Sony has initiated a new member into the VAIO club, the NW series, which effectively retires the NS line. The latest entry has some pretty impressive multimedia-oriented specifications and a humble price point. While it's no match for true desktop replacements, the VAIO NW would certainly meet the demand of a casual user.

The model features a 15.5" Xbrite display, Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, an ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570 with 512MB of memory at its disposal, 400GB hard drive, webcam, 802.11 a/b/g/n, VGA and HDMI-out as well as an optional 4x BD-ROM drive. The NW also features a button to turn off the display while the machine stays on and will house Memory Stick Pro, ExpressCard and SD card slots.

Sony's new VAIO NW weighs in at about 6lbs, has a max battery life of 5.5 hours (standard spec says 4 hours) and will ship with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit later this month. Pricing is expected to start around $800 and jump up to $880 with the built-in Blu-ray player.