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Sony claims 'lightest notebook' crown

Atom-based super-skinny X series launched

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The fight for the right to claim ownership of the world’s lightest notebook has been won by Sony, the company claimed today, thanks to its launch of the Vaio X.

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Sony's Vaio X: good lookin', but Atom-based

Weighing in at just 655g, the... ahem... “exquisitely crafted” notebook measures 278 x 185 x 13.9mm and is available in your choice of gold, black or carbon-fibre frame.

And with the designer looks come some designer features, including an aluminium palm rest, multi-digit touchpad and – although we’re not sure we believe this last one – a responsive keyboard that supposedly provides an "error-free typing" experience.

Sony has created two X-series models: the VPC-X11S1E/B and VPC-X11Z1E/X. Both feature 11.1in, 1366 x 768 displays, but the X11Z1E/X ships with the faster processor – a 2GHz Intel Atom Z550, compared to the X11S1E/B’s 1.86GHz Atom Z540. Both CPUs were designed for handheld net tablets, so don't expect killer laptop performance.

The X11Z1E/X also has a more capacious SSD than its rival – 256GB, compared to 128GB – and is the only version available with that exclusive premium carbon-fibre finish. So exclusive, in fact, that the machine will only be available through Sony’s sales website.

Both models feature 2GB of DDR 2 memory and are equipped with the handheld-oriented Intel GMA 500 integrated graphics core, Sony said.

Neither notebook has an integrated optical drive – that’s an optional USB-connected extra — but do support 3G speeds of up to 7.2Mb/s and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is also present, Sony added.

An integrated webcam – which also features in Sony’s new touchscreen Vaio – can be found on the VPC-X11S1E/B and VPC-X11Z1E/X, as can slots for SDHC memory cards and Sony’s own Memory Stick cards.

Running Windows 7 Professional, the pair will hold out for up to eight hours, Sony claimed. Splash out for the “extended X battery” and you’ll supposedly get 16 hours' runtime from the X series.

Sony wouldn't say officially how much either model will cost, but company insiders told us recently it would be in the €1500-2000 range. Phew. Whatever they cost, both machines will be available in November. ®

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