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Sony turns Blue

But don't hold your breath for the phones

Sony has unveiled the latest product in its connectivity strategy with the announcement of two Bluetooth-equipped notebooks and a wireless local area network (WLAN) package.

This latest connectivity (for which read 'the ability to connect devices together') gig from Sony is wireless, whereas the first two stages are covered by iLink, its implementation of FireWire (high-speed wire connections) and Memory Stick, its removable storage media.

Sony sees Bluetooth as aimed squarely at consumers, and has bundled the Bluetooth-enabled Vaio PCG-C1VFK and SR31K notebooks with its Bluespace software, designed to make sharing files between Bluetooth devices as simple as possible.

The SR31K features a 750MHz LV PIII Speedstep processor, 128MB RAM, a 15GB hard drive, 10.4in TFT screen, Bluetooth and white Memory Stick/Magic Gate slot and retails at £1,534. The C1VFK is smaller and uses a 667MHz Transmeta Crusoe TM5600 processor. It's got an 8.95in TFT screen and 'motion eye' camera and costs £1,449, but otherwise has much the same line-up as its big brother.

Sony also has plans to bundle a Bluetooth printer adapter as a special promotion this summer, and is testing out three Bluetooth phones for compatibility – two from Ericsson and one from Nokia. However, Sony admits that we will not see a Bluetooth-equipped phone from the firm this year.

WLAN wireless hubs and card adapters are due on the market from September onwards, and are aimed at business users. Sony believes only wireless LANs can offer the functionality necessary in this market, such as faster data transfers of up to 11Mbps (megabits per second), and the ability to connect multiple devices.

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