Laptops are bringing the Blu-ray

Laptops are bringing the Blu-ray

Summary: With HD-DVD dead and buried, computer makers are moving to Blu-ray. Dell is now offering 15.4-inch laptop with a Blu-ray drive for less than $900. HP, Acer and Asus are also offering laptops with Blu-ray.

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With HD-DVD dead and buried, computer makers are moving to Blu-ray. Dell is now offering 15.4-inch laptop with a Blu-ray drive for less than $900--impressive since some standalone Blu-ray players still cost nearly as much. HP, Acer and Asus are also offering laptops with Blu-ray drives.

The Inspiron 1525 is available with a Blu-ray drive in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In the U.S., the $879 base configuration also includes the 15.4-inch, 1,280x800 resolution display; 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo T5550; 1GB of memory; an 80GB hard drive; and Vista Home Basic. Choosing the drive adds $180 to the price of the $599 system. You can also select a Blu-ray burner for $480, bringing the total price to $1,079. If you want the high-resolution display (1,440x900), it will add another $50 to the price.

Since the Inspiron 1525 has Intel integrated graphics, Dell is using Broadcom's media PC technology to shoulder the Blu-ray burden. Media PC is a set of chips that handle high-definition video and audio decoding, and HD-DVD and Blu-ray video playback. Computer makers can put the chips down on the motherboard, or use an add-in card (PCI Express, PCI Express mini-card or ExpressCard). Acer and Toshiba also use Broadcom's media PC chipsets in Blu-ray and HD-DVD laptops. A Blu-ray burner is also available on the higher-end Dell XPS M1530, which has discrete graphics.

HP offers a Blu-ray drive on the similar Pavilion dv6700t, but you must upgrade from the Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics to the 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS ($49). A similarly configured dv6700t (15.4-inch, 1,280x800 display; 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo Processor T5550; 1GB of memory; 120GB hard drive; and Vista Home Premium) currently costs $1,039 with a Blu-ray drive. HP doesn't offer a Blu-ray burner with this model.

Acer sells a 15.4-inch model with a Blu-ray drive, the Aspire 5920 (AS5920-6329), in the U.S. But it is a higher-end model with a 2.50GHz Core 2 Duo T9300, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, and Nvidia GeForce 8600M GS graphics. CDW is selling it for $1,796. The recently-announced 16-inch Aspire 6920G will also have a Blu-ray drive.

Finally Asus also offers a 15.4-inch model (the M51SN-AS037G) with a Blu-ray drive. It includes a 2.60GHz Core 2 Duo T9500, 3GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9500M GS graphics. The M51 series was announced earlier this year, but so far it is tough to find this model in the U.S.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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5 comments
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  • Unless you are going to attach the laptop to a projector

    you're not going to get a whole lot out of having BluRay versus DVD. And even then, very few laptops will produce even 720p video, much less 1080p.

    I would only get a laptop with these specs if I already have a BluRay collection (in other words, if I already had another BluRay player) and want the ability to take the media on the road. But you're not going to get video that's much better than DVD.
    Michael Kelly
  • RE: Laptops are bringing the Blu-ray

    Well the article does point out that the Blu-Ray drive is availble with a few high resolution screen options. I'm not sure how they compare with TV resolution (1080i for example) but they should offer an improved picture over standard DVD on a Laptop.

    The Blu-Ray Burner is the really cool option though. I would spend the extra few hundred dollars and get that.
    Tigertank
  • about deadline indeed

    the quicker the diskjockey humbug is over
    the sooner we can focus on state of the art.
    solid state of the art, if you know what I mean.
    llval@...
  • Bring the right price

    then some may bring the interest, for burning, . . . maybe for viewing, but mostly for burning.
    Boot_Agnostic
  • RE: Laptops are bringing the Blu-ray

    You're spot on. Another point: do these laptops have a DVI or HDMI output? Otherwise, even if you use a projector, the video quality will be seriously watered down.
    bechstein@...