Fujitsu to launch Blu-ray, HD-DVD equipped PCs in June

Fujitsu will begin selling in Japan in June a desktop PC with Blu-ray Disc drive and laptop with HD-DVD drive, it said Wednesday.

Fujitsu hasn't taken sides in the next-generation DVD format battle and as such plans a late June launch of a desktop PC with a Blu-ray Disc drive and a laptop computer with an HD-DVD drive.

The format decision was one largely of necessity, a spokesperson for Fujitsu, Miho Hirasawa, said. At present a Blu-ray Disc drive is only available for desktops, while only an HD-DVD drive available exists only for laptops thus the selection, she said. She declined to name the drive manufacturers. The drive in the FMV-Deskpower TX95S/D desktop would be a Blu-ray Disc reader/writer compatible with pre-recorded movie discs and recordable and rewritable data discs of 25GB or 50GB capacity, she said.

The machine combines a 37-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) panel monitor with computer in a single case and is designed to look like a flat-panel TV. It includes a digital TV tuner, high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) input connector and is based on an Intel Pentium D 820 processor, has 1GB of memory and a 600GB hard-disk drive.

The FMV Biblo NX95S/D laptop has a 17-inch widescreen XGA+ (1400 x 900 pixels), which is slightly less than full 1080 high-definition available from HD-DVD. There's a video output socket on the laptop, but that's limited to standard definition so there is no way of watching content in full HD quality. At its heart is an Intel Core Duo T2300 processor and the computer has 1GB of memory and a 320GB hard-disk drive.

Neither computer will be cheap. The desktop will cost about $US5064 while the laptop will cost about $US3376, Hirasawa said. At present Fujitsu has no plans to sell them overseas.

Earlier last week, Toshiba, which is the main backer of HD-DVD, laid out plans to sell an HD-DVD equipped laptop in mid-May. The Qosmio G30 also has a 17-inch widescreen LCD panel but it has a higher resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels (WUXGA). The machine is due on sale in Japan, Europe and the US and in Japan it will cost about the same as the Fujitsu laptop.

Sony, which is the major force behind Blu-ray Disc, is planning to launch desktop and laptop PCs with Blu-ray Disc drives in the middle of this year.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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