Sony Unveils High-End, Ultraportable Vaio

The company's soon-to-be-released Viao TZ laptop, with optional solid state drive, carries a hefty price tag.

Looking to entice customers with a high-end, lightweight ultraportable notebook, Sony is preparing to release its Vaio TZ notebook in North America starting in August.

This Vaio model, which weighs 2.6 pounds and offers an optional flash-based SSD (solid-state drive), is equipped with the latest low-volt Intel Core 2 processors, the company announced on July 18.

The notebook does come with a hefty price tag attached. The starting price for the standard Vaio TZ is $2,200. With the SSD option costing customers an additional $1,000, the full starting price will be $3,200, according to San Diego-based Sony.

Sony is not the only major PC vendor offering a 32GB SSD option with its notebooks. Recently, Dell began offering a number of its business-class laptops, including the ultraportable Latitude D430 notebook, with an SSD drive option as well.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about Samsungs 64GB flash-based SSD.

The Sony Vaio TZ, which has an 11.1-inch LED backlit display, measures less than 1 inch thick.

Ultraportable PCs are one of the fastest-growing segments of the market right now, according to a June 12 report from IDC that found that shipments of mobile and ultraportable notebooks grew 28 percent in the second quarter of 2007, compared with the second quarter of 2006.

The Vaio TZ supports draft 802.11n WLAN (wireless LAN) technology and offers integrated WWAN (wireless WAN) technology from Sprint Nextel, as well as integrated Bluetooth technology.

The standard notebook model uses Intels Core 2 Duo U7500 low-volt processor, which offers a clock speed of 1.06GHz, 2MB of Level 2 cache and a 533MHz FSB (front side bus). This model also has up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM (double data rate 2 RAM) and a hard disk drive with a capacity of 100GB.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read an eWEEK Labs review of Sonys latest tape storage product.

The model with the 32GB SSD option is equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 chip, which offers a slightly better clock speed of 1.2GHz. Both Vaio TZ models use Intels 945GMS chip set and Intels Graphics Media Accelerator 950.

The Vaio TZ also supports the Microsoft Windows Vista Business operating system.

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