Super-light laptop carries heavyweight price tag
Sony's Vaio range of computers and laptops were always eye pleasers, but also pricey. The Vaio brand was sold off in 2014 and became its own entity, and now a new Vaio Z laptop has surfaced that's wrapped in contoured carbon fiber and commands a starting price of US$3,579.
Though carbon fiber has found its way into premium laptops before, Vaio is claiming that the new Z is the first to use contoured carbon fiber. Like the carbon fiber used in the XPS 15 2-in-1 I'm using to write this overview, the company layers the material for improved strength and stiffness, but for this application the uni-direction carbon fiber is 3D molded and curved around the chassis for a portable PC that weighs in at just 2.32 lb (1.05 kg) – or even lighter in Japan (at 2.21 lb/1.01 kg) – and the company has demonstrated its durability by repeatedly drop testing it from a height of 4.1 ft (1.2 m).
It's not just a lightweight looker though, the Vaio Z comes with 11th Generation Intel Core H Series processing power (a 3.3-GHz i7-11375H that can Turbo Boost to 5 GHz) and Iris Xe graphics, supported by up to 32 GB of 4,266-MHz LPDDR4 RAM, and up to 2 TB of PCIe SSD storage. The laptop features a 14-inch 4K UHD (non-touch) display mounted to a 180-degree hinge that's said to allow the clamshell to be opened with one hand.
The spec sheet also shows a Li-Po battery that's reported good for up to 10 hours of per charge use (though the launch video below claims 18), Bluetooth 5.1 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless comms, a single HDMI output, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports (with power delivery and DisplayPort 4), a 3.5-mm combo headphone/mic jack, a newly designed backlit keyboard, and a 2-MP webcam with an integrated privacy shutter for video chats.
The laptop uses fingerprint and facial recognition technologies to log users in, with a motion sensor waking the machine when a user sits in front of it and the camera then employing Windows Hello for login.
For that eye-watering starting price of $3,579, the Vaio Z comes with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. If you want more memory and a higher capacity SSD, you'll need to fork out even more – with the top of the range $4,179 model having 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of solid-state storage. Should you be interested, the Vaio Z laptop is currently up for pre-order. The video below has more.
Product page: Vaio Z