updated 11:35 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2008
Ultra-thin Sony VAIO Z
Sony on Monday evening unveiled its new Centrino 2-powered line of ultra-portable VAIO Z Series notebooks, with options for Blu-ray, a flash-memory SSD drive, Sprint broadband, and more. Weighing just over 3 pounds, the VAIO Z model offers speeds up to 2.53GHz, incorporates the first ever 13.1-inch widescreen 16:9 display with Sony's XBRITE-DuraView LCD technology for what its claims is "scratch-resistant durability and 100 percent color saturation." All models feature a better-spaced MacBook-line keyboard layout, while the high-end models feature 1600 X 900 resolution for up to 40 percent wider workspace than a standard display (in the same "footprint").
The new notebooks also feature brushed aluminum and a durable carbon-fiber casing as well as G-Sensor Shock Protection technology to counteract sudden movements helping to prevent damage and data loss. The new notebook features the new platform's new 802.11n wireless networking and optional built-in wireless Sprint Mobile Broadband for even greater mobile connectivity.
Sony is also offering an optional Blu-ray Disc (BD) optical drive, HDMI output (with full 1080 HD resolution), and a switch-on-the-fly hybrid graphics system, allowing users to set graphics performance for performance or battery -- without having to reboot the system.
For security, Sony's VAIO Z line employs a biometric fingerprint sensor, a Trusted Platform Module compliant chip and proprietary hard disk drive password protection software to help protect data from unauthorized access.
Like all Sony notebooks, it is equipped a Memory Stick media/SD card slot as well as three USB ports, an i.LINK ("FireWire") IEEE-1394 port, microphone and headphone jack and a PC Card (type-II) slot.
The new notebook is also available with an optional dual-channel 128GB solid state drive (SSD) faster startup times and quicker access to applications (versus regular drives). Sony says that while the unit comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Business operating system, a Windows XP Pro downgrade is also available for select models.
The standard VAIO Z notebook will start at about $1,800 while the SSD model will go for around $2,300. Both models will be available online and will also be sold at Sony Style stores and select retailers around the country starting in August.