Power Media Dock to the Rescue!
It's More Than a Pretty Notebook...
For the more discerning users who actually care about their machine’s performance as well as its looks, the Vaio Z is well covered in this aspect too. It has a second generation Intel Core i7 processor, as well as an ultra-high speed third generation SSD RAID configured drive array (no details could be wrangled out from them yet). And if all that sounded like tech mumbo-jumbo to you, well all you need to know is it allows the new Vaio Z to boot up in a trail-blazing 14 seconds flat. Not the fastest boot up we've ever seen, but impressive enough for a notebook.
Power Media Dock to the Rescue!
Still not impressed? Still have something which you wish the Vaio Z can do? Well, allow us to introduce to your the Power Media Dock, which according to Ms Yang, is bundled with every new Sony Vaio Z. This peripheral will cover all your connectivity bases from an external Blu-ray drive, to more USB ports and even more video ports like VGA and HDMI. So where did all those video ports come from? That's because the Power Media Dock has got an AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics accelerator with 1GB VRAM!
What that means for you is that gaming is always an option, while graphics processing (which includes video encoding) will get done faster and Stream computing using the graphics horsepower is also an option. With a slim form factor like the Vaio Z, it 's almost impossible to incorporate a powerful discrete graphics engine in its frame and the same goes for most notebooks of this size. The only two options most gamers had was to buy a chunkier well-specced notebook or settle for a slim notebook for non-gaming purposes while a fairly capable desktop system caters to gaming needs. With the new Vaio Z, you get the best of both worlds on the same machine - a super light machine for portable computing, while full gaming prowess is reserved when you're back at your work desk to couple it with the dock.
More interestingly, the Power Media Dock features data transfer capability using "Light Peak" (officially known as Thunderbolt) technology on an optical cable via a proprietary USB 3.0 port between the dock and laptop. This super fast and high bandwidth connection allows the system to leverage on the external features of the dock without lag or performance issues. And this also brings an added benefit as one can use the full set of video outputs from the dock and the notebook to connect up to three other screens. Together with the notebook's own screen, you've a grand total of four screens to multi-task effortlessly and conduct presentations like never before. When the dock isn't being used, the notebook's USB 3.0 port still works with traditional USB 3.0 devices just fine.
As always, you have the option of getting some accessories for your spanking new machine. The one that was heavily touted was the sheet battery add-on. It effectively doubles the Vaio Z’s battery life (of 6.5 hours to 10 hours), letting the machine last that much longer while you are out and about.
So this is as much information we were able to gather during our brief time with the new Sony Vaio Z. The expected release of the product is late July, and as far as pricing goes, we don’t have any solid answers from Sony yet. Judging from last year’s Vaio Z however, you can be sure that premium products demand premium prices (think upwards of S$4,000). Rest assured that once details are available to us, you can find them here at HardwareZone.com.