Sony builds hot-swap GPU tech into ultra-portable laptop
Vaio Z debuts
Sony's second key laptop introduction of the week is its 13in Vaio Z - not only a low-weight boy for business but also one of the first notebooks with seen with hot-switch graphics chips.
Sony's Vaio Z: very portable and feature-rich
The Z's claim on our attention is the 1.5kg weight, 13.1in display - which, like the 16.4in display on the FW, has a 1600 x 900 resolution for a true 16:9 aspect ratio. It also has an LED backlight for power conservation.
You might not think the on-board Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics chip did much for battery life and you'd be right. Which is why the Vaio Z has a switch just above the keyboard that powers it down and activates the second, chipset-integrated GPU instead - what Sony calls "Stamina mode", as opposed to "Speed mode".
Sony's done this kind of thing before, but here it works on the fly with no need for a re-boot. That said, it does do a kind of invisible restart, and you're warned that if you leave apps open while switching modes, you may lose your data.
The Z is no MacBook Air challenger on size, but it does win on features, packing in 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0, a built-in DVD burner, a fingerprint reader, modem and Gigabit Ethernet ports, Firewire, an HDMI connector and a couple of USB ports. Then there's Intel's latest generation of mobile CPU and, on the top-of-the-line model, integrated 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G connectivity.
All this is encased in a carbon fibre shell.
The Vaio Z series members come with a three-year warranty. They'll be available any day now, but pricing was not disclosed.
hmm... how good does the os actually cope with this.
But how good does windoze do this?
Can linux cope with something like this as well?
Reading the headline I thought this meant you could actually pull the GPU out of the machine and swap in another. Now *that* would be really useful. Upgradable GPU in a laptop... ;-)
and the battery life itself will be shite as standard, and not last longer than 18 months if the machine is used everyday.
Woohoo, this might make it last 19 months instead!
Christ we're a cynical lot.
You might want to actually *read* the article first:
"Sony's done this kind of thing before, but here it works on the fly with no need for a re-boot."
eight out of ten for effort, zero out of ten for observation, and minus eleventy out of ten for attempted-journo-pwnage.
Anyway, if it's anything like the Sonys I have used/supported over the years, the switches will fall off within twelve months!
What to call it ?
>What a magnificent breakthrough! A switch that toggles between high performance and low performance modes!
I agree, superb idea. Now lets think what we could label the button. Ive got it..... TURBO !!
Errr, wait a minute, that sounds eerily familiar....