Laptops

Super-light laptop carries heavyweight price tag

Super-light laptop carries hea...
The Vaio Z is reported to be the first laptop wrapped in contoured carbon fiber
The Vaio Z is reported to be the first laptop wrapped in contoured carbon fiber
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The Vaio Z is reported to be the first laptop wrapped in contoured carbon fiber
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The Vaio Z is reported to be the first laptop wrapped in contoured carbon fiber
The Vaio Z tips the scales at just 2.32 lb in the US, 2.21 lb in Japan
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The Vaio Z tips the scales at just 2.32 lb in the US, 2.21 lb in Japan
The carbon fiber layers are 3D-molded around the Vaio Z's chassis
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The carbon fiber layers are 3D-molded around the Vaio Z's chassis
A newly developed hinge raises the backlit keyboard for more comfortable typing, while also allowing the 4K UHD display to be laid flat
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A newly developed hinge raises the backlit keyboard for more comfortable typing, while also allowing the 4K UHD display to be laid flat
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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).

The carbon fiber layers are 3D-molded around the Vaio Z's chassis
The carbon fiber layers are 3D-molded around the Vaio Z's chassis

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.

The Vaio Z tips the scales at just 2.32 lb in the US, 2.21 lb in Japan
The Vaio Z tips the scales at just 2.32 lb in the US, 2.21 lb in Japan

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.

VAIO Z Announce

Product page: Vaio Z

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