Sony Intros VAIO Fit Windows 8 Laptop, Updates Others

On Wednesday Sony introduced the VAIO Fit series of laptops designed by the same people who engineer the company's portfolio of HDTVs. It's focused on students and business users who are looking for a step up, and want more of a premium design but still at an entry-level price point.

Launching later this month, this new line of laptops will consist of four models: the VAIO Fit 14 and 15, and the VAIO Fit 14E and 15E. Sony mostly discusses the former two models which will be offered in Steel Black, Steel Pink and Steel Silver for about $649 and $699. These will be super thin and light, crafted in tough, aluminum materials.

According to the company, the VAIO Fit 14 will feature a screen resolution of 1600 x 900 while the Fit 15 model will sport a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Screen features include color enhancement technology, LED-based backlighting and optional capacitive touch capabilities. Exmor R CMOS Sensors offer web camera functionality even when chatting in low light, the company said.

These laptops also include NFC tech, full-size backlit keyboard with integrated number pad (Fit 15 model only), a large touch pad designed for a comfortable computing experience, quick charge functionality and Sony's own Rapid Wake technology for instant PC resume. Powering these laptops are third-generation Intel Core processors up to Core i7, optional Nvidia GPU's with up to 2 GB of VRAM, and hybrid hard drive and SSD options.

On the audio front, Sony said the laptops will have ClearAudio+ supreme sound quality for a virtualized surround sound experience. The VAIO Fit 14E and 15E models will include big box speakers while the Fit 15E model will even pack a subwoofer for powerful audio quality. These two models will be available in standard Black, Pink and White colors for about $549 and $579.

"Also included with the VAIO Fit line up is ArtRage Studio, the premiere digital arts software," the company said. "ArtRage Studio offers natural painting tools such as oil paints and watercolors, along with utilities to make painting easier for anyone who wants to paint or draw on their computer regardless of skill level. For those that want to try their hand at video creation and music recording, the Fit family includes a pre-installed version of Sony Imagination Studio VAIO Edition software, about a $170 value."

In addition to the VAIO Fit laptops, Sony said the VAIO Tap 20 will now come pre-loaded with Sony Imagination Studio VAIOEdition software and Intel Wireless Display (WiDi). The VAIO T Series is also receiving an update via a larger 15-inch Full HD screen, a backlit keyboard with an integrated number pad, third-generation Intel processors and hybrid hard drive options. The company also updated its VAIO AIO L Series as well.

The VAIO Tap 20, T Series 15 and L Series are also available mid-May for about $899, and $849 and $1,249 at Sony retail stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.