magic circle

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 December, 2007, 12:00am

Light up your living room with Sony's stylish new multimedia entertainment system, the Vaio VGX-TP1G television-side personal computer. The small circular PC, which measures 27cm in diameter and weighs 3.7kg, is designed to fit next to a flat-screen TV, with the devices linked by a high-definition multimedia interface cable.

All wide now The PC can be used like a normal computer - to surf the Web, check e-mails, watch DVDs, listen to music, edit home movies and view and share high-definition content from a digital camera or camcorder, all on a widescreen TV. All functions are piloted via a remote control and a wireless keyboard.

Quiet riot Background noise and heat often detract from a PCs suitability as an entertainment hub. With the VGX-TP1G, its living-room-friendly design extends to the mechanical structure. Its innovative 'floating' hard drive is sealed in a metallic box with cushioning and a spring shock absorber to cut down on vibration and noise. An air-intake fan cools both the optical and hard disk drives while an exhaust fan disperses heat efficiently.

Power house The device runs Intel's 1.66-gigahertz T5500 Core 2 Duo processor, the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Mobile Intel 945GM Express chipsets, which provide the horsepower to simultaneously run a range of demanding applications. Multimedia and system-management functions come from Microsoft's Windows Media Centre, an application that is bundled with the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system. It also has a 1-gigabyte main memory, a 500GB hard drive, content importer/exporter software, an integrated Wi-fi connection and SD Memory Card and Memory Stick slots. The Vaio VGX-TP1G is a tad pricey at HK$8,980, but its look, design and functionality impress nonetheless.