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Sony Announces Lighter And Slimmer Vaio Z

    By David Gilbert
    28 June 2011

We saw some leaked pictures of it yesterday and hoped that Sony would make it official soon – and the Japanese giant must have been listening to us as it has today announced the all-new, slimmer, lighter Vaio Z Series.

When we looked at last year’s Vaio Z model, we were very impressed that Sony had kept the weight down to 1.43kg. Well the new Vaio Z has slimmed down even more, weighing in at just 1.18kg though this is mostly because the optical drive has been removed and put in a separate Power Media Dock – but more of that in a minute.

                   Sony Vaio Z Series

The 13.1in Vaio Z comes with some appealing specs, including the latest Core i7 processor, up to 512GB SSD, 8GB DDR3 RAM, a 1920×1080 panel, a backlit keyboard and the sheet battery we already saw on the Vaio S Series, to extend battery life to a purported 14 hours.

                   Sony Vaio Z Series

The Vaio Z chassis has a “full flat” design meaning it’s uniformly 16.65mm thick all over, which is considerably slimmer than the previous model which was between 23mm and 32mm thick. The chassis is made of lightweight carbon fibre and comes in four colour options including ostentatious gold.

                                  Sony Vaio Z Series

The unique feature of this laptop is the Power Media Dock (PMD) which houses a  slot for a Blu-ray or DVD drive as well as an AMD Radeon GPU with 1GB of VRAM to help boost graphical grunt when needed. The PMD is connected to the laptop via a Light Peak connection (which is basically the same as Apple’s Thunderbolt connection). This will allow the Vaio Z to manage up to four displays (including its own) via HDMI and/or VGA ports. The PMD also has additional USB ports and one USB 3.0 port. The PMD doesn’t come as standard and can cost up to £525 more when a Blu-ray writer is included.

                    Sony Vaio Z Series

The new Vaio Z Series will be available towards the end of July but you can pre-order yours now over at the Sony UK online store. Prices start from £1,434 but this will only get you Core i5, 128GB SSD, a 1600×900 panel, no backlit keyboard, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, no sheet battery and no Power Media Dock. If you have the money to spend and want a top-notch machine with the premium specs you are looking at shelling out around £3,600.

              Sony Vaio Z Series

We’re going to be getting our hands on one of these new machines later today so make sure you check back to find out our first impressions.