A Feast of Centrino 2 Notebooks

Sony gets Closer To You

Sony Gets Closer to You

Sony's new found direction of saying that they intend to get Closer To You may seem like an attempt to turn into a big brother stalker type of corporation, but we'd like to state for the record that the new VAIO models will probably make us the stalkers instead (and probably you too).

Held at Fullerton Hotel, Sony's VAIO launch also saw the company giving a new meaning to the VAIO acroynm: Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer. VAIO had previously stood for Video Audio Integrated Operation, and the new meaning is part of Sony's new direction to make your notebooks part of your life.

 Mr Hideyuki Furumi, Senior General Manager of Sony's VAIO Business Group, talking about the integration of new software that Sony is introducing to the VAIO platform to enhance the user's interaction with the notebooks, which we hope doesn't end up as bloatware that slows down the system.

In keeping with their functional beauty philosophy, Sony has kept the cylindrical centerpiece of the VAIO notebooks familiar but still making a few noticeable changes. The most obvious change would of course be the keyboard layout, which has been changed to what Sony calls an "isolated" design that helps to prevent mistyping and typing noise while making it easier for women with long manicured fingernails. Less noticeable is the use of carbon fiber for both the top and bottom covers of the unit, which gives the unit more durability. As a bonus, it's also not glossy, which means no ugly and messy fingerprint smudges. These design elements have actually been introduced sparingly in a few of their earlier models, but it's now being adopted throughout the new range.

 The business class Sony VAIO Z models are due to be released in September and features Intel Centrino 2 technology with an Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 (2.53GHz) processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 13.1-inch screen, a NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS graphics card and a 320GB hard disk. Weighing at only 1.48kg, this VAIO VGN-Z17 definitely packs a punch in both power and in our wallets. (Note: the pricing's for the Sony VAIO Z not revealed yet, but we don't expect it to be cheap).

 The VAIO SR series are the mid-range babies, packing in power while remaining under 2kg. Seen here is the better equipped VGN-SR13G which features an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26GHz) processor, 2GB DDR2 RAM, a 13.3-inch screen, a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 and a 250GB hard disk. The estimated recommended retail price starts from S$2,199 with available colors ranging from black, silver and pink.

 Last but not least is the VAIO FW series that's billed as an entertainment unit for the HD lovers. The VGN-FW13GU features an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53GHz) processor with 4GB RAM, a Blu-Ray drive, a 16.4-inch screen and a 320GB hard disk drive. The estimated recommended retail price starts from S$2499 and the unit will come in three colors: titanium grey, white and black.