Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sony VAIO VGX-XL2 Digital Living System
Bring together your computing and entertainment worlds in one package and control it all with one remote with the Sony VAIO VGX-XL2 Digital Living System, which combines a high-end multimedia desktop PC and a 200-disc DVD/CD changer/recorder. Both are designed to fit into a home entertainment rack and the elegant silver and black casings will nicely complement the rest of your home entertainment system. With the VGX-XL2, you can manage all your downloaded digital content--such as music online stores, home movies from your camcorder, and photos from your digital camera--but it offers the added ability to easily organize, sort, and access packaged content from the CDs and DVDs that are sitting on your bookshelves.
The desktop PC portion of the VGX-XL2 is powered by Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (Update Rollup 2), which provides support for Media Center Extender technology built into XBox 360 game consoles, and a robust 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium D 920 dual-core processor for powering through multiple applications simultaneously and without stress. Other PC features include 1 GB of installed DDR-2 RAM (2 GB maximum), 320 GB hard drive (with room for up to three SATA hard drives (RAID 0 ready), an NVidia GeForce 6600 video processor with 128 MB of dedicated video RAM, multi-format/dual layer DVD burner, 54g Wi-Fi LAN, built-in TV tuner, multi-format memory card reader compatible with the most popular digital camera formats, and a wide assortment of pre-loaded Sony multimedia software titles. The 200-disc changer/recorder features multiformat DVD and CD burning capability with dual-layer DVD+R support.
With the XL1 Digital Living system, you can consolidate your music library by backing up your music CDs to your hard drive to be stored along with all of your downloaded music. With the touch of a few buttons, you can automatically and sequentially record up to 200 audio CDs from the media changer to the hard drive along with available album covers and track information. You can also record a series of television show episodes to the hard drive and easily transfer them to blank DVDs stored in the changer. The system alerts you to how many discs are needed and you can burn a whole season of your favorite TV program to DVDs to take on your next road trip.
Discs inserted into the 200-disc changer/recorder are automatically detected by the PC which downloads (over a wired or wireless network) available metadata on each one, including jewel case covers and artist information. For movies, an in-depth synopsis is also downloaded in addition to the star, director, producer details and more. All of this information is easily sorted and accessed using the included wireless keyboard or remote control.
Sony's SonicStage Mastering Studio software allows you to record music off of vinyl or tapes by utilizing the Studio's 24bit/96kHz processing technology, producing crisp digital quality sound. Also included are four different effects that allow you to enhance the sounds in the original recordings or to add new effects for remixing. Sony's DVgate Plus software allows you to import video footage from several sources and edit it, giving you the freedom to create your own video masterpiece.
* Hard Drive:: This entertainment-centric desktop is loaded with a gigantic 320 GB (7200 RPM) hard drive--which is about as large as you'll find in any multimedia desktop PC.
* Processor:: The 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium D 920 dual-core processor is near the top of the speed spectrum for this processor class (as of March 2006). An Intel dual-core processor delivers additional computing resources and help expand the PC's capabilities by providing higher throughput and simultaneous computing. You'll be able to perform multiple tasks such as digital rendering and gaming all while running virus scan or other background tasks seamlessly. Each core has 2 MB of L2 cache onboard (for a whopping 4 MB total), and the two cores share an 800MHz front-side bus.
A hyperthreading processor helps a PC run several demanding applications at the same time. This technology enables the processor to execute two threads (parts of a program) in parallel, boosting performance during key high-drain procedures. This results in more efficient software performance, such as faster reaction times in gaming applications, and enhanced multitasking.
* Memory:: The VGX-XL2 comes with 1 GB of installed PC-4200 DDR RAM, with a very fast 533 MHz speed. This is a good start, but seems small in comparison to the capabilities of this machine. You'll want to max out the 2 GB capacity (which is a bit small for such a multimedia powerhouse) for your 3D gaming and video-editing needs.
* CD/DVD Drive:: Offering the latest in DVD writing technology, the VGX-XL2's changer/recorder has a multi-format DVD/CD drive that's compatible with both DVD+ and DVD- disc formats as well as dual-layer DVD+R discs, which can store up to 8.5 GB of data. For DVD-RW discs, it has a 16x write/6x rewrite speed, while for DVD+RW discs it has a 16x write/8x rewrite speed. For dual-layer DVD+R, it has a 4x write speed. For CDs, it has a 40x write/24x rewrite speed.
The PC portion of the VGX-XL2 also includes a multi-format, dual layer DVD burner. For DVD-RW discs, it has an 8x write/6x rewrite speed, while for DVD+RW discs it has an 8x write/rewrite speed. For dual-layer DVD+R, it has a 4x write speed. For CDs, it has a 24x write/24x rewrite speed.
* Keyboard, Mouse, and Accessories:: It comes with a wireless Vaio keyboard and remote control (but no mouse). It also comes with an IR blaster for controlling a cable or satellite TV box and a wireless antenna.
