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Sony Launches ''World's Lightest'' 13-Inch Laptop

By - Source: Sony Electronics | B 17 comments

The Sony VAIO Z has arrived here in the States sporting an external dock packed with an AMD Radeon HD 6650M GPU.

Wednesday Sony finally brought its VAIO Z series to the States, touted as the "world's lightest 13-inch standard voltage PC" thanks to an aluminum/carbon-fiber chassis. The portable rig measures just 0.66-inches thick and weighs just 2.5-pounds, making it slightly thinner than Apple's coveted MacBook Air but one fifth of a pound heavier.

Originally announced at the end of June, the VAIO Z series features a cool Power Media Dock: a "monolithic" expansion module that links to the laptop via a Thunderbolt connection. This external device boosts the laptop's graphical prowess with an integrated AMD Radeon HD 6650M card combined with 1 GB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM. The dock also provides a Blu-ray or DVD SuperMulti optical drive (depending on the model), three USB ports, and support for up to four HD displays (including the notebook screen) via HDMI and/or VGA output ports.

On its own though, the Sony VAIO Z isn't too shabby. As an example, the VAIO VPCZ21V9E sports an Intel Core i7-2620M CPU clocked at 2.70 GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.40 GHz), 8 GB of DDR3 1333 Mhz SDRAM, 256 GB of SSD storage (in Raid 0), and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU. Other features include 802.11a/b/g/n, 3G WWAN; Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR; USB 2.0 x1, the docking station/USB port (supports USB 2.0/3.0 compatible devices), HDMI out (3D supported), an HD web camera powered by ‘Exmor’ (1.3 effective megapixels) and more.

Overall the new series features Intel's second-generation Core i5 and i7 processors, depending on the model. Certain versions will also have dual SSDs with RAID technology for faster boot times, mobility solutions including integrated Mobile Broadband, and Sony's exclusive Share My Connection technology which turns the laptop into a mobile hotspot for up to five devices. The LED backlit displays will be available in 1920 x 1080 and 1600 x 900 resolution levels.

"The Z Series laptop is fully flat, abandoning protruding ports, unnecessary seams and bulky batteries for a slim profile that delivers up to 8 hours of battery life," the company said Wednesday. "Users looking for even more flexibility can purchase an optional large-capacity sheet battery that attaches flush to the bottom of the computer and extends the battery life to up to 16 hours."

Sony's Z Series starts at $1969.99, so start counting those pennies. It may take a while.

Display 17 Comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    techseven , July 14, 2011 11:10 PM
    I prefer functionality over flatness...
  • 1 Hide
    Anomalyx , July 14, 2011 11:27 PM
    techsevenI prefer functionality over flatness...

    I agree. If I wanted flat, I'd get a piece of paper. Built-in word processor and drawing application. Sadly, paper works better than VAIOs in my experience.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 14, 2011 11:42 PM
    That's some good daylight-reading visibility you got on your iPaper, Anomalyx.
  • 3 Hide
    spsfinest , July 14, 2011 11:43 PM
    It sucks that the external GPU is so damn shitty, considering how much the package costs.
  • 0 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , July 14, 2011 11:48 PM
    I would love to buy a flat light laptop that is easy to carry around, but it is not worth my money if it doesn't play Crysis. oh yeah, I went there.
  • 4 Hide
    killerclick , July 15, 2011 12:00 AM
    The only kind of laptop I'd consider is a light/thin one. For serious work, gaming and video I use a desktop.
  • 3 Hide
    amk09 , July 15, 2011 12:40 AM
    Dude once those expansion modules get some more powerful gpu's in them this would be very practical to have a all in one machine that you game on when you are at home and one that you can take anywhere with you
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2011 12:53 AM
    The flat design is perfect! nobody can come up with a better design than simplicity at it's best. Stop giving them ideas to make horrible looking laptops that are thick and easy to break because they had to add useless curves or bumped features!

    The only thing I may have a problem with is the absurd price and the relatively bland graphics card that doesn't deserve a desktop replacement price
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 15, 2011 1:15 AM
    Oh this thing that made the headlines a few weeks back. Slick!
  • 0 Hide
    dcompart , July 15, 2011 4:13 AM
    @woohaaa, agreed. Thick laptops are by no means comfortable to use and feels quite unnatural when switching from a desktop keyboard.

    There's been articles online in the past (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1522180) where people have made makeshift external cards using removable pci cards, but it's great to see Sony adding some polish to the idea. All we need now is a AMD Llano-based laptop with a dock that allows video card upgrades. I can see it now: Hybrid graphics with a 6950 with a firmware upgrade and we'd have one rockin' system.
  • 1 Hide
    Tmanishere , July 15, 2011 4:16 AM
    This will be great if I had money to throw out.
  • -1 Hide
    AbdullahG , July 15, 2011 6:33 AM
    I'm more surprised that Sony makes laptops ._.
  • 1 Hide
    kaidaejin , July 15, 2011 11:46 AM
    This is 1/2 a pound lighter than the 13" Air.
    Saying it's heavier than the 11" air without making sure the audience knows you're comparing to the 11" Air is wrong.
    As was comparing the 15.6" Dell in a recent article to the 17" Macbook Pro without being crystal clear about that in the writing.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 15, 2011 1:29 PM
    I have a client who would love this... Assuming it had at least 6 hours of battery life... He has work to do on his back-n-fourth from Hong Kong, and he has no interest in a MBAir...
  • 0 Hide
    cyprod , July 15, 2011 3:08 PM
    FlatterlandThat's some good daylight-reading visibility you got on your iPaper, Anomalyx.

    watch out, you're going to get sued by Apple for using their next product name.

    iPaper, it'll change the way you work. It will offer a free form work surface allowing your imagination to go wild. It will have the option of either reusable or permanent data entry. Very mobile as well. Coming to an Apple store near you soon for only $799. iStylus sold separately, only $39.99 for the iPencil or $49.99 for the iPen. Both offered and a range of colors, though each color must be bought separately.
  • 0 Hide
    neola00 , July 17, 2011 3:49 AM
    I like this laptop quite well, but why Sony, did you removed the home, end, page up, and page down keys. The computer just has empty space on both sides of the keyboard and the enter, shift, and backspace keys are wider than a normal laptop keyboard.
    I use the home, end, page up, and page down keys extensively for highlighting whole lines, jumping to the top and bottom of documents or web pages with Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End, etc. Having to double shift using the Fn key is a real bummer!

    I do notice that Toshiba's R830 series thin, light, powerful laptops still have these valuable keys. Don't mess with my keyboard layouts or keys please!
  • 0 Hide
    schmich , July 18, 2011 3:21 PM
    Why put such a crappy GPU in it? Put a proper cheap desktop grade GPU (custom made mobile ones are expensive to manufacture)!