Following on a European announcement, the Sony Vaio S Series notebooks are now available for pre-order. With a separate battery sheet, 15 hours of battery life is possible.
Sony's new Vaio S Series of laptops are now available for
pre-sale in the United States, starting at
heard the news? That was an announcement for a European version; the U.S.
version, says Sony, is a bit more robust, offering the option of up to a
second-generation, 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor and an Advanced Micro Devices
Radeon 1GB Hybrid Graphics card, rather than the Euro version's 512. There's
also the option of a dual-channel 256GB solid-state drive with Raid O
But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves. The Vaio S
Series is a business notebook with an emphasis on battery life and some spiffy
aesthetics. The display is 13.3 inches on the diagonal, with a resolution of
1366 by 768. There's an Electrostatic touchpad with multi-finger input, and the
notebook measures just under an inch thick and weighs 3.8 pounds. Sony has also
decked it out with a magnesium and aluminum casing, "which is light but feels
like you have military-style durability," blogger Gina wrote in a March 7 post
on the Sony blog. "It
also comes in white, which I hear looks pretty insane with the magnesium
In addition to the S Series' speedy Intel processor, the
biggest news here may be an accessory for the notebook that's actually sold
separately, an Extended Battery Sheet. Priced at $150, it adds approximately a
pound to the weight of the notebook but brings its potential battery life, when
used at default settings, to 15 hours. The
Sheet clicks onto the bottom of the notebook, without the need to first power
down, and the notebook uses the Battery Sheet's charge before its internal
The Vaio S Series also features a backlit keyboard and a
Webcam with an Exmor sensor that helps it to perform well in low-light
conditions. A CD/DVD player/burner comes standard, but a Blu-ray Disc drive is
optional, as is an Intel Wireless Display 2.0 adapter, which enables users to
wirelessly share content from the hard drive with an HDTV.
The S Series runs Microsoft Windows 7, has an SD memory card
slot and a Memory Stick Duo media slot, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a
VGA output port and an HDMI output. There are also dedicated Vaio, Assist and
Web buttons for, respectively, launching Media Gallery software, Vaio Care and
accessing the Internet without booting up Windows.
"We continue to raise the bar when it comes to the mobile
computing experience," Mike Lucas, senior vice president of Sony's Networked
and Technologies and Services division, said in a statement. "The Vaio S Series
laptop makes no compromises by offering the ultimate, full-featured
On Feb. 22, Sony introduced a C Series of consumer Vaio notebooks
in neon shades of orange and green, in addition to white and black. Available
with 14- or 15.5-inch displays, they feature up to second-generation Intel Core
i5 processors with Intel Turbo Boost (on select models) and, like the S Series,
AMD Radeon HD 1GB Hybrid Graphics cards.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.