Technology round-up: Sony Vaio special

6 Feb 2010 by AndrewGough

This week focuses on the new Sony Vaio laptops due out this year, including the ultra-fast Z Series and the rough and ready S Series.


Z Series

Fast and powerful

Sony Vaio Z SeriesThe first new type of Vaio to catch our attention is the 13.1” Z Series.  Its innovative dual or quad solid state drives (SSDs), which work in parallel as one single hard drive, promise blistering read/write speeds. Unlike conventional hard drives, SSDs contain no moving parts (they’re solid) which means less risk of damage caused by bumps and falls. The two laptops in this range come with either an Intel Core i7-620M 2.66 GHz or a Core i5-520M 2.4GHz processor. Both come with Nvidia Geforce GT 330M and Intel HD Graphics for super-quick image and video processing. Other features include built-in 3G mobile broadband, a carbon fibre and aluminium chassis and a back-lit keyboard (handy when you’re flying at night).

DUE OUT End of March


S Series

Durable chassis

Sony Vaio S SeriesAccording to Sony two ranges of Vaio in particular are aimed at the business sector. The first is the powerful Z Series (see above) while the S Series makes up the second. The S Series has a 13.3” LED screen and built-in 3G, but its key feature is its magnesium alloy shell which makes it tough and durable while keeping weight down. Unlike the Z Series the S has a conventional moving hard drive making it slightly more damage-prone, but to tackle this Sony has built in “advanced HDD protection” that protects data from disc crashes even when booting up or going into hibernation mode. The S Series is set to expand over the next year, with a less expensive cut-down version expected in March.


PRICE From £819

Y Series

Low power consumption

Sony Vaio Y SeriesIf you have trouble remembering which series is which, just think batter-Y when you think of this particular range. While not particularly aimed at the business traveller, the 13.3” Y Series’ extreme battery life cannot be ignored. According to Sony, the Y Series is the first laptop in the UK to use one of Intel’s new ultra-low voltage processors. While these chips have less processing power overall, they use less power meaning the laptop will keep working for longer. Sony has tested the Y Series’ battery against industry standard benchmarks, designed to simulate normal everyday use. The featured laptop in this range, the VPCY11M1E, has no optical drive, saving on weight.


PRICE £679

W Series


Sony Vaio W SeriesThe Vaio W Series of netbooks has been out for a little while already, Sony’s powerful contenders in this hotly-contested market. But out this week is the W Series Eco Edition which has been designed to be environmentally friendly “from the factory floor to your home”. Sony says it has achieved a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions during the laptop’s production through the use of recycled materials, which make up around 80% of all plastic parts. Among other eco-innovations is a cut-down user manual that saves on paper, and rather than ship the laptop in a cardboard box, it will come in what is essentially a paper bag (albeit coated in PET plastic – recycled of course).

DUE OUT This month

COST tbc. The rest of the W Series retails for £319-379

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