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Is this the next Sony VAIO Z?

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We haven't heard much about Sony's ultra slim VAIO Z in months, but when we have, we've always been left with more questions than answers. We've seen its specs (but not handsome face) splashed on various European websites, while Sony, for its part, has only made the coy promise that its newly redesigned S series thin-and-lights are not meant to replace the more premium Z line. Lo and behold, we're now seeing photos of what purports to be the next-gen Z series and, as always, we're left wanting more. In these pics, you've supposedly got the Z -- sometimes with a black lid, sometimes gold -- sitting next to an external dock housing what appears to be an optical drive. If you drop in on the gossip circles in NotebookReview's forum, you'll read some speculation that there's an external GPU baked in there, too -- a compelling idea, though even "Eddie," the guy who leaked these photos, doesn't seem completely confident as to what that peripheral actually does. Given that the Z series has been MIA from Sony's site for months now, we hope the company gets a move on and outs this thing -- if this is, indeed, what it is. Until then, amuse yourselves with photos and crowd-sourced specs at the source links.

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