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Sony in 'too expensive' shock

No surprises: Sony's pricey Vaio MX system

Sony hopes to lure technophiles to a pricey new all-in-one PC and multimedia entertainment system.

The Sony Vaio MX, announced last week, combines a Pentium 4 desktop PC with an assortment of media gadgets including a TV, radio and video recorder as well as MiniDisc, CD and DVD players and recorders.

But consolidation doesn't come cheap. The Vaio MX is priced at $2,800 — and that's without the monitor.

Sony's target audience for the Vaio MX is young 'early adopters': 25- to 35-year-olds who are "tech-oriented and on the cutting edge", said Mark Viken, senior vice-president of Sony Electronics' information technology products division.

Viken said he is confident demand for the Vaio MX will be strong despite the current slump in the economy. Sony’s PCV-RX490TV Vaio Digital Studio PC with Giga Pocket Personal Video Recorder has proved popular despite bearing the company’s characteristically high price tag.

Viken believes the combo PC/DVD/TV is a bellwether for demand for a product such as the Vaio MX. But one analyst present at the Vaio MX announcement was sceptical of Viken's rosy sales projections.

"They're going to sell about five of them," said Jupiter Media Metrix analyst Joe Laszlo. "I'm all for integration and I think customers are too, but this is way too expensive for the market right now. It's ideal for college students, but they're exactly the ones who can't afford this."

Look out for a preview of the Sony Vaio MX in PC Advisor before Christmas.

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