First Ever 3D VAIO F Series Notebook Unleashed

Among other new VAIO refreshed models, VAIO F series definitely stands out as its first 3D VAIO enabled notebook. As you may remember it was first introduced in its prototype stage at IFA and today Sony unveiled this monster desktop replacement. It packs a second generation Intel® CoreTM i7 Processor with 4 cores and supports Intel Hyper-Threading and Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 delivering the premium performance needed for powerful PC gaming. It comes with Windows® 7 Home Premium operating system. Beautiful full HD 1080p 16″ LCD will deliver unprecedented immersive experience into the 3D world.  With a touch of the 3D button you will also be able to convert 2D HD videos to 3D (however 2D pictures are not convertible). A built-in 3D sync transmitter and included 3D active glasses let you enjoy 3D movies wherever you are.

Another feature that was known to Sony AV products has been introduced to a VAIO for the first time. It is Sony’s own S-Force® Front Surround 3D system you do not need a home theater system to get vibrant sound. The unit’s extended stereo effect plus simulated 5-channel surround sound provide the perfect accompaniment for viewing 3D content.

Effortlessly connect the PC and transmit in 3D to a compatible HDTV with 3D via its HDMI™ output for a larger viewing experience.

A NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M with 1GB dedicated VRAM card provides high-definition graphics processing for intense gaming action without placing huge demands on the unit’s CPU.

Launch directly into Sony’s own Media Gallery™ software, by pushing the designated VAIO button on the keyboard, and rediscover your favorite music and photos with the software’s intuitive filing system. Developed with design in mind, the software includes a stunning user interface with easy-to-use features that take the work out of enjoying your media. We will confirm later on if this version of VAIO Media Gallery has Bravia Internet Video functionality.

Hands on experience with video is coming up later, so stay tuned for more specs.

05
Jan 2011
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

3D, CES, Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION No Comments

Top Ten Sony Insider Stories Of 2010

2010 was an incredible year in many ways for Sony as a brand, its social media team and Sony Insider’s role in that circle.

Every year we like to share the top ten stories that received the most hits on the site. This year’s list is rather interesting because it signals to me Sony Insider, while it has great coverage of news, has also become an informative tool for consumers when they want to learn more (and purchase) Sony products. We also noticed that many stories from 2009 are still receiving healthy traffic.

I hope we can do an even better job of being a source of news, reviews and everything else Sony in 2011. We will be following up this post with another list of our favorite memories of 2010, and our thoughts on what Sony needs to do in 2011. Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

#10 – Sony Shows Off Prototype Flexible Electronic Paper Display

September 14th – Every year in Japan, Sony holds a special Dealer Convention that shows off the latest products and a glimpse of what is coming. The event, held this year in Shinagawa, Tokyo, has always been interesting as sometimes reveals products and prototypes that Sony hasn’t even announced yet. While the big focus at this year’s Dealer Convention was 3D products, there was also a small exhibit showing a very exciting development that could one day be used in future Sony Reader devices.

#9 – Sony Wearable Walkman NWZ-W250

April 12th – Sony Europe announced a new and improved Sony Wearable and Water Resistant Walkman in their W series. The Sony NWZ-W250 is actually water resistant, something that its cousin W202 has had issues with. You also get a new look, a new stand and of course Sony acclaimed superb sound. NWZ-W252 is offered in a 2GB of storage in the USA and 4 Gb to store your techno or whatever music you like to work out to.

#8 – Our leak of the new Sony Reader eBook devices

August 12th – The fall season in the USA always brings an update to Sony Reader devices, and we were the first to deliver concrete information about the new models – PRS-350 and PRS-650. Sony has been under pressure in the E-Book Reader product category as they face increased competition from rivals Apple (iPad), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and a hodgepodge of other companies.

