Looking at the Sony's website, the only difference between the two is that the AR270 (the one with BluRay) has a faster processor and it is actually cheeper than the AR290. So to put it simply, no the AR290 is not worth the extra money. IMO, I wouldn't buy a laptop from Sony. They tend to be overpriced and there support is so-so. HP offers similar laptops with HD-DVD for less.
That dosnt seem right. The 290 has to be better in some way.
I'm a videographer.
Ive heard that this laptop works great for video editing, and HD-DVD dosnt record - only plays. Blu ray will record up to 50GBs. Great for backup of video projects, and using the drive to capture HD video direct to disk.
I only wish that apple intel Power books had blu Ray drives and id go with them. My luck -Ill buy this and then a month later Apple will release new power books.
I might have found the difference. The 290 has a 200 gig 5400 rpm HDD while the 270 only has a 160gig 4200 rpm drive. Is that the only difference? As far as I can tell. Is it worth it? maybe. It depends on how important file access time is to you. The 5400 rpm drive will be better than the other one, a 7200 rpm drive would be best.
For a better comparison of the two look at these specs: AR270