Continuing their support for the Blu-ray format, Sony has expanded their line of VAIO laptops with the addition of a model that is the first to include a Blu-ray capable disc drive.

The Sony VAIO AR is by no means a budget model; at $3,500 USD it’s hardly as cheap as chips. But then, it also packs a 1920x1200 pixel screen that can display movies in full 1080p HD resolution, as well as an Intel Centrino Duo chipset, NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 graphics card with 256MB and built-in TV tuner. All in all, it’s a multimedia powerhouse, and likely worth every penny. The laptop will begin shipping this summer. There is a standard model available, without Blu-ray, for the substantially cheaper price of $1,800 USD.

Meanwhile, Toshiba is gearing up to begin shipping an HD DVD enabled notebook computer, initially in Japan. Hopefully a war between the formats will help consumers by encouraging manufacturers to drop their prices, and we can all get our hands on this new technology for less.