VAIO

Hands on with Sony’s new VAIO range

Hands on with Sony’s new VAIO range

Sony invited us down to the Hilton in midtown Manhattan earlier on today to spend some hands-on time with their new 2008 VAIO lineup.  While the company could never be accused of pushing out exactly unstylish notebooks, the latest Z, FW, SR and BZ machines are particularly successful when it comes to a cohesive and stylish design language.  After the cut you can see hands-on photos and video of all four of the new models, including our personal favourite, the super-slick multimedia ultraportable VAIO Z.

 

Sony VAIO faces 2008 with new Z, FW, SR & BZ notebooks

Sony VAIO faces 2008 with new Z, FW, SR & BZ notebooks

Sony has pulled the wraps off of its 2008 VAIO lineup, and there are fresh Z, FW, SR and BZ machines serving everything from the sober-suited business-person to the Blu-ray media junkie.  All running Intel Centrino 2 processors, the smallest of the new range is the Z, with a 13.1-inch display, NVIDIA 9300M graphics, Blu-ray and a full-sized hard-drive bay with space for a dual-SSD RAID array.  All that in just a 1-inch thick, 3.4 pound slab, with a HDMI port to play nicely with your big-screen TV.

Sony is preparing to launch laptops with Penryn processor

Sony is preparing to launch laptops with Penryn processor

Not wanting to get left behind by Acer and Fujitsu-Siemens, Sony is preparing to launch its Penryn based laptops. The VAIO AR7, FZ4, and SZ7 will feature Intel’s new Core 2 Duo mobile that uses 45nm-manufacturing process. The Santa Rosa Refresh platform combined with Penryn based CPU will give laptop users longer battery life. Now all I need is to get one of these Penryn chip on my MacBook Pro!

Sony drops new flash based Vaio notebook

Sony drops new flash based Vaio notebook

This new notebook, well it looks amazing, and the spec sheet, even better. Get this, it weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces, that means the Happy Meal you just picked up at McDonalds for your kid probably weighs more.

Furthermore, it has the 32GB SSD drive, which keeps things cool, low power, and faster than a standard laptop HDD. It has a Centrino Duo processor to boot, and thanks in part to the SSD drive, a 5 hour battery life when in power save mode.

Sony VAIO UX490 UMPC unboxed

Sony VAIO UX490 UMPC unboxed

Ah, the good old unboxing.  It's the modern-day equivalent of taking your knitting to the local hanging, what with all the vicarious pleasure on offer.  Latest to strip off its cardboard sheath and say "hello world!" is the VAIO UX490N/C UMPC, the update to Sony's screen-sliding miniature masterpiece, with new owner Berto showing off the retail packaging and the device itself (complete with extended battery).

 

Sony offers up Eco design coverings for FZ laptop line-up

Sony offers up Eco design coverings for FZ laptop line-up

So Sony, in a fairly weak effort to seem socially responsible, has decided to offer up 1% of the sales cost of these Eco-wrapped laptops to an environmental charity. Sure, one percent is a step in the right direction, but really, is that the best they could do?

Anyways, you can get your laptop covered with your choice of four cover designs, Caribbean Water, Clay Earth, Spotted Life, and Bloom. Then the 1% goes to onepercentfortheplanet.org which is a collection of companies that are trying to make a healthier environment.

Sony VAIO UX490

Sony VAIO UX490

Sony will be releasing their latest addition to their VAIO UX line here in the US soon. The updates include Vista Business and a new Intel Core 2 Solo processor.

Other than that you will be hit with 48GB of SSD storage, which is probably where most of the $2500 price tag comes from, but should make the battery life better than HDD based models. The new processor operates at 1.2GHz which if I recollect right means you also get a bit of a speed boost.

Sony LF-V30 LocationFree Base Station is no SlingBox killer

Sony LF-V30 LocationFree Base Station is no SlingBox killer

Sure, Sony was first to market with a place-shifting television technology, but SlingBox did it better. And still do.

Even with the release of this latest piece of hardware Sony can only best the latest SlingBox Pro in a few areas. But if you already have a LocationFree based network, or you plan on adding some of the nicer bits of hardware from Sony’s line to your home theater, this isn’t a bad choice.

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