Sony Vaio Z: Thinner Than MacBook Air, External Dock with Powerful GPU

The new Sony VAIO Z has arrived with a thinner figure than the MacBook Air, carbon Fiber cover and an external Light Peak connectable dock that delivers a Blu-Ray player and high power graphics when you are at home. Even without the dock, the 13″ VAIO Z is no slouch — and you wouldn’t expect it to be with a $2,000 plus price tag including the dock.

Sony Vaio Z with dock

The Sony Vaio Z connects to the Power Media Dock to power up to 4 Displays.

Sony has crammed a collection of great specs into the thin and light frame of the VAIO Z starting with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor capable of TurboBoost speeds of 3.4GHz, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 13″ display comes standard with a 1600 x 900 resolution, but if you can’t settle for anything less than 1080P Sony also has you covered with an upgraded display option. A backlit keyboard, optional 3G, 1.3MP webcam and HDMI out round out the internal specs. Sony claims 7 hours of battery life with the built in battery, but offers a sheet battery which will stretch your computing time out to the 14 hour mark.

Sony Vaio Z External Dock - Power Media Dock

The Sony Vaio Z Power Media Dock delivers more power when you are at home.

At first glance the VAIO Z looks like another MacBook Air competitor trying to out-spec Apple’s most popular notebook, but when you take a look at the dock you’ll see why Sony thinks you’ll choose the VAIO Z over the competition. When you return home from your road trip, where thin and light are most important, you can plug the VAIO Z external dock into the Light Peak (Thunderbolt) port on your VAIO Z to gain access to a Blu-Ray Player, AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics with 1GB RAM and a slew of connections including HDMI, VGA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.

The dock can power 4 monitors at once including the notebook display, which is a big deal for power users. Sadly the Light Peak connection uses a Sony specific connector so you won’t be able to enjoy the new Thunderbolt accessories, whenever they make it to market.

The VAIO Z is thinner than the MacBook Air, but just barely with a thickness of 16.65mm compared to the MacBook Air’s 17mm body. The VAIO Z is also lighter, weighing in at 2.64 pounds compared to 2.91 on the MacBook Air 13″.

Hands on with the Vaio Z and Power Media Dock

We expect to see the Sony VAIO Z go on sale in July in the U.S. Currently UK readers can pre-order the VAIO Z, which is available for roughly $1,835 and an additional $500 for the dock. If you want the higher end 1080P model prepare to sacrifice your car down payment to come up with the $3,000 estimated price, but at least that includes the dock.

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