VAIO S ultraportable in the US? Okay, so it has taken the company a bit longer to prep the 13.3-inch laptop for its American debut, but it's here and it looks like it was well worth the wait. While Sony is holding that it will not replace the VAIO Z Series, which has just recently gone out of stock on Sony's website, there's no denying that it fills a similar high-end ultraportable spot. Don't be fooled by its inch-thick profile, it packs a serious amount of horsepower -- like the UK version, it will be configurable with Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6630 graphics with 1GB of VRAM (sadly, there's still a physical toggle for switching), Blu-ray, and a range of SSDs. As you can tell from the image above, the design drops the circular hinge of previous VAIOs, but the 3.8-pound machine is still made of magnesium and aluminum, has a backlit keyboard, while also sporting the option of a unique slice battery that meshes with the overall aesthetic.
However, that $150 extended cell isn't just any old battery -- it's said to provide a total of 15 hours of battery life when latched onto the bottom of the system and additionally it comes with its own adapter so it can be charged separately from the entire rig. Yep, this one is filled to the brim with the latest and greatest, and even better it doesn't seem terribly overpriced -- the $979 starting model packs a Core i5-2410 processor, those aforementioned AMD graphics, and a 320GB hard drive. It should be available for pre-order later today and we're hoping to bring you a full review of it soon, but until then we have a few hands-on shots of the laptop back at CES below.