Sony today announced the launch of its new Sony VAIO Z Series laptop, a high-end machine weighing a mere 1.165kg with an extraordinary slim profile of 16.65mm. What makes the new VAIO Z unique is its incorporation of a standard 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 3rd Gen SSD RAID – and packing everything into a single laptop lighter than previous VAIO Z models.
Sony has opted to do away with its dual-GPU implementation, and have instead come up with a specially designed Power Media Dock docking station that customers can purchase. It comes with a built-in AMD Radeon HD 6650M to greatly bolster the capabilities of the Intel HD Graphics 3000 found in the VAIO Z.
- Powerful Processor: Intel Core™ i7-2620M 2.70GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.40GHz)
- Built-in battery yields 6.5 hours usage
- Power Media Dock connected via 10 Gbps ‘Light Peak’ architecture for accelerated graphics and additional expansion ports
- Ability to double battery life to 13 hours by attaching an optional Sheet Battery
In addition, here’s what I found out from the event
- The Sheet Battery can be charged separately via a small adapter
- When connected to a VAIO Z, the Sheet Battery discharges first, followed by the laptop’s built-in battery. When charging with Sheet Battery connected, the laptop’s battery is charged first, followed by the Sheet Battery.
- Power Media Dock supports HDMI out (1920×1080) and DVI out (1900×1200). An additional display (VGA or HDMI) can be connected directly to the VAIO Z when docked, allowing for a total of three external displays simultaneously. That’s four displays in total if you count the VAIO’s screen – close to matching what I’m currently using.
- Quick Boot and dual SSD boots up Windows 7 Professional in 14 seconds flat after pressing the power button.
- The keyboard is back-lit. According to Sony, “an inorganic silicon EL material” is used for that.
- The pitch of the keyboard has been reduced to accommodate the slim profile. It doesn’t look too bad, though I’ll have to review one before I can give my final verdict on that.
No pricing information is available at this point, though you can probably expect it to be tiered similar to the older Z Series – minus the low-end HDD models since I don’t see how the new Z can use anything other than an the custom-built SSD that it currently incorporates. The new VAIO Z Series will be available in Singapore from end-July 2011.
More photos (and my comments) after the jump.