#7 – Inside Job Movie Exposes The Truth Behind American Financial Crisis

August 24th – Inside Job is a documentary from Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), and is the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, the Inside Job “cost over $20,000,000,000,000 to produce.” Be sure to also check out the Inside Job official website and Facebook page.

#6 – Sony Officially Starts Selling Playstation Products In Vietnam

January 19th – Sony Computer Entertainment Asia announced that the company has formally started PlayStation business in Socialist Republic of Vietnam, making the one of the world’s popular computer entertainment systems and services available to the PlayStation fans and consumers in the country.

#5 – New Sony VAIO F Series Encountering Buzzing Or High Pitched Whine Issue?

January 21st – According to dozens of forum users at Notebookreview.com, apparently owners of the powerful Sony VAIO F Series VPCF112FX/B, VPCF11JFX/B, VPCF11MFX/B and VPCF1190X CTO were experiencing an odd high pitched whine or buzzing sound (aka whining) while using the laptop. The issue caused several consumers to call Sony for support, but they were unable to provide a fix over the phone – this led to several of the laptops being returned, exchanged, and so forth. However, after observing the forum topic it seems that the problem resides within the microphone built into the laptop itself, and with a few simple clicks this issue can be temporarily resolved. Sony eventually provided a full fix for this issue.

#4 – Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Battery Life Revealed

January 22nd – The XPERIA X10, also known in Japan simply as Xperia, came to the massive wireless carrier DoCoMo yesterday amid great reception. However, what’s truly odd about this 1Ghz, 4 inch screen Android phone is that the battery life figures have been relatively unknown up to this point. Even Sony Ericsson’s global site has never listed the battery life figures in its specifications. This left many curious as to how long it could actually last.

#3 – Hands-on With BD Remote – The Sony iPhone/iPod Touch Remote App

January 10th – One of the most overlooked announcements by Sony at CES 2010 was the new iPhone/iPod Touch application called “BD Remote” that is compatible with all 2010 Sony Networked Blu-ray Players. Well I guess it wasn’t that overlooked after we published a nice hands-on with the interface.

#2 – How To Fix The Battery Life On The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

April 13th – The XPERIA X10 is truly outstanding as SE’s first Android device, and has some features that really shine in comparison to the competition. The design is also just so stunning, and reminds me of the Monolithic Design concept we’ve seen with Sony’s other products. However, after using the phone daily, it became obvious that there was a big problem – the battery life. The battery was draining way too quickly, even in standby mode. I tried some application management programs, and so forth, but it still seemed less than what I’d hoped for. This post originated before a firmware fix that corrected some problems, and visitors left comments with other tips.

#1 – Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 vs. Apple iPhone 4 Specs Comparison

Sony Ericsson’s major device for AT&T in 2010 was the XPERIA X10. With specifications straight out of Star Trek, is one of the most advanced devices ever released by Sony Ericsson. However, the new iPhone 4, despite its shortcomings, has set the bar in smartphone functionality that is nearly unmatched by other devices. We put the XPERIA X10 (specs courtesy Sony Ericsson) head to head with the iPhone 4 (specs courtesy of Apple) in a detailed specifications comparison.

31
Dec 2010
DISCUSSION 4 Comments

Screenshots From Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity

Music Unlimited, powered by Qriocity, is a cloud-based music service by Sony that allows consumers to access millions of songs for a small subscription fee. Major labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as leading independent labels and major publishers worldwide are on board for a combined initial offering of over six million songs (with promise to expand over time).

Content can be played on a variety of devices, including “Sony’s 2010 (and surely 2011) models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system as well as VAIO and other personal computers. It will also become available on a wide range of Sony’s portable devices, as well as on Android-based mobile devices and other portable devices.”

Music Unlimited sure seems like an interesting alternative to Pandora and other streaming solutions, but then again it isn’t free. Hard to tell if it can beat my trusty Wunderradio, though.

