Feeds

Sony builds hot-swap GPU tech into ultra-portable laptop

Vaio Z debuts

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Like the Vaio FW, which was also launched this week, the Z series is based on Intel's Centrino 2 - the foundation for a raft of new notebooks unveiled of late.

Sony Vaio Z

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 Vaio Z

Business friendly

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.