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Sony announces Fall VAIO refresh

It must be Monday in Japan. Why else would Sony announce new laptops on a Sunday morning here? Today, the electronics company revealed autumn upgrades to its VAIO S & F series laptops and L desktop. The new systems are available immediately.

VAIO S series laptops come with 13.3-inch or 15.5-inch displays, with prices starting at $999. These models are thin, less than 1-inch thick, but nowhere as petite as Sony Z series notebooks. F series laptops are thicker, heavier and cheaper to buy. Prices start at $719, $749 and $799 for models with 14-inch, 15.5-inch and 17-inch displays, respectively.

In moves possibly designed to match Apple’s iLife suite on new Macs, the new VAIOs come loaded up with Sony digital media software — Acid Music Studio, Imagination Studio Multimedia Edition, Sound Forge Audio Studio and Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum.

Starting October 6, new, first-time Sony Music Unlimited customers get a 180-day trial to the basic monthly plan.

At my request, Sony provided configs on some of the ready-to-ship systems.

VAIO VPCSA3AFX/BI: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430 dual-core processor with 3MB L2 cache; 13.3-inch LED backlit display with 1600 x 900 resolution; 4GB DDR3 memory (1333MHz); 1GB discreet AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics; 500GB 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive; WebCam; DVD burner; 1 USB 3.0 and pair of USB 2.0 ports; SD Card and Memory Stick Duo ports; Bluetooth Integrated Stereo A2DP (2.1 + EDR), WiFi N; Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports; 4400 mAh Lithium Polymer battery (rated at 6:30 hours at full screen brightness; and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The laptop measures 13.04 x 0.92 x 8.84 inches and weighs 3.65 pounds.

VPCSE13FX/B: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430 dual-core processor with 3MB L2 cache; 15.5-inch LED backlit display with 1920 x 1080 resolution; 4GB DDR3 memory (1333MHz); 512MB discreet AMD Radeon HD 6470 graphics; 640GB 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive; DVD burner; WebCam; 1 USB 3.0 and pair of USB 2.0 ports; SD Card and Memory Stick Duo ports; Bluetooth Integrated Stereo A2DP (2.1 + EDR), WiFi N; Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports; 4400 mAh Lithium Polymer battery (rated up to 5 hours at full screen brightness; and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The laptop measures 14.97 x 0.97 x 10.08 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds.

VPCEG25FX/B: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430 dual-core processor with 3MB L2 cache; 14-inch LED backlit display with 1366 x 768 resolution; 4GB DDR3 memory (1333MHz); Intel HD graphics; 640GB 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive; WebCam; DVD burner; four USB 2.0 ports; SD Card and Memory Stick Duo ports; Bluetooth Integrated Stereo A2DP (2.1 + EDR), WiFi N; Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports; 5300 mAh Lithium Polymer battery (rated at 8:15 hours at full screen brightness; and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The laptop measures 13.62 x 1.14-1.36 x 9.4 inches and weighs 5.08 pounds.

VPCEH27FX/B: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430 dual-core processor with 3MB L2 cache; 15.5-inch LED backlit display with 1366 x 768 resolution; 4GB DDR3 memory (1333MHz); Intel HD graphics; 640GB 5400rpm Serial ATA hard drive; WebCam; DVD burner/Blur-ray disc player; four USB 2.0 ports; SD Card and Memory Stick Duo ports; Bluetooth Integrated Stereo A2DP (2.1 + EDR), WiFi N; Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports; 4000 mAh Lithium Polymer battery (rated at 4:45 hours at full screen brightness; and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The laptop measures 14.56 x 1.24-1.45 x 9.78 inches and weighs 5.97 pounds.

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