Prices are reasonable, coming in with Basic (£3.99 in the U.K. and 3.99 Euros in Ireland) and Premium (£9.99 in the U.K. and 9.99 Euros in Ireland) options. There’s a load of features in the premium service, such as Top 100 channels for many genres, personal playlists, ability to listen to songs on-demand, and more. It also adapts to your listening habits and offers better music through analyzing your collection, ratings, and so forth.

The service is currently only available in the UK and Ireland, but will come to the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand “during 2011.” I would image it will be all over CES 2011.

We have some high resolution screenshots of Qriocity Music Unlimited courtesy of Sony global press. I think the images are worth looking at (in addition to our initial coverage of the Music Unlimited launch) and show how the service looks on the PS3, BRAVIA devices, and even the player built on their website, music.qriocity.com.

The Music Unlimited interface for web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc) look pretty polished for its first version. You can see here in the channel view a rather coherant interface. Controls are at the top, including repeat or random options, and the ability to like/dislike. I would like to see larger, easier to use like/dislike buttons. Other controls include volume, search, previous track, next track and pause. Below that is the album art, and recommendations as well as Music Sync, which allows you to add your music collection and listen across all supported devices. Nice.

Then we have the channel listing itself, where you see a varity of genres, including tabs for premium, genre, SensMe, and Era. I love the option of Era, that means you will see channels such as 1940, 1950, 1960, etc..

Then there is the interface for BRAVIA products such as TV’s, Blu-ray players, home theater systems, etc which is not as glamorous as the PS3 version, but is functional across the board. The interface is consistent with the Qriocity Video service. I like the “How It Works” touch..

The channel listing in Music Unlimited for BRAVIA Devices.

Here is a stunning (and resized) 1080P grab of Music Unlimited’s album view for PS3, which is also displaying high resolution album covers and an excellent looking, easy to use interface. This would be nice to have on for a party.

The following image is a taste of the menus in Music Unlimited full of gloss and reflection in the PS3 version.

The Music Unlimited channel selection screen on the PS3, showing many genres. We can see already thatt they will have Jazz, Rock, Dance & House, Pop, Latin, Blues, Punk, Electronic, Alternative, Rap, R&B, Reggae, Classical, and New Age just like the website.

30
Dec 2010
DISCUSSION 5 Comments

VAIO Signature Collection Ready for the Holiday Season

When SonyStyle debuts new and or updated VAIOs, it is highly recommended to check out the special line of called VAIO Signature Collection as you as a buyer will be pleasantly surprised by rare and eye-catching offerings. In most cases you will witness hip and trendy VAIOs aimed to match your fashion-forward lifestyle as well as impress your friends around you. Due to the nature of this collection, it is usually a limited production, so act quickly before they disappear.

So what exactly Sony has launched this holiday season? VAIO X has come back in Gold, this VAIO when first introduced back last year was a huge hit and sold out real quickly, so due to the demand for that color you will be able to score one again and with current promotion you can even save $200. It’s an awesome notebook for those of us who like to travel light and enjoy the true beauty of engineering. Feel free to check out our unboxing video of its previous generation here.

Next in the line up is a VAIO P outfitted in Pink and Black crocodile and looks like a nice clutch. VAIO EA series with the black and gold Arabesque designs is something you have to check out in person. Very detailed pattern shows off really well in gold.

And of course there is an all powerful and intricate VAIO Z that has a few custom options that will blow you away in specifications and definitely bankrupt you for a couple of years. This season’s Carbon Fiber Z is one to consider with the premium specs including Full HD, Ci7 processor, a hybrid graphics card, BDRW, 512 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM and ships with Windows 7 Ultimate. Another thing to note is that a TPM chip is now included on all new Z’s. Pretty cool, all it is missing is a USB 3.0 slots but we’ll forgive them for now, as those will be widely available in 2011 line up on many VAIOs.  Your VAIO lid can be outfitted in Bordeaux Red (like VAIO TZ models back in 2009) and Infinite Stripes.

