It's been a decade since Sony introduced its first ultra portable notebook, the VAIO 505 in Japan. Expensive, classy but undeniably handy, this tiny notebook measured less than an inch thick, seemed to weigh even less and most of all, had an irresistible charm that has become a key requirement of the VAIO design philosophy. While its price and niche genre probably restricted it to a small audience, the notebook has its share of fans (there's even an old web ring for VAIO 505 owners with tips and information) and now, ten years from that moment, Sony has sought to commemorate this milestone with a new take on the ultra slim notebook.
The end result is the new VAIO TZ series, designed by some members of the original development team that came up with the VAIO 505 and others who have been inspired by it. Their goal was like most product refreshes - keeping with the style and elegance of the original while updating it with the latest technology. For the top model, the VGN-TZ18GN, this includes a cutting edge solid state drive (SSD) using flash memory, an ultra low voltage Core 2 Duo processor from Intel and the latest Microsoft Windows Vista OS. Meanwhile, the latest advances in material sciences and LCD technologies mean that this VAIO comes with a light but sturdy carbon fiber chassis and a vibrant, bright display that puts others into the shade, literally.
So yes, maybe we seem to be hyperventilating a bit now. But, don't take our words for granted, check out the ultra thin notebooks below and tell us honestly you don't fancy them. We received both the TZ17GN and the TZ18GN from Sony for this article, but we will only be focusing on the premium VGN-TZ18GN here. Hence, the specifications for the table are based on the TZ18GN. However, there is virtually no difference on paper between the two except for the SSD on the TZ18GN instead of the usual SATA hard drive (and the price tag of course).