Sony’s done it again, and introduced impossibly thin laptops that ooze class and gadget-lust from every pore, at least at first glance. And what a first impression the new VAIO Duo 13 and VAIO Pro 11/13 Ultrabook have made.
Ryosuke Akahane, SVP and President of Sony’s VAIO & Mobile Business Group says that their aim was to provide customers with a variety of new ways to use their PCs, by combining Sony technology with new form factors. “We’re aiming to make devices that will enhance and enrich individuals’ lifestyles in both work and play,” he said.
Unifying key technological elements from across Sony's various properties, such as the Triluminos and X-Reality display expertise from their HDTV and mobile businesses, as well as Exmor imaging technology, the goal is to be able to take the VAIO product line to new heights.
The VAIO Duo 13 will replace the original VAIO Duo 11 launched last year, with a 13-inch form factor being the only SKU offered for that particular model. The Duo 13 does feature a number of significant changes in industrial design, most notable of which is a reworked folding hinge mechanism, which Sony dubs the Surf Slider. Instead of being anchored at two separate point on either end of the LCD display’s rear, the hinge is now held in the middle of the rear, and in a way that looks much less complicated and less prone to failure. There's also the addition of dedicated touchpad, which replaces the optical track point on the Duo 11.
The VAIO Pro is aimed at the mobile-minded user, with a design that's likely the thinnest and lightest we've seen yet in a laptop computer. The VAIO Pro will come in both 11-inch and 13-inch form factors, and offer superb battery life (more on it below), thanks to Intel's expertise and technology introduced with the adoption of fourth-generation Core processors, which enable almost instantaneous resuming from standby mode.
Sony's also simplifying the VAIO product portfolio, into four distinct product lineups: Duo, Tap, Pro and Fit. The Duo lineup will be represented by the new VAIO Duo 13, which is geared for the creative crowd looking to gain even more productivity thanks to innovative form factors. The Tap lineup is filled in by the new Tap 20 all-in-one desktop, geared for a touch-centric user experience. The Pro lineup is built with mobile productivity first and foremost, while lastly, the Fit lineup is aimed at the lifestyle market.
We'll have specific hands-on articles shortly regarding the VAIO Duo 13, the VAIO Pro 11/13, as well as the Vaio Fit. Interestingly though, a Sony representative revealed that the Tap lineup won't be coming to Singapore just yet.