If you are into nice picture gallery viewing experience, check out the VAIO Z currently available in Japan.

Other Signature models include a Red Sangria Y series and a Gold VAIO J118 all-in-one touch screen computer.

Here is a direct link to VAIO Signature Collection.

16
Nov 2010
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

Sony BRAVIA Internet Video Coming To VAIO Computers

According to a relatively new source that has proven themselves completely trustworthy, Sony is currently working on integrating BIVL (BRAVIA Internet Video Link) functionality into upcoming VAIO products. This will either be added to their VAIO Media plus application or one of their other media browsing/playback programs. BRAVIA Internet Video is currently available on many Sony BRAVIA TV’s and Blu-ray Players, SMP-N100 Network Media Player, and the Dash.

Services included in BRAVIA Internet Video, found on nearly all of Sony’s TV’s for 2010, include video on demand from: Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Qriocity, blip.tv, concierge.com, Crackle, Dailymotion, eHow, epicurious, FEAR NET, Ford Models, Golflink.com, Howcast, Livestrong.com, ON Networks, Podcast support, Singing Fool, Style.com, Slack, Videocast.com, Yahoo! Video, myplay, NPR, WIRED, Pandora, Netflix, and several others.

It’s very likely that different services will be available in certain regions, such as European BIVL-equipped VAIO computers having BBC iPlayer and so forth.

Sony will be one of the first consumer electronic companies in the world to offer a centralized online streaming video hub pre-installed on their computing devices. While many of the aforementioned services have a browser-capable equivalent, this will be a nice option for those who want a no-fuss option that has many options together in one place.

The only question left is – how much longer till BRAVIA Internet Video arrives on the PS3? Edit: According to a source who contacted us after this posting – “full (BIV) service roll out will happen soon.” (for PS3)

This information is a Sony Insider exclusive, brought to you here first.

25
Oct 2010
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 4 Comments

How To Set Up Sony VAIO Remote Play For PS3

Remote Play (download) for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) enables you to display the system screen on your computer and remotely operate the PS3 system via a network connection. With remote play, you can access your content and control your PS3 playback from your computer from virtually anywhere in the world. Other cool aspects include the ability to view photos, play music or watch videos stored on your PS3 system with content streamed in real-time to the screen of your computer. Content requiring output protection (Blu-ray Disc media, DVD movie, PlayStation games) is not supported by Remote Play. Image quality may vary.

Check out the applicable models and operating systems, and don’t be afraid to try it anyways if your Sony VAIO model isn’t listed as compatible. Don’t have a VAIO? Try using this patch that enables PS3 Remote Play to work with any Windows PC.

1. Verify you are able to connect the PlayStation3 system to your network.

  • To test your network connection, try to connect to the PlayStation Network.
  • If you are not able to connect the PlayStation3 system to your network, contact PlayStation support for assistance.

2.On the computer, click the Start button and then click All Programs.

3. In the All Programs menu, click PlayStation Tools and then click Remote Play with PlayStation3.

4. In the What is Remote Play with PlayStation3? window, click the Next button.

5. In the Set Nickname window, next to Nickname: , type a name for this computer.

  • The name is used by the PlayStation3 system to identify the computer.

6. A Register this computer to the PlayStation3 system window is displayed. Leave this window open and go to the PlayStation3 system.

7. On the PlayStation3 system, navigate to the Settings menu.

8. In the Settings menu, navigate to Remote Play Settings and press the X button.

9. Verify Register Device is selected and press the X button.

10. In the Register Device screen, select PC and press the X button.

11. An 8-digit registration number is displayed.

  • You will have 5 minutes to enter this number in the Remote Play with PlayStation3 software.

12. On the computer, in the Register this computer to the PlayStation3 system window, next to Number:, type the 8-digit number displayed in the previous step and then click the Next button.

  • Your registration number will differ from the one displayed in the images.