Video and Audio
This desktop comes installed with NVidia GeForce 6600 video/graphics card, which offers 128 MB of dedicated video RAM, which is a bit small for such a video and multimedia PC. The GeForce 6600 features Nvidia's TurboCache technology, which is designed to increase notebook performance without increasing the size or draining the battery. NVIDIA PureVideo technology delivers smooth HD video in all formats for superb picture clarity.
The integrated TV tuner features Sony's Giga Pocket MPEG2 Realtime Encoder Board with composite video/audio, S-Video, and RF coaxial (VHF/UHF) inputs. It offers a very good range of video connections, including HDMI, DVI-D (via HDMI to DVI-D adapter), and component video outputs and gold-plated composite and S-Video inputs on the front (for connecting to a digital video camcorder).
Connectivity and Expansion Slots
For expansion, the VGX-XL2 has three half-height 3.5-inch bays (two occupied), two PCI slots (one occupied), and one x16 PCI Express slot (occupied by graphics card). It also has an integrated 54g wireless LAN that's compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g networks (requires 802.11b or 802.11g compatible access point). It comes with the following external connectors:
* 4 USB 2.0 ports (2 front, 2 back) for connecting a wide range of peripherals--from digital cameras to MP3 players
* 3 FireWire (also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link) ports for connecting digital video camcorders and other peripherals (2 6-pin in rear, 1 4-pin in front)
* 1 microphone, 1 headphone
* 2 infrared transmitter out
* Multi-format memory card reader on the front, compatible with Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, CompactFlash (Type I and II), MicroDrive, SmartMedia, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital, and XD Picture Card
It also has an integrated 56K modem (V.90) and an RJ-45 LAN network port for a 10/100 Ethernet connection to networks and DSL/cable modems. The changer/recorder offers two FireWire (i.Link) ports.
Preloaded System and Software
The pre-installed Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (Update Rollup 2) is essentially Windows XP Professional Edition with a variety of tools to help you to create, organize, and enjoy digital media ranging from music to home movies to photo slide shows. The Update Rollup 2 upgrade offers support for the Windows Media Center Extender technology built into XBox 360 game consoles, which lets you access entertainment from your Media Center PC--whether it's live and recorded TV and movies, music, photos or Online Spotlight--on any TV in the house
It also comes loaded with a bevy of Sony multimedia software: Click to DVD (DVD creation), SonicStage (digital music), Vaio Media (network file sharing), DVgate Plus (digital video), and Image Converter (for PSP transfer). Other pre-loaded software includes Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition, Quicken 2005 New User Edition, Microsoft Works 8.0 (with word processing, spreadsheet, and calendar), Norton Internet Security (with 90-day subscription), Intervideo WinDVD, Roxio DigitalMedia SE, and SpySubtract.
Dimensions and Weight
Combined, the desktop PC and 200-disc changer/recorder measure 17 x 13.8 x 19.5 inches (WxHxD) and weigh approximately 86 pounds.
Includes: remote control, wireless keyboard, HDMI cable, Firewire cable, S/PDIF optical cable, HDMI-DVI adapter, Mini DVD adapter, wireless antenna, 6 AA batteries, 2 power cords, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2, Photoshop Elements, Premiere Standard, Works 8.0, & more. Sony VAIO(R) Digital Living System - The Sony VAIO(R) Digital Living System consists enables you to easily control nearly every aspect of your home entertainment from the comfort of your sofa. It features a powerful desktop computer, with an Intel Pentium D Processor 920 (2.8 GHz), and a 200 disc CD/DVD changers. You get the ability to manage and enjoy your digital photos, audio CDs & digital music, standard & high definition TV content, movies from the Internet, DVDs, camcorder footage and much more! Double Layer DVD Writer - (write speeds) up to 4x DL DVD+R, 8x DVD-R, 8x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 24x CD-R, & 24x CD-RW NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT x16 PCI Express graphics card with 128MB of DDR SDRAM Sound Reality technology with DSD (Direct Stream Digital) support Integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi Adapter Video Outputs - HDMI, DVI-D (through HDMI to DVI-D adapter), & Component (YPbPr) Video Inputs - Gold plated Composite & 3 S-Video (1 front / 2 back) Audio Outputs - 2 S/PDIF Optical & Coaxial & Gold Plated Line Out (Left/Right) Audio Inputs - S/PDIF Optical & Gold Plated Line In (Left/Right/Front/Back) TV Tuner - Giga Pocket MPEG2 Realtime Encoder Board with 1 ATSC over-the-air High Definition tuner, Composite A/V, S-Video, Coaxial (VHF/UHF) inputs Multimedia Card Reader - Memory Stick, Memory Stick(R) PRO/Duo, Compact Flash Type I/II, SD/MMC, SmartMedia, & xD Picture Card Ports - 10/100/1000 Gigabit, 4 USB 2.0 (2 front), 3 Firewire (2 6-pin back / 1 4-pin front), Mic In, Headphone Out, 2 Infrared Transmitter Out Slots - 1 x16 PCI Express (occupied), 2 PCI (occupied) Bays - 3 3.5 half-height (1 av