This 17-inch behemoth is definitely not meant to keep on your lap, unless you have a very large lap indeed, or need to keep it warm! What this is, however, is a desktop replacement and a powerful and good looking one at that. While the build, fit and finish are excellent, the AR-69GU feels solid to hold, you get the feeling that a device so large defeats the purpose of being a notebook. The screen is gorgeous and crisp, and the keypad wonder¬fully spaced out-a pity though, that the multimedia buttons are very dicky and tacky. The touch¬pad is also sensitive and imparts just the right amount of feedback. With 3 GB of system memory and a 256 MB GeForce 8600GT under the hood, you can expect this giant to be no slouch.

There's a fully functional Windows MCE remote bundled with this thing, and Sony also provides S-Video and TV antenna jacks, in addition to an HDMI port. Incidentally, the 17-inch screen does 1920x1200 pixels, so native 1080p should be a wonderful experience. This notebook's entertainment genes are wonderfully evi¬dent even before switch¬ing it on. You'll find the shortcut keys very utili- tarian-our only gripe being the typically soft Vaio keypads, which lack key feedback-they're too soft. With two 250 GB hard drives on board and a DVD Writer-cum-Blu-ray drive, this notebook has a configura¬tion that should stand the test of time ...at least for another couple of years.

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We really enj oyed this notebook as far as home entertainment is concerned. It's not for the discerning gamer, but it does most tasks with ease, while retain¬ing functionality as a fully remote-control¬lable desktop replace¬ment. At the largest Vaio in this test is very expensive. But that's in keeping with its premium specifications, premium performance, premium features, and its premium heri¬tage. It's for those looking for an HTPC-cum-PC-cum-powerful notebook that is connectable to a large screen TV as well, but crave the mobile flexibility of a notebook and do not want to waste space on a desktop.