Sony has joined the all-in-one PC throng with the launch of an Apple iMac-esque 25in panel PC with the computer gubbins hidden behind the X-Black display. A 20in model will also be available for £699.

As with an iMac, the VAIO JS1's optical drive is vertical rather than horizontal. Discs simply slide in and out of the righthand edge of the JS1's screen without the aid of a slot-loading tray.

The JS1 is a brand-new product line for Sony. Until now, its VAIO desktop PCs have been hulking great entertainment-centric units that resembled high-end home stereo components. The JS1 Series, by contrast, takes up less room on a desk than a laptop PC - the screen is raised up on legs, leaving plenty of workspace free underneath. Sony provides a separate wireless keyboard with the JS1. This can be slotted underneath the main PC unit when not being used.

Key specifications of the Sony Vaio JS1 are an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3G of RAM and a 500GB hard disk. The top-end model will have a quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM.

The JS1 one also supports SA-CD (Super Audio CDs) and 5.1 Dolby Home Theater. While SA-CD is a fairly unconventional technology, Sony says it has included it because of its proprietary software's ability to "up-convert" standard CD and MP3 audio files. Sony's Sound Reality signal processor works with CD-quality audio and turns it into uncompressed DSD (direct stream digital), then remasters it as 5.1 SA-CD "revitalising the original".

Sony also bundles VAIO Movie Story and VAIO Music box slideshow and playlist managers with the JS1. However, has left it to Adobe to handle the editing process for users' precious photos and home videos - a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and Adobe Premiere Elements 4 are provided as part of the package.

Finally, the Sony VAIO JS1 has a Motion Eye webcam built into the top of the 25in flatpanel screen.

Sony JS1 VAIO all-in-one PC