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Sony Vaio Z Notebook With External GPU

Sony Vaio Z Notebook With External GPU

Ultimate performance and design, the ultra-mobile VAIO Z Series from Sony…

Sony has unveiled its powerful new ultra-mobile Vaio Z notebook that features an external GPU and smart sheet battery for extra power and juice.

Measuring just 0.6″ thick with a 13.1″ hi-res display, and weighing less than 1.2kg, the Vaio Z series looks set to become PC user’s first choice for high-end portable machines.

sony vaio z series

Sony VAIO Z Series with Power Media Dock

Under the hood there’s an Intel Core i7, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and up to 256GB of SSD RAID storage. The onboard graphics come in the form of a standard Intel HD Graphics 3000 accelerator, but it’s GPU power doesn’t stop there; in order to make the device suitable for designers, media editors and scientists, Sony has included an external dock that packs a powerful AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated VRAM.

The Power Media Dock 2 is designed to give the user more processing power when plugged in at home and the additional USB, HDMI and VGA ports, as well as an optical drive (Blu-ray optional), gives the notebook the connectivity of a much larger machine. The dock certainly performs well too; when connected; it can handle up to four displays (including the notebook screen).

sony power media dock connectivity

Power Media Dock Ins and Outs

The dock connects to the VAIO via an optical cable Sony has labeled Light Peak – the same technology as Apple’s Thunderbolt port. This port is also compatible with regular USB devices when the media dock is not plugged in.

Sony also saw it fit to incorporate more battery life into this slim and powerful machine. The VAIO Z’s standard battery life caps at around 7 hours, but by adding the company’s innovative ‘sheet battery’, the laptop can run for up to 14 hours – that’s pretty much two full working days. The battery can be plugged in or taken off without removing the other battery or switching the computer off, it does however increase the profile and weight of the machine.

sony sheet battery

Sony VAIO Z External Sheet Battery

As if the spec weren’t good enough, the design of the computers chassis and case are as good as it gets. The full flat body and display lid are crafted out ultra-light carbon fiber, and the backlit keyboard is footed with an extra wide palm rest and ergonomic button-less touch pad.

All in all, the VAIO Z series promises to be a high-performance, ultra-slim notebook, but just how many people will be willing to pay the asking price is unclear. Prices start at $2,294 with a Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and no PMD; the i7 option will be a whopping $4420. And the dock itself will be $640 with no optical drive, prices including the optical drive are yet to be announced.

Still if you’re a PC type of person with an extremely flexible budget, the new 2011 VAIO Z Series notebooks will be available from the end of this month.

sony vaio z notebook

Sony VAIO Z Series Notebook

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  1. Richard Lawler: Sony's ultraslim 13-inch VAIO Z laptop revealed in Europe, packs external GPU for power on demand. Engadget, 06/27/2011.
  2. Sony, 2011.
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