Tucked away among Sony's stream of 3D enabled monolithic HDTVs, Blu-ray players and home cinema systems is a trio of new VAIO laptops. Sony has been on a decent run with its laptops of late and these new machines, two Core i5/i7 based ones and a CULV effort, look to continue that trend.
We start with something that may sound familiar, the Z Series (above). Yes, Sony already has a Z Series laptop – a mighty good one at that – so this is actually a refresh of sorts, albeit quite a significant one. When the new Z Series goes on sale it will come with a choice of either Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Yes, that means a quad-core CPU in a laptop that weighs less than 2kg! People have killed for less.
Naturally this machine retains much of what made the previous iteration a classic, such as switchable graphics for improved battery life when on the move. In conjunction with a tweaked design, it also adds a backlit keyboard – a feature it definitely needs given so many competing models have them these days. Sony's US site currently lists a starting price of $1,899 (approx. £1,100).
Also packing Core i7 heat is the larger 16.4in F Series (above). This multimedia orientated desktop replacement has a numeric keyboard (unusual for a Sony) and eSATA (also unusual) as well as a backlit keyboard. Battery life runs to three hours with the standard battery and 4.5 hours with an extended one, though a weight of just over 3kg means it's not exactly portable. Graphics come courtesy of nVidia GeForce 330M GT or 310M chips, Blu-ray readers and writers will be available and US pricing starts at $999 (£626).
Finally we come to the Y Series (above), Sony's first attempt at a CULV laptop. Despite being at the larger end of the scale thanks to its 13.3in display, the Y Series lacks an optical drive. This does help keep the weight and thickness down, though, with a starting weight of 1.7kg with the standard battery (1.9kg with an extended one) and a maximum 30mm thickness. Battery life ranges from 'up to' eight hours with the standard battery and as much as 12 hours with an extended one – either way it's pretty long! It's already on sale in the US starting at $799.