13. The computer and the PlayStation3 system will connect via a wireless connection and complete the registration process.

  • If prompted for an administrator password or a User Account Control prompt is displayed, type the appropriate password, or click Yes .
  • During the registration process, the computer will disconnect from your wireless network so it can connect directly to the PlayStation3 system.

14. When the registration is complete, on the PlayStation3 system, on the Register completed screen, press the X button.

  • On the computer, a Register Device process is complete window is displayed. Leave this window open.

15. On the PlayStation3 system, navigate to the Network menu.

16. On the Network menu, select Remote Play and then press the X button.

17. A Remote Play screen is displayed indicating the PlayStation3 system is ready for a remote connection

18. On the computer, in the Register Device process is complete window, click the Connect button.

19. When the connection process is complete, on the PlayStation3 system, a Remote Play in Progress screen is displayed.

20. On the computer in the Remote Play with PlayStation 3 window, the PlayStation3 menu is displayed and ready for your control.

  • A Key assignment window is displayed showing how to use the keyboard to control the PlayStation3 system.

The software is preinstalled on Fall 2010 VAIO computer models and available for download on most VAIO computers that have the Windows 7 operating system preinstalled. This article, “How to set up the Remote Play with PlayStation 3 software,” originally appeared on Sony’s eSupport website.

18
Oct 2010
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PS3, Vaio

DISCUSSION 6 Comments

How To Set Up Sony VAIO Remote Keyboard For PS3

Remote Keyboard (download) for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) establishes a Bluetooth wireless connection between your computer and the console so you can use the computer keyboard or touchpad to operate the system. This allows you to do cool things like: find photos, video and music files in seconds; enable more precision and speed in online gaming sessions; makes inputting text and surfing the internet on the PS3 system much easier and quicker. See all applicable models and operating systems. See all applicable models and operating systems, and don’t be afraid to try it anyways if your Sony VAIO model isn’t listed as compatible.

  1. On the computer, click the “Start” button and then click “All Programs”.
  2. At the “All Programs” menu, click “PlayStation Tools” and then click “Remote Keyboard with PlayStation3″.
  3. At the “What is Remote Keyboard with PlayStation3?” screen, click “Next”.
  4. Turn on the Bluetooth adapter in the computer.
  5. Note: For information about enabling the Bluetooth adapter, please consult your computer manual.

  6. At the “Before establishing Bluetooth connection” screen, click “Next”.
  7. Note: If prompted for an administrator password or the “User Account Control” screen is displayed, type the appropriate password, or click “Yes”.

  8. At the “Register Bluetooth device on the PlayStation3 system” screen, leave this screen on the computer open and go to the PlayStation3 system.
  9. On the PlayStation3 system, navigate to the “Settings” menu.
  10. At the “Settings” menu, navigate to “Accessory Settings”, and then press the “X” button.
  11. Select “Manage Bluetooth Devices”, and then press the “X” button.
  12. At the “Manage Bluetooth Devices” screen, verify that “Yes” is selected, and then press the “X” button.
  13. To start scanning for Bluetooth devices press the “X” button.
  14. At the “Select the Bluetooth device to register” screen, select the computer keyboard and then press the “X” button.
  15. When the Pass Key is displayed, use this number in the next step to register the computer.
  16. IMPORTANT: You will have 30 seconds to enter the pass key number on the computer and complete the next step. Otherwise you will need to repeat this step.

  17. On the computer, in the “Enter pass key on this computer” screen, type the number displayed on the PlayStation3 screen, and then click “Register”.
  18. When the registration is complete, the PlayStation3 system will display “Register completed” and the computer will display “Connected to the PlayStation3″.
  19. You can now use the keyboard and touchpad on the computer to control the PlayStation3 system.

Originally found on Sony’s eSupport site article, “Remote Keyboard with PlayStation 3.”

