digital Living System XL2, the current iteration of Sony's Media-Center-meets-DVD-changer line. No mention of the previously high-profile XL3, which was supposed to be the summer 2006 Blu-ray version of this system--so perhaps my earlier prediction that the XL series was at the end of its line is correct. You can find more hints about the future of the RC series here and here.