Sony on Tuesday will announce a new line of desktop and portable computers for the 2002 holiday season. And in an industry first, six of its new laptop designs will include integrated recordable DVD drives. Beating Apple Computer to the punch by several months, Sony will introduce the DVD-RW/CD-RW capable laptops to the market later this month, the company says. Apple's long awaited recordable DVD notebooks aren't expected to be announced until January at the earliest, though the systems probably won't ship to customers until months later.
In addition to its recordable DVD drive-equipped notebooks, Sony will also announce three new desktop designs, all of which include DVD-RW drives; software for wirelessly sharing digital media files on a home network; and new DVD recording software called Click to DVD. The company says that the time for recordable DVD is now. "One out of every four American households has a DVD player connected to their TV, and even more have camcorders," says Sony VP Mark Hanson. "With Click to DVD, we've bridged the gap between these devices, making it very easy to create your own professional looking DVD."
For Sony, a consumer electronics giant with few PC success stories behind it, 2002 will prove to be a banner year. After getting off to a middling start in the PC business years ago, Sony now has a number of intriguing new systems, and market leading designs that are turning heads and raising sales. The company's Palm OS-based line of CLIE handhelds is also doing well, and the company recently edged out Handspring to become the number two supplier of such devices, behind Palm Inc. itself. Sony credits its success to superior design and technology advancements: Unlike other Palm OS devices, the CLIEs feature high resolution color screens and numerous multimedia enhancements. It's a model the company expects to duplicate with its new line of PCs.