Apple may turn a few heads with its ultra-thin, and
Air notebooks (which are available in 11" and 13" varieties), but
Sony is going for the throat with its latest
VAIO Z notebook. Sony, as usual, is packing in about as much technology as
it can muster into a slim and sleek package.
While Apple can only manage to cram dusty old Core 2 Duo
processors into its current MacBook Air (granted, a
refresh is on the way), Sony is going full-tilt with an Intel Core i7-2620M
processor running at 2.7GHz -- Turbo Boost ups the ante to 3.4GHz if you need
some extra performance for more demanding applications. Also included are 8GB
of DDR3 memory, a 256GB SSD, a 13.3" display (1600x900), and an integrated
Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU.
The VAIO Z uses a sheet battery design that was introduced
with the VAIO
S Series. The lithium-polymer design provides up to 7 hours of battery life
-- a second sheet battery can be added to boost battery life to a more
impressive 14 hours.
In its base configuration, the VAIO Z weighs in at a
respectable 2.65 pounds.
Where things start getting interesting, however, is with the
VAIO Z's Power Media Dock. The Power Media Dock features an integrated AMD
Radeon HD 6650M GPU with 1GB of DDR3 memory, an HDMI port, VGA-out, two USB 2.0
ports, one USB 3.0 port, GbE, and a DVD SuperMulti Drive (VGP-PRZ20C) or
Blu-ray Drive with SuperMulti (VGP-PRZ20A). The Power Media Dock connects to
the VAIO Z using Intel's
Light Peak technology.
The Power Media Dock adds 1.51 pounds to the overall
Sony will begin shipping the VAIO Z and its accompanying
Power Media Dock in Europe next month. However, there's currently no indication
of when the pair will make the trip to North America or how much it will cost
when it arrives.