Sony Blu-Ray-Burning Laptop Due in June

Sony Corp (SNE). will release the first laptop capable of playing, editing and recording next-generation, high-definition videos in the Blu-ray DVD format.

Sony, which led the development of the Blu-ray format, said Tuesday the new VAIO AR Premium model will be available this summer for $3,500.

Besides the Blu-ray DVD drive, the entertainment-oriented notebook computer features a 17-inch display, an integrated TV tuner, and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Media Center Edition operating system.

Blu-ray is one of two competing high-definition DVD formats that displays video in 1080p — the sharpest in high-definition quality.

The other next-generation format is HD DVD. Toshiba Corp., one of the HD DVD format's main developers, last week introduced the first laptop to play HD DVD discs. But unlike the Sony laptop, the $3,000 Toshiba laptop's HD DVD drive cannot record or edit in high-definition.

Sony's new laptop will be among a number of other Blu-ray compatible products Sony plans to begin selling later this year.

Adding to a growing crop of ultracompact notebooks in the computer industry, Sony also will introduce Tuesday a laptop that weighs 1.2 pounds and is roughly the size of a 4x6 photo print but is 1.5-inch thick.

The VAIO UX Micro PC features the Windows XP operating system, a 4.5-inch screen, a slide-out keyboard, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies, and built-in cameras. It will be available in July at $1,800, Sony said.