Sony is introducing a new Vaio S Series of notebooks Feb. 22, striving to combine beauty and brawn in slim packaging. Called a "full flat" design, the Vaio S is crafted from magnesium and aluminum, weighs 3.86 pounds and measures 0.94 inches thick.
The notebooks, unveiled Feb. 22, feature a 13.3-inch Display Plus screen with a resolution of 1366 by 768-an aspect ratio said to be ideal for viewing side-by-side Web pages-and a low-reflection coating that makes for easier viewing in various lighting conditions. The OS is Microsoft's Genuine Windows 7 Professional, which has been paired with an Intel Core i5 processor and AMD Radeon HD 6470M and Intel HD graphics.
Business users may appreciate two particular points of emphasis. The first, designed to offer a last glance at a schedule before a meeting or dash to the airport, is a fast boot option designed to get the notebook up and running 50 percent faster than conventional notebooks. A Web button, over the keyboard, also boots up the notebook for Internet access in seconds.
Regarding connectivity, some Vaio models feature an embedded "everywair" feature that lets users connect to 3G WWAN on the go, at speeds of 7.2M bps, via their mobile broadband operator.
Also emphasized, for the busy business user, is the series' battery life. The internal lithium polymer battery offer 7 hours of charge, when in Stamina mode, but a second battery, that can be attached to the PC without removing the first, can extend that to 14 hours.
Again looking at battery life, a Dynamic Hybrid Graphic System switches between the notebooks' integrated GPU and a high-performance AMD Radeon card-in choices of 512MB or 1GB VRAM (video random access memory)-depending on what the project at hand demands.
Other features include a backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor, enabling the notebook to naturally adjust to its surroundings, a DVD SuperMulti Drive, an HD Webcam and Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. It'll begin shipping in late March, though pricing details have yet to be revealed.
Separately, but also on Feb. 22, Sony introduced a Vaio C Series of notebooks. Presumably these are geared toward younger consumers-or maybe just anyone who's nostalgic for roller-rink glow sticks. The 14-inch CA10 and the 15.5-inch CB10 come in Neon Orange and Neon Green, as well as Lightning White and Bolt Black, and "radiate light" around the edges of the notebooks, according to Sony. They feature second-generation Intel Core i5 processors with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, and-on select models-an AMD Radeon HD 6630 1GB Hybrid Graphics card and Blu-ray disc drive.
Like the S Series, the C Series notebooks feature Vaio, Web and Assist buttons for launching Media Gallery software, Vaio Care software and offering access to the Web without a full boot-up, respectively.
"The new VAIO C Series delivers an extraordinary design with new, vivid materials," Mike Lucas, senior vice president of the Networked Technologies and Services Division at Sony, said in a statement. "Combined with premium performance and features, as well as enhanced with Sony Imagination Studio, C Series users can be entertained and show off their creative side."
The C Series will start at $880, go on sale this spring, and be available for pre-sale beginning March 13.