Sony Refreshes VAIO Z Series Ultraportable, Adds External GPU Unit

Sony has released this week the refreshed VAIO Z Series 13.1-inch ultraportable laptop for mobile professionals.

Sony VAIO Z 2011Instead of including a dedicated video card alongside integrated graphics in the laptop itself for optimum performance, Sony has chosen to offer the bundled Power Media Dock, a separate peripheral device which has built-in AMD Radeon HD 6650M 1GB graphics. The dock also includes a slot-load optical drive (Blu-ray optional), and HDMI, VGA and USB 3.0 besides other ports. It connects to the VAIO Z via a special USB port and enables video output on up to three additional displays when paired with the laptop.

The 0.66-inch thin 2011 Z Series weighs 2.5 pounds and has a chassis made of aluminum and carbon fiber. The ultraportable is based on the Intel “Sandy Bridge” full-voltage dual-core processors – the i5-2410M, i5-2540M, or i7-2620M – up to 8GB of fixed onboard DDR3 RAM memory, and dual solid state drives for up to 512GB of speedy storage.

According to Sony, the battery life is up to eight hours with the standard 4000mAh battery, which can be doubled with a second 4400mAh slice battery that mounts on the bottom of the chassis.

Other notable features of the stylish ultra-slim and simplistic looking laptop are Wireless Display technology by Intel, exceptionally high display resolution options for a 13″ laptop of 1600×900 or full HD, optional mobile broadband connectivity with GPS, backlight keyboard, and Dolby audio.

The VAIO Z will come in standard or premium Carbon Black colors, or in Carbon Indigo.

The laptop is available for pre-order now at Sony’s store. The configure-to-order model is the VPCZ2190X CTO, which starts at $1,970, but there are also ready-to-ship models, such as the VPCZ21AGX/B. For $2,000, it offers the Core i5-2410M CPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD capacity. On the higher-end, the $4,500 VAIO Signature Collection Z Series VPCZ21SHX/X has the i7-2620M, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Blu-ray burner, and AT&T and Sprint mobile broadband.

According to product pages, the notebooks are expected to start shipping in mid August.

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