Excuse us for a moment while we ponder Sony's product naming scheme. The company's VAIO S thin-and-light laptop range got upgraded specs
this January, which also happened to be the place and time that we first laid eyes on a set of "prototype" machines that seemed to target the same market segment. Lo and behold, after making some cameos at European online listings
, the newly redesigned Sony 13-inchers are here, only they're still called... the VAIO S Series. For the trouble of figuring out which is which, you'll be rewarded with a 3.9-pound mobile computer with a 1366 x 768 screen, a 500GB hard drive, 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM, 802.11n WiFi, optional VAIO "everywair" 3G, a Radeon HD 6470M GPU
with up to 1GB of dedicated memory, and what will presumably be a selection of Core i5 CPUs from Intel (at present we're only seeing the i5-2410M listed). Windows 7 is the inevitable OS on board, though Sony's enhanced it with a Fast Boot sequence that's said to halve the usual bootup time. Launch is scheduled for the end of March and you'll find a full spec sheet and release after the break.
Sony VAIO S February 2011 press shots
London, 22nd February 2011
Power in Motion: boost your productivity with new VAIO S Series
Slim, stylish 13" notebook PC by Sony packs greater stamina with less to carry
* Thin and light with elegant new 'full flat' design for enhanced mobility and superior robustness
* Work and play longer with new smart battery concept
* 13.3" VAIO Display Plus
* Dynamic Hybrid Graphic System for balanced stamina and performance
* Fast Boot and quick web access for increased productivity
* Backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor
* VAIO "everywair" 3G WWAN (selected models)
Power, design and mobility come together beautifully with the new VAIO® S Series of 13.3" slim notebook PCs from Sony.
The slim, light VAIO S Series features a stylish new 'full flat' design that's crafted in magnesium with a wide aluminium palmrest for strength, lightness, usability and looks. There's also a cleverly concealed hinge mechanism that doesn't distract your view of what's on screen. Overall thickness shrinks to less than 24mm, while weight is a travel-friendly 1.75kg (approx.).
The VAIO S Series introduces a smart new battery concept that lets you keep working day and night without a pause. The internal lithium polymer battery provides power for up to 7 hours of on-the-go computing (in Stamina mode). It's partnered by a second thin, flat optional lithium polymer extended battery that can be charged separately from the PC and added without removing the internal battery. The second battery attaches without having to switch off the PC, boosting stamina to up to 14 hours if you're far from mains power.
Dynamic Hybrid Graphic System switches seamlessly between the integrated GPU and high-performance AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series card (with either 512MB or 1GB VRAM), according to the task at hand. Whether you're watching processor-intensive HD videos or just simply note-taking, you'll always enjoy the optimum balance between performance and battery stamina.
The 13.3" VAIO Display Plus screen brings all your documents to life with excellent brightness, colour contrast, clarity and detail. The LCD's advanced low-reflection coating allows easy viewing in any lighting conditions, offering the optimum balance of suppressing reflections while maintaining clear images. With a resolution of 1366x768, the real wide aspect ratio display is perfectly proportioned for browsing dual web pages side by side.
The backlit isolation keyboard allows comfortable typing by day or night. There's also an ambient light sensor that automatically dims brightness of the high-quality VAIO Display to conserve power when the lights are low.
The VAIO S Series is designed with day-to-day productivity firmly in mind. Fast Boot gets you up and running 50% faster than a conventional notebook when loading Genuine Windows® 7. It's a valuable time-saver if you're on a deadline or rushing for the airport. There's also a conveniently-placed WEB button that powers up your PC for Internet access in seconds. It's ideal for checking any last-minute e-mails while sitting in a café or departure lounge.
Available on selected models, embedded VAIO "everywair" 3G WWAN lets you connect on the move via your mobile broadband operator at up to 7.2Mbps.
Co-ordinated accessories include the BPSC24 external battery that's supplied with its own charging adapter. There's also a new flat-design port replicator that can dock with the VAIO S, allowing you to work while the attached BPSC24 battery charges.
The new VAIO S Series slim, ultra-mobile notebook PCs are available from the end of March 2011.