11
Oct 2010
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PS3, Vaio

DISCUSSION 4 Comments

IFA 2010: Sony Shows Off 3D VAIO

So we were wondering when we finally see any 3D VAIO pop up on the horizon of our scope as Sir Howard Stringer himself mentioned those back in 2009 at CES and a number of slides from Sony showed the VAIO presence in 3D roadmap. Well it looks like Sony put one together in the prototype form and showcased it in Berlin at IFA. It makes sense to incorporate this technology into a desktop replacement notebook with a wide and big LCD. So most likely it won’t be a VAIO like TT series where we first spotted Bluray drive. I think it would have been nice to have a small form factor 3D enabled VAIO, so it sort of becomes a portable 3D player.

Anyways, do you see yourself playing with a 3D enabled notebook? I can definitely see gaming happen, however I am not aware of that many 3D PC games. It will most likely be used as a Bluray 3D powerhouse. In the video below you will learn a little bit more details about this new VAIO. Sony has incorporated the transmitter into the bezel and you can use your Bravia 3D active shutter glasses to view the content. In addition to hardware buttons (ASSIST and VAIO), Sony added 3D button to get you into three dimensional world.

More details will be revealed at CES 2011 and expect to pick one up in late spring.

05
Sep 2010
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

3D, Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

IFA 2010: Sony’s Qriocity “Cloud Based” Music Service Will Have Wide Compatibility

Qriocity is a network service platform that connects many of Sony’s network-enabled devices and allows consumers to enjoy high quality entertainment across multiple devices. Through Qriocity, Sony will deliver a variety of digital entertainment content and services that are “powered by Qriocity”, including video, music, game applications, and e-books over time, and through these services, and in combination with its networked devices, Sony aims to bring new and exciting entertainment experiences to customers.

Today at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin, Sony announced plans to introduce “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity”, a new, cloud-based, digital music service. Available by year’s end, “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” will give music lovers access to millions of songs stored and synchronized through the cloud. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” will initially be available across Sony’s 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, Blu-ray Home Theater systems, as well as PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and VAIOs and other personal computers, and will become increasingly available on a range of Sony’s portable devices.

“Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” brings together the features cited as most important by music enthusiasts. With access to a huge library of songs through the cloud, users can discover new music through channels personalized to their tastes on multiple devices and without the requirement to manage digital music files. The convenience resulting from this new consumer music experience will further enhance the value of music, thus creating new opportunities for the industry. Details of the service plan will be announced in the future.

“We are excited to offer our customers high quality, cloud-based entertainment experiences across many of Sony’s network-enabled devices,” said Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products & Services Group, Sony Corporation. “Services ‘powered by Qriocity’ will revolutionize the way that users play, listen, watch, share, communicate, learn, discover and create their digital entertainment content.”

Win An Imperial Lime VAIO W Series Netbook Or Billabong Boardshorts From Sony

For those of you in the USA, if you want a chance to win 2 Imperial Lime W Series PCs and 10 Billabong boardshorts, simply answer all 3 pop quiz questions below correctly by leaving your answers in the comment section of this Sony Blog post.  If you get stuck you can find hints to the answers by clicking the link to the related story. Next Friday, September 3rd, Sony will close the contest and randomly select 2 grand prize winners and 10 boardshort winners from the lot of those who answered all 3 questions correctly. They’ll announce the winners as a follow up to this post shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Pop Quiz:

  1. What charity did this year’s Design for Humanity event benefit?  HintWatch this video
  2. What’s the official color name of the VAIO / Billabong collab?  Hint: Read this story
  3. Name the first fan to win the new VAIO / Billabong PC in our 3 stop homestretch?  Hint: Read/Watch this story

Be sure that when you post your comment on the related Sony blog post, you enter your real e-mail address in the e-mail field below (not in the comment area). Without a valid e-mail address in that field, you won’t be able to win!

26
Aug 2010
POSTED IN

Hardware, Vaio

DISCUSSION 13 Comments