Sony eVilla Network Entertainment Centerby Laura Jean
The eVilla Network Entertainment Center from Sony is an Internet terminal with a twist. Not only can you browse the Web and access email, but you can also listen to Internet radio and MP3s, watch news clips and movie trailers, and view photos and videos in a variety of formats.
The eVilla features a 15-inch FD Trinitron portrait display with a resolution of 800 x 1024 pixels. This unique portrait design offers a larger viewing area for Web pages, which means less scrolling. It has built-in speakers and an audio output jack for connecting the eVilla to a home stereo system. The unit measures 11.81 x 16.18 x 15.82 inches, weighs 31.5 pounds, and comes with a PS-2 keyboard and mouse.
The eVilla has a 266 MHz National Semiconductor Geode GX1 processor, 64 MB DRAM, and 24 MB flash. It has a 56K v.90 modem for network connections and an Ethernet port for future broadband connectivity. It lacks a hard drive, but offers a Memory Stick Reader which can be used with a Memory Stick to store digital content such a photos, music, and videos. Memory Sticks for the eVilla are sold separately in various sizes, but cannot be used with Sony’s Memory Stick Walkman. The eVilla is also equipped with two USB ports that can connect to a printer or Iomega zip drive for additional storage.
Sony’s eVilla runs on the BEIA 1.0 operating system, uses the Opera 4.0 Web browser, and includes RealPlayer for BeIA and Macromedia Flash multimedia browser plug-ins. Private IMAP email accounts with an online and offline composer are set-up for up to four individual users. The eVilla can be set up to go online during off-hours to update news and email to avoid tying up phones lines. For online transactions, the eVilla offers 128-bit encryption.
The device comes exclusively bundled with EarthLink online service, for which users pay a monthly fee. Consumers cannot use other existing service providers with the eVilla, and current EarthLink customers will still need to switch their EarthLink accounts over to eVilla accounts.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony eVilla Network Entertainment Center is currently available for $499. Charges for the required EarthLink online service run $21.95 per month.
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