Sony’s VAIO Z Arrives

Sony’s VAIO Z Arrives

Jul 13, 2011

Sony’s VAIO Z finally arrives in the US, goes up for pre-order starting at $2,000

By  posted Jul 13th 2011 4:00PM
Well, it’s about time! It’s been months since Sony pulled the 13-inch VAIO Z from its website, and since then we’ve had to sift through vague leaks and watch mournfully as other parts of the world scored thenext-gen version of this premium ultrportable. Finally, Sony has announced that it’s available for pre-order in the US, starting at a princely $2,000. As you’ll recall when we got hands-on at an event in Taiwan last month, this year’s model weighs in at 2.5 pounds (down from three last year), giving the 2.8-pound Samsung Series 9 a run for its money. As the cream of Sony’s crop, it’s fashioned out of better-than-average materials — namely, aluminum and carbon fiber — and you’ll find it in two colors besides basic black.

The big story, of course, is that rather than build a laptop with switchable graphics as it has in the past, Sony is instead relying on the Power Media Dock, an external, Lightpeak-enabled peripheral that houses an AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card and 1GB of video memory (not to mention, HDMI- and VGA-out, three USB ports, and a slot-loading optical drive). The laptop itself only packs Intel integrated graphics, which means Sony is assuming you’ll wait until you’re plugged in to start gaming, editing photos, and whatever else you power users fancy. On its own, the battery promises to last eight hours, but, as with Sony’s S series, you can pair it with an external sheet battery, which claims to extend the battery life to a max of 16 hours. Rounding out the spec list are standard-voltage Core i5 and i7 processor options, up to 256GB 512GB in solid-state storage, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 13.1-inch panel with either 1080p or 1600 x 900 resolution. In case this thin beauty slipped under your radar the first time around, we’ve re-posted our hands-on photos below, along with a walk-through video past